by Ray Kuhn
Player: Reggie Wayne
Team: Indianapolis Colts
Draft Range: 67-117 (All ADP data courtesy of www.mockdraftcentral.com)
Reggie Wayne was a disappointment last season. But how much of a disappointment really was he? And was it his fault? And how does that translate into your forecast for Wayne this season?
He had 75 catches, 960 yards, and 4 touchdowns. That is not a bad season at all for someone who is a WR3 (and occasional WR2 depending on bye weeks and roster construction) or a flex option. There is nothing wrong with getting that production out of a player you draft around round 8 or 9.
However, when you draft that same production about 5 rounds earlier to be your WR1 or WR2, then there are problems. That is why Wayne was a disappointment last season. Remember he had that performance with Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky. For owners that drafted Wayne based on his history, obviously it was a big letdown.
This season Wayne has rookie standout Andrew Luck throwing to him. So not only does he have an upgrade in his quarterback, but Pierre Garcon is now in Washington (one less person to contend with for targets). With Austin Collie’s concussion problems, Wayne is the team’s top receiver. Not only has Luck looked good so far (though it is the preseason), but Wayne is looking like his clear number one target. Against the Steelers, Wayne was targeted 9 times and caught 6 balls for 74 yards.
In the previous regime, Wayne lined up exclusively wide left. However under new offensive coordinator Bruce Ariens that does not seem to be the case. That was a contributing factor in his 6 catch performance. In Mike Chappell’s report for the Indianapolis Star (click here for the article) it is noted that this has been a focus of training camp thus far the results of which were seen on Sunday. It appears that Wayne and Luck are starting to build some chemistry and that for the most part Luck will be able to get the ball to Wayne in good position. But I would somewhat temper my optimism as Luck is not Peyton Manning.
At this point it seems clear that Wayne will be Luck’s go to target. If you use last season’s performance as a baseline and then project up slightly based on the increased target and improved quarterback play, 85 catches and 1,100 catches could be possible. I’m not sure that I would project him that high, but it is easily possible. Based on Wayne’s ADP, drafting him accordingly could provide you with nice value as a WR3 or flex option.
What are your feelings on Wayne this year? Will you consider drafting him based on his ADP?
Make sure to check out our 2012 fantasy football rankings: