by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
With Reggie Wayne being placed on injured reserve courtesy of a torn ACL, the Indianapolis Colts are left relatively thin at wide receiver. Let’s take a look at the options currently on the roster (though they’ve shown that they aren’t afraid to make a big trade to improve) and look at their fantasy outlook:
Hilton was already a viable fantasy option, with 27 receptions for 412 yards and 2 TD. He was second on the team in targets, with 54 (Wayne had 58). While he and Andrew Luck need to do a better job of turning the targets into receptions, Hilton has the potential to be a Top 20 wide receiver on a weekly basis moving forward.
Let’s not forget that Hilton had 50 receptions for 861 yards and 7 TD in his rookie season, with 5 TD and three 100 yard games over the final seven contests. Is he going to be a must play? Not quite, at least not right off the bat, but he should get there quickly. If you were lucky enough to draft him as depth on draft day you should get a nice return.
The former first round draft pick has been a relative bust since being selected, but was surprisingly getting opportunities early in the season. Now he is going to be the secondary receiver, at least initially, and should finally get a chance to produce with a top notch QB throwing him the football.
Heyward-Bey is third in targets (34) and should see even more chances moving forward… At least for now. He has 18 receptions for 190 yards and 1 TD, but it also wouldn’t be a complete surprise if someone else was able to overtake him. If you are in need of a WR now he’s worth grabbing, but don’t consider it a lock to be able to depend on him.
A second year player, Brazill has not yet recorded a completion in 2013 after picking up 11 catches for 186 yards and a touchdown last season. A sixth round draft pick, he missed the first four games due to a suspension for marijuana use, certainly setting him back a little bit.
Prior to 2012 Sports Illustrated had the following scouting report (click here to view):
“Dependable, creative pass catcher who also impacts the game as a return specialist. Displays a sense of timing, possesses good eye/hand coordination and easily makes tough over-the-shoulder catches downfield. Comes back to the ball, finds the open space on the field and makes himself an available target. Extends his hands to make the reception away from his frame and shows skill running after the catch. Easily adjusts to grab the errant throw in stride. Possesses soft, reliable hands. Competitive and holds onto the ball when he takes a big hit.”
He could easily step in as a possession receiver, especially with Coby Fleener struggling to make plays out of the tight end position. In deeper formats he’s a player well worth grabbing now if you need help at WR (especially in PPR formats). He may not have the speed to make big plays down the field, but don’t be surprised if he starts amassing receptions.
A fifth round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2010, Reed had 5 receptions for 66 yards in 2012 while playing in five games. Those are the only receptions he has since entering the NFL. It makes him a tough player to believe in at this point.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings: