No team received a harder slap across the face on the eve of the season than the Indianapolis Colts. On August 24, a scant fifteen days before the Colts opened the 2019 season. They scrambled and turned to (and gave a hefty contract to) Jacoby Brissett. The 2019 season became a wash for the Colts before it even started. Injuries to Marlon Mack, Parris Campbell, and T.Y. Hilton certainly didn’t help matters. What should we remember from the Colts’ lost season for our 2020 fantasy football drafts?
What to Remember from the 2019 Indianapolis Colts Season
- Jacoby “The Rake” Brissett sprained his MCL in week nine, and his production quickly spiraled down the drain. In weeks one through eight, Brissett did not throw for a lot of yardages, but he chipped in an Alex Smith-ian 15 rushing yards per game, and a touchdown. Overall, he played on a 34 touchdown pace in that span. From weeks one through eight, he turned in four top-twelve QB games out of the seven he played. After the sprain, he had zero in eight games. The Colts likely look elsewhere for a QB in 2020 (they’re tied to Jordan Love in the draft), but if Brissett returns, he has streaming viability when healthy.
- “When healthy” is the code for the 2019 Indianapolis Colts. Injuries mounted, and everything fell apart down the stretch. Marlon Mack was not immune to catastrophic events. At the end of the season, he missed two games. Prior to missing those two games, Mack played on a 1,500-total yard pace and turned in an RB2 or better game in six of his nine contests. He was a plug-and-play flex, mostly based on his 93 rushing yards per game. After he returned from his injury, he turned in three quality games in four contests, 100% on the back of scoring four touchdowns in those four games. He topped 100 yards in week sixteen but had bafflingly low rushing totals prior to that. He’s a bounce-back candidate for 2020.
- Nyheim Hines presents a potential impediment to Mack’s 2020 feel-goods. Hines enters his third year as the pass-catching back. When Hines is on the field, he’s one of the most targeted backs in the league. Among guys who played at least 150 snaps and received at least 20 targets, Hines ranks fifth in target percentage. He’s behind truly relevant pass-catchers in fantasy football: James White, Tarik Cohen, and Austin Ekeler. He also sits behind perennial “too injured but imagine if he wasn’t” poster boy: Chris Thompson. Hines received a target on 17% of his snaps. As said, this ranked #5 in the league, and only ten backs had a target rate of over 15%. He’s in some truly rarified air, and if he carves out a bigger role in the offense, he has sleeper PPR appeal.
- Injuries more than derailed Parris Campbell’s rookie campaign. Four completely unrelated injuries hampered Campbell in his rookie campaign. He started with a hamstring issue, then moved onto injured abdominals. After those healed, he broke his hand. Finally, a foot injury cost him the rest of his year. Don’t label Campbell a bust quite yet. After all, didn’t we already learn our lesson about counting out talented wide receivers with tumultuous rookie campaigns? Campbell could become 2020’s D.J. Chark, or this is the first campaign for the new Mr. Glass.
- When we look back at the 2020 campaign, T.Y. Hilton’s disastrous numbers stand out. The annual 1,000-yard receiver ended the year with just 501 yards and five scores. This is, unfortunately, a pattern for Hilton. While injuries derailed his season (what are you doing over there, Colts?), Hilton does not perform up to snuff without Luck under center. With Luck, Hilton plays on a 79.8-catch, 1,268-yard pace. Without Luck, those numbers drop to 63.6 catches for 932 yards per sixteen games. Here’s the skinny: with Andrew Luck, he’s a back-end WR1. Without Andrew Luck, he’s a back-end WR2… on a good day.
Check out the rest of the What to Remember series as it develops!
(Header Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/29791415287 under CC BY-SA 4.0)