Let’s Not Bury T.Y. Hilton Just Yet (Fantasy Football)
T.Y. Hilton came into the league and instantly took it by storm. He has five seasons of 1,000+ receiving yards and has seen four Pro Bowl selections. Although Hilton has shown he is a legit wide receiver in the NFL, there have been seasons where he has dealt with injury or a quarterback that isn’t named Andrew Luck.
There had been speculation that the Indianapolis Colts would not retain their veteran wideout for the 2021 season. Still, he ended up inking a one-year contract with the team for 8-million guaranteed with incentives for both receptions and yards (worth up to 10-million). Most predicted Hilton would end up with a new organization for 2021, so with the 31-year-old receiver remaining in Indy, you could say this puts a damper on the upcoming Michael Pittman, Jr. breakout year projection.
In 2021, Carson Wentz takes over, via trade, as quarterback for the Colts after Philip Rivers retired in the offseason. In joining Indianapolis, Wentz’s situation is better from a protective standpoint as the offensive line is better than in Philadelphia.
Additionally, Wentz will reunite with his former OC in 2016 and 2017, Frank Reich. While Reich was in Philadelphia with Wentz, the Eagles had just over 38 pass attempts per game in 2016 and 35.25 in 2017. Wentz is another player I would not write off in 2021 (Lauren Carpenter tells you why), but Hilton is the player to benefit most from his presence with the team. Reich staying with the Colts is a positive thing for Hilton, as this suggests the offense won’t be changing.
Hilton may be classified as an injury-prone wideout, but he only missed one game in 2020 with a groin injury. The Colts were riddled with injuries during the 2020 campaign, another situation that seemed to keep the team from clicking.
Parris Campbell has not been the picture of health either. There are concerns with him due to having knee surgery after the second week of the 2020 season. Campbell has additionally dealt with hand, sports hernia, and foot surgeries, landing him on IR for a good portion of his NFL career. He, too, will start the season healthy for the Colts. Pittman ended up on IR during the 2020 campaign after undergoing surgery for compartment leg syndrome. He missed one game versus Chicago and then ended up on IR for three games. Pittman was able to come back in season.
Another player back from injury will be running back Marlon Mack. Running back Jonathan Taylor looks to improve on his impressive rookie campaign in the 2021 season. Taylor happened to find himself on the COVID list in 2020, something we are all hoping won’t be an issue for any player in the 2021 season. Having a solid and healthy offensive group will benefit Hilton as he won’t always be the focus of attention.
Hilton proved he was a top option last year by leading the Colts in yards (762) and touchdowns (5). Those statistics are not ideal when persuading you to draft Hilton, but it ought to tell you that there were limited connections between Rivers and the rest of the team in 2020. Wentz will come into the organization and try to capitalize on the talent that encompasses him.
The Colts didn’t do anything noteworthy in the draft to boost the passing game. This is one more situation that benefits all pass-catching choices on the roster. The wide receiver group will see better stats than what they saw last season, and Hilton will get back to his 1,000+ yard ways. This year could quite possibly be his final season with the Colts. He either wants to go out on a high note or do well to catch the eye of another club for the 2022 season.
I feel there are multiple options to impress on the Indy roster this season, but Hilton stands out as one to shock you positively, especially at the spot you draft him in the 11th round. He won’t be the guy who scores you huge numbers weekly, but he will be a draft steal. It would be best if you rostered him now before he isn’t rosterable again (yeah, dynasty players, beware here).