T.Y. Hilton has been officially ruled out for Week 9 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. His absence means more opportunity for a slew of Colts receivers, but are any of them worthy of a start in fantasy football?
Of the group, Zach Pascal is the last receiver to have fantasy value when he put up a 6/106/2 line against the Texans in Week 7. Before Parris Campbell’s abdominal injury, he had eight targets on a season-high 63 percent snap rate. Campbell missed the next two games and came back last week to just a few snaps and one target. Deon Cain was inactive in Week 8, while Chester Rogers saw 63 percent snaps but only two targets.
When factoring in their target opportunity, we also need to take into account Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle, who see 4-5 targets a game each. Overall, after Hilton, the Colts spread the ball out thinly across the board. With Hilton out, there will be a receiver likely worth starting, but who?
Fantasy football analysis: Indianapolis WRs Zach Pascal, Parris Campbell
Colts beat writer Stephen Holder tweets, “Parris Campbell could provide some help in that (quick passes for Jacoby Brissett) regard. The Colts had legit plans for him last week, but they didn’t pan out because they couldn’t sustain drives. He’s the guy to watch (this week), in my opinion. Holder is a reasonably straight-forward beat writer who doesn’t make hot takes for the sake of making hot takes, so I think we can take his opinion to heart.
There’s no doubt that the Colts were getting Campbell more involved before his injury, and this week they take on a Steelers defensive line that has been dominant. They rank third in adjusted sack rate and first in QB Hit Rate. The Colts have a strong offensive line, ranking eighth in adjusted sack rate allowed but did give up four sacks to Denver at home and now head to Heinz field. There is a good chance Brissett is hounded and will need to get the ball out quickly. Those quick hitters favor Campbell over Pascal.
Pittsburgh hasn’t allowed a 100-yard receiver all season and rank 10th in DVOA against the pass, but they’re average in fantasy points allowed to receivers as a whole at 17th overall. Against a team that spreads the ball out like the Colts, this matchup has plenty of perils for fantasy football. The good news is that Pittsburgh has stifled run games, and I expect Indianapolis will need to throw to move the ball.
Traditional Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Start Campbell in PPR leagues.
Start Pascal as a desperation WR4.
DraftKings DFS Recommendation
Campbell has the best shot at safety coupled with value due to his bottom of the barrel $3,000 price tag. I wouldn’t play him in cash lineups, but at his price, he makes for a useful punt in GPPs.
Pascal, Rogers, and Cain all have upside to lead the way with a big play or two, but Pascal is the likeliest of the group to break out. His $4,100 salary isn’t bad, but the risk is too high in a tough matchup.