The Indianapolis Colts were the surprise story of the 2012 NFL season. Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck did his best to make fans forget about the loss of Peyton Manning, throwing for nearly 4,400 yards and 23 touchdowns to lead the team to a playoff berth.
Fortunately for some risk-taking fantasy owners, Luck wasn’t the only rookie on the squad to have a successful campaign. T.Y. Hilton burst onto the fantasy scene with a four-reception, 113-yard outing against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3. Week 11 against the New England Patriots saw Hilton produce his best fantasy line of the year with six catches, 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Hilton is the type of speed threat to go along with Reggie Wayne that the Colts haven’t had in their offense for a long, long time. Now entering his second season in the league and already having great rapport with Luck, expect his playing time to go way up. The offense will probably spread the field often, leaving Hilton some room to get behind the defense. Once he has the ball in his hands, it’s go time.
The only downside to Hilton’s draft stock this year is the question of what the Colts will do with Darrius Heyward-Bey. Hilton is having a stellar preseason with two scores already, and while he should probably be ahead of Heyward-Bey, the Colts seem happy to use him primarily as the third receiver on the field.
Hilton is currently being taken in the late seventh to early eighth rounds of most standard drafts, and that’s basically a steal. He’s got the talent to become a potential fantasy starter weekly, but even if he stays in more of a part-time role early on for some reason, he’s got the ability to take even one catch to the house.
He’s still got to prove it on Sundays, but I look at Hilton in sort of the Percy Harvin mold — a smaller receiver who can make big plays happen at any time … minus the concussions and migraines, hopefully.
Look at Hilton in your draft as a solid risk-reward player. You wouldn’t be stretching to have Hilton as a potential second receiver candidate in the right situation, and as his rapport with Luck continues to grow this year, you’ll be the one reaping the benefits.
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