Other than Andrew Luck, fantasy football players will be the most excited about the Indianapolis Colts signing wide receiver Hakeem Nicks.
Listed as 6-foot-1 and 208 pounds, Nicks is a physical receiver that provides the Colts with a huge red zone threat. He isn’t the fastest player out there, but he can still burn you from time to time and he will win the majority of jump balls that are thrown his way. His health has always been an issue, but when he was able to play, he was one of the favorite targets of Eli Manning.
Fantasy owners may be worried about the fact that Nicks did not score a touchdown in the 2013 season. While that stat is concerning, it should not define the type of season that the new Colts’ wide receiver will have in 2014. Manning only threw 18 touchdowns, so that has to be considered when criticizing Nicks on his lack of touchdown production. His yardage and touchdown total should greatly increase, and Luck should be able to increase his touchdown passes as well.
Now that Nicks has found a home in Indianapolis, what type of competition will he have with his new teammates? While still a talented receiver, Reggie Wayne is 35 years old. He is coming off of an ACL surgery, and Wayne may no longer be the favorite receiver of Luck with Nicks in the mix. T.Y. Hilton valiantly tried to fill in for Wayne when he was injured, but it is clear that 5-foot-9 Hilton is not the type of receiver who can lead an offense. Wayne and Hilton will both be in the mix, but Nicks should receive the majority of targets.
Luck’s passing yards per game decreased dramatically from 2012 to 2013, but that was mainly due to Wayne being injured. If he can stay healthy, Nicks will be a consistent target for Luck to work with. I have a feeling that the running game will be end up being a mess, and the Colts will need to make the passing attack the primary focus of the offense.
With only a one-year deal, Nicks will need to quickly prove his worth if he wants to stay with this promising team. This move brings Nicks back on the radar of every fantasy player, but this wide receiver should be able to live up to the hype.