Younger fantasy players may only be familiar with Wayne’s outstanding 2012 campaign where he totaled 1,355 receiving yards and five touchdowns, but the veteran receiver has been an absolutely dominant force in fantasy football since 2004. While he doesn’t rack up a ton of touchdowns each season, he makes up for it in receiving yards and consistency. For six straight seasons, the wideout had a 1,000 or more receiving yards.
Quarterback Andrew Luck recently said that Wayne was a freak in terms of his playmaking ability for his age, and Wayne was a security blanket for the rookie quarterback in his first season. It appeared that Wayne and Luck were off to another great season in 2013, but the veteran receiver missed most of the year with a torn ACL.
If he had been able to catch passes all season long from Luck, the wide out would have been projected to finish the year with over 1,100 receiving yards.
Now with the addition of Hakeem Nicks and T.Y. Hilton in his third year, how can the 35-year-old receiver fit back into the offense? The good news for Wayne is that his starting quarterback was able to reduce his interceptions from 18 in 2012 to nine in 2013. Luck threw the same number of passing touchdowns in his rookie and sophomore seasons, but he was also lacking targets to get the ball to when Wayne was injured.
Hilton is a solid player, but he showed that he was not able to take on a lead role. Hilton had 861 receiving yards in 2012 while Wayne had 1,355, so Wayne still had a monster season even with Hilton getting the ball. The two biggest factors to consider when drafting Wayne in 2014 is that he is returning from his injury, and that he will have compete for targets with Nicks.
With that being said, Wayne recently told reporters at a charity event that the “naysayers” inspire him, and he appears ready to get the season started. While Wayne shouldn’t be your premiere starter, he is a player who is great as a flex option. If Nicks struggles or becomes injured, Wayne will continue to be Luck’s favorite target.