5 Reasons to Draft Reggie Wayne in Your Fantasy Football League
Times have certainly changed in Indianapolis as, following a nightmarish 2011 season, the Colts blew up the team and began an ambitious rebuilding project under new head coach Chuck Pagano.
Familiar faces such as quarterback Peyton Manning and tight end Dallas Clark moved on, replaced at their positions by youngsters such as Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener.
However, there's at least one old standby still hanging around in Indy, as wide receiver Reggie Wayne somewhat surprisingly chose to re-up with the team for three years in the offseason.
All of the uncertainty facing the Colts has certainly robbed the 12-year veteran of most of his fantasy luster, but there are a handful of reasons why some shine still remains on ol' No. 87.
1. Wayne Is Still Capable of Being Productive
At 33 years old, Reggie Wayne is on the downslope of his illustrious NFL career. For the first time since 2003, the five-time Pro Bowler failed to top 1000 receiving yards a season ago.
However, Wayne's drop-off last year had more to do with the horrendous quarterback play in Indianapolis than his skills. Even with Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky one-hopping him passes all season long, Wayne still managed 75 catches for 960 yards and four touchdowns.
Those stats were good enough to sneak Wayne inside the top 25 fantasy wideouts in leagues that award a point for receptions, and in the two years before that Wayne was a top five fantasy performer at his position.
2. Reggie Wayne Will Dominate Targets in the Passing Game
I will now rattle off the proven options in the Indianapolis Colts passing attack in 2012.
There, that didn't take long.
Outside of Reggie Wayne, the Indianapolis receiving corps consists of the oft-injured Austin Collie, a group of unproven youngsters and two rookie tight ends.
Who will get the most targets for the Colts this year?
3. The Colts Will Be Forced to the Air in 2012
With a rookie quarterback under center it's only natural that the Colts would like to take pressure off him by establishing a strong ground game.
New offensive coordinator Bruce Arians recently spoke to ESPN 1070 Radio in Indianapolis about being able to "run it and be physical and old-school football."
That's all well and good until the Colts go down by 14 points, which should happen with a fair amount of regularity given that Indianapolis won all of two games last year.
Add in the fact that no team in the NFL has had less success running the football since 2008 than the Colts and, like it or not, Indianapolis will throwing the ball quite a bit this season.
The biggest beneficiary of that from a fantasy football perspective will be Reggie Wayne.
4. Wayne's Average Draft Position Is Very Reasonable
According to MyFantasyLeague.com, Reggie Wayne is currently being selected in the eighth round of fantasy drafts as the 31st wide receiver off the board.
That price tag would appear to make Wayne an excellent value on draft day, especially when you consider that the last time Wayne finished a season ranked outside the top 25 fantasy wideouts was 2002.
5. The Perfect Target for Wide Receiver "Waiters"
It's become trendy in fantasy football to consider drafting a wide receiver, quarterback or even a tight end with your first-round pick, but there are still some traditionalists (myself included) who would just as soon load up on running backs early.
If you're the RB/RB type then Reggie Wayne is absolutely a player that you should target on draft day.
With WR2 fantasy upside and a WR3 sticker price, Reggie Wayne is a fantastic addition for those teams that prefer to wait and look for value plays at the wide receiver position later in fantasy drafts.