Frank Reich is expecting big things from Nyheim Hines this season.
The Indianapolis Colts head coach went so far as to tell reporters that if he played fantasy football, he'd be sure to draft the running back for his team:
"I think that last year, as we've documented well, we got probably a tad more run-centric than we wanted to be, than I wanted us to be. Just worked out the way the dynamics were. Nyheim still made an impact in games but not as much as normal and if you look at his years here, it's been like every other year where he seems to have a better year.
"I was just laughing with [senior director of football communications Matt] Conti coming in here, talking about Nyheim and I said, 'If I was a fantasy owner, if I was going to be in a fantasy league, I think I'd pick Nyheim this year. I think I'd consider drafting Nyheim. I think it's worth [it] to consider drafting him.'"
Some of that is just a coach hyping up his guy. But with Carson Wentz under center—who has been known for holding on to the ball too long in an effort to hit a home run, rather than finding his first read or checkdown options like a back out of the outfield—Hines had a down year in 2021, catching just 40 passes for 310 yards and one touchdown on 57 targets.
His receptions, receiving yards and targets were career lows.
Hines will never be the primary weapon in Indy's backfield with superstar Jonathan Taylor back there. But with an upgrade at quarterback in Matt Ryan, Hines should see a lot more targets heading his way this season.