Chester Rogers, Nyheim Hines, More Fantasy Outlook After T.Y. Hilton's Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2018

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Chester Rogers warms up before an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The last thing the Indianapolis Colts or fantasy players relying on the team's primary playmakers needed was an injury to T.Y. Hilton considering he was the squad's only wide receiver with more than 400 receiving yards last year, but that is what happened Sunday against the Houston Texans.

According to Tricia Whitaker of CBS Indianapolis, Hilton suffered a hamstring injury and was ruled out for the rest of the Colts' 37-34 overtime loss.

The setback figures to impact the entire offensive approach if he misses time with opposing defenses no longer having to worry about Hilton's game-changing ability while other options see more opportunities in the passing game.

With that in mind, here is a fantasy outlook for some of the Colts' other players after Hilton's injury.

           

Chester Rogers and Ryan Grant

Hilton's injury is both a blessing and a curse for fantasy players counting on production from Chester Rogers and Ryan Grant, as they will see more passes but also will have to deal with additional defensive attention.

The return of Andrew Luck this season means Indianapolis will continue airing it out even after Hilton's setback, so Rogers and Grant are at least worthy of consideration. They both made an impact Sunday with Rogers tallying eight catches for 85 yards on 11 targets and Grant posting five catches for 64 yards on seven targets.

There isn't much track record to fall back on, though, considering Rogers entered the 2018 campaign having never tallied more than 284 receiving yards in a season with one touchdown catch. At least Grant can point to 2017 as a breakout effort when he was on Washington and posted 45 catches for 573 yards and four touchdowns after previous career highs of 23 catches for 268 yards and two scores.

Kevin Hickey of USA Today's Colts Wire called Grant a potential breakout fantasy player before the season and pointed out "Luck's No. 2 wide receiver is typically a fantasy relevant asset" while noting "the opportunity and the volume will be there in an offense that is going to pass heavily."

That opportunity and volume will be there with Hilton sidelined, which makes Grant worthy of a waiver-wire addition and potential flex consideration. Rogers is at least worth stashing for the same reasons, but Grant should be higher on the pecking order.

         

Nyheim Hines

Nyheim Hines wasn't on many fantasy radars heading into the season considering he was a fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft and played at North Carolina State—a solid football program but typically not one of the best in the country.

While the running back had a mere 14 carries for 44 yards and one touchdown entering Sunday's game, he turned heads as a potential weapon in point-per-reception leagues against the Texans. He made a fantastic touchdown catch near the corner of the end zone when Luck lobbed one up to build on the 13 receptions he tallied in the opening three weeks.

Then he hauled in another touchdown with less than a minute remaining for his eighth catch of the contest.

In all, Hines finished with nine catches for 63 yards and the two scores on 11 targets to go with four carries for 10 yards. Hilton's talent made him a go-to target for Luck, but the quarterback may need to rely on safety valves with the No. 1 receiver sidelined. That is where Hines can shine in this Colts offense, as evidenced by his high target number.

The rookie hasn't proved to be a rushing threat yet, even when Marlon Mack didn't play Sunday, but his receiving prowess in an offense that won't hesitate to air it out makes him worthy of waiver-wire consideration. He was owned in just 12 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues entering Week 4, so he should be available.

Wait for a more proven track record before making him a starter, but he should be on your radar if Hilton is out.

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