Running back Jonathan Taylor suffered an ankle injury on Wednesday and will not play for the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday against the Denver Broncos. For both the Colts and their fantasy football opponents, this means looking elsewhere, which might open the door for Nyheim Hines to have a breakout season.
However, he won’t replace Taylor in terms of fantasy production. With 1,811 yards rushing, 360 yards receiving, and 20 touchdowns in 2021, the Wisconsin graduate is widely considered the best running back in the NFL. He was a serious MVP contender that year. Hines won’t have those kinds of stats, but he can help in the near run as a replacement for an injured player.
The versatile back hasn’t had a lot of fantasy success, but he’s proven to be a reliable pass catcher with totals of 63 in his rookie year of 2018, 44 in his sophomore year of 2019, 63 in his junior year of 2020, and 40 in his senior year of 2018.
No Jonathan Taylor for the Colts on TNF vs. Denver. The next man up is Nyheim Hines and sportsbooks are way off on a certain prop for the 5th year RB.
Find out what it is ⬇️ (a thread) pic.twitter.com/TxUGw2Qhnc
— Covers (@Covers) October 5, 2022
With Taylor out, Hines should see a rise in targets, which is great news for those of you who play in point-per-reception fantasy leagues. Due to his receiving skills, he was already being considered for the team’s roster, and now he will likely see more time in the backfield.
The 25-year-career old’s has been hit-or-miss, especially in 2020 when six of his seven touchdowns came in games where he scored three or more. While his inconsistent play can be frustrating for fantasy players who don’t time their lineups with his excellent performances, a larger role in the offense sans Taylor should increase his floor.
While Taylor is out, fantasy players should at least have Hines on their rosters. Phillip Lindsay is another player worth considering for fantasy managers. Lindsay has spent the first part of the season on the Colts practice squad after rushing for 1,000 yards in each of his previous two seasons with the Denver Broncos.
Lindsay’s role in Indianapolis is unclear, but coach Frank Reich claimed earlier this week that the veteran “will work into the equation,” as reported by Joel A. Erickson of the Indy Star.
As the 104th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Hines was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth round. Hines caught seven passes for 33 yards and ran for 19 yards on five attempts in the team’s season-opening 34-23 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in his NFL debut. Hines rushed for eight yards and scored his first career touchdown in the next game, a 21-9 victory over the Washington Redskins.
Hines caught nine passes for 63 yards and scored twice on grabs in Week 4’s overtime loss against the Houston Texans. In his first season, he totaled 314 yards on the ground, two scores, 63 receptions, 425 receiving yards, and two more scores through the air. He made his postseason debut in the Wild Card Round, a 21-7 win over the Houston Texans, but did not contribute statistically. In the Divisional Round against the Kansas City Chiefs, he had three carries for 24 rushing yards in the 31–13 loss.