by Andrew Teuscher
Matt Ryan: Ryan has found a new home for the first time in 2022. Joning the Colts gives the 37 year-old QB some new and improved resources around him. The Colts do not have a ton of fire power either but the Falcons best options on offense were a 30 year-old RB-WR hybrid and a rookie TE. This Colts offense at least has a more prototypical WR1 in Pittman, possibly the best RB in the league in Jonathan Taylor, and a much better offensive-line. The Falcons had the 27th best O-line according to PFF grades last season. The colts will not throw the ball much but will likely still be towards the middle of the pack in pass attempts and plays per game. The old veteran will have to be efficient and there are certainly questions if Ryan’s arm still has juice in it. He ranked 18th in yards/attempt last year so he’s no spring chicken but he’s also not going full noodle arm just yet. The Colt’s new QB will likely not play a particularly fantasy friendly kind of game so he will have to throw 30+ TDs and 4,000 yards to be good for fantasy. Ryan will be a low-ceiling streaming option against the right matchups.
Jonathan Taylor: Taylor had an incredible season last year that propelled him to being the RB1 in 2021. He was number 1 in carries, TDs, yards, breakaway runs, points per game, and broken tackles. All signs point towards Taylor repeating this performance. The Colts are going to focus on the run again this year but will have a more reliable QB playing next to him with the addition of Ryan. Ryan may also help Taylor get more involved in the passing game because Wentz was notorious for ignoring the check down and throwing an interception instead. Taylor will also still be running behind one of the best run blocking O-lines in the NFL. Oh ya and Jonathan Taylor is just one of the most talented RBs in the NFL. The man has opportunity, just enough talent around him to make sure defneses can’t focus too much on stopping the run, and an improved offense that could help him be even better in 2022. Taylor has the safety and the ceiling to be comfortably taken as one of the top picks in all drafts and most likely number 1 overall.
Nyheim Hines: Hines is not your typical runningback. On a yearly basis he is going to have nearly as many receptions as he does rushing attempts. In 2021 Hines took a big step back as a fantasy asset and finished the season as the RB54. This was largely due to Carson Wentz dismissing the dump off option. However, in 2020 the Colts versatile RB was able to finish as the RB20. For Hines, 2022 should look more like 2020 now that Matt Ryan is in town. Plus the Colts have been talking about switching up HInes’s role and using him more in the slot. Very notably last year Ryan helped Cordarrele Patterson become a very fantasy friendly RB-WR combination. There is no way Hines has success on the same level of Patterson but getting receiving work is very good for fantasy. Nyheim will have a featured role in Indy that lacks other established options. So even with Jonathan Taylor leading the backfield Hines still can be a decent fantasy option. HInes could be a sneaky good player to snag with your last pick of the draft in order to add some always needed RB depth. He has a significant boos in ppr leagues as well.
Michael Pittman: In 2022 Michael Pittman will look to build on his breakout season from last year. In 2021 Pittman was the only real receiving option so he was thrust into the WR1 role. This led him to receive the 14th most targets and he arguably should have had more. Wentz was likely holding him back because Pittman had the 3rd most toal route wins and 4th highest route win percentage. So basically Pittman got a lot of targets and should have had more last year. Now that Pittman will be coming into his third season he should take another step up as he progresses as a pro and now he’ll have the assistance of Matt Ryan. Ryan is aged but has plenty of experience helping big bodied, X receivers be very good for fantasy. The Colts did not bring in any players who will threaten Pittman’s target share and with Ryan in town the Colts may throw the ball more now. Pittman was the WR15 (half-ppr) last season and its fair to expect a similar WR2 finish this year.
Parris Campbell: Campbell is entering his 4th season in the league and has not done anything to this point. The former Ohio State WR shined above Terry Mclaurlin in the same offense even though Campbell was two years younger. Campbell has blazing speed and showed the ability to be a dynamic piece in an offense. Up to this point in the NFL Campbell has never played more than 7 games in a season. He will be coming into the 2022 season fully healthy with plenty of opportunity to grab targets. The Colts will likely put the former 2nd round pick into the slot and let the young player use his 4.31 speed to create big plays. Campbell will go undrafted in most leagues but pay attention to the name on waivers as he has been a breakout candidate for the last few seasons. Maybe 2022 will be the one.
Alec Pierce: Pierce has all of the size (6’3” and 208lbs) and speed (4.41 40-yard dash) to be a great NFL talent. He was also selected in the second round by the Colts which means they certainly expect the rookie to have an impact this year. The Colts have plenty of opportunity for Pierce to take. The young player out of Cincinati will likely only be asked to stretch the field like he did so well for the Bearcats. So, he will likely not have consistent fantasy output, but he could still have some flashy weeks. Pierce will have to develop quite a bit because he has a very limited route tree, however, he has all the talent and opportunity to be a fantasy contributor this year. He is a name to pay attention to off waivers for the 2022 season.
Mo Alie-Cox: Cox made a name for himself last year as NFL fans noticed just how enormous he is. At 6’4”, 262 lbs and 100th percentile arm length, “Big Mo” is a QBs dream target in the redzone. Cox will most likely just fall into the same category as most fantasy TEs where you just pray he catches a TD. Cox will be the top TE on the Colts so he will have some opportunities in an offense that should be able to move the ball. An interesting thing to add is that Mo had the fourth longest ADOT amongst TEs so maybe they use him as a field stretching pass catcher up the seam. All-in-all Mo could be a sneaky good streaming option for 2022 if you punt the TE position.
Andrew Teuscher is a fantasy-football enthusiast and certified fantasy try hard.