Wednesday was another busy day on the NFL free agent market, highlighted by wide receiver TY Hilton agreeing to return to the Indianapolis Colts on a one-year, $8 million deal. For the Colts, coming off an 11-5 season with a strong core in tact and newly acquired Carson Wentz at quarterback, this is a move toward competing for a title.
Hilton has played all nine professional seasons with the Colts. He has 608 receptions and 9,360 yards and 50 TDs. Last season, Hilton played in 15 games and saw 93 targets, turning it into 56 receptions for 762 yards and five TDs. He gives the Colts a veteran presence and weapon in the passing game. But what does that mean for fantasy value?
The Colts may yet address the position in the draft and are still rumored to be in the mix to acquire tight end Zach Ertz. But for the time being, the receiver group includes Hilton, second-year receiver Michael Pittman, third-year receiver Parris Campbell and Zach Pascal, who received a Second Round Tender from the team. In 2020, Hilton was WR42, Pascal was WR56 and Pittman was WR79, while Campbell was limited to one game due to injury. All four figure to be a part of the mix for the Colts passing game.
I expect Pittman to take a step up in 2020 and be the Colts’ top option. I see him as a WR3, with Hilton a WR4/5. The wild card is Campbell, who caught six passes for 71 yards in Week 1 before getting injured early in Week 2. Another unknown is how big a role TE plays. Jack Doyle and Mo Allie Cox are currently on the roster, but a move to acquire Ertz or draft a pass catcher will have a fantasy impact.
In Dynasty, Pittman is the player I want from this group. In re-draft, it’s hard to rule out Pittman, Hilton or Campbell being the top pass-catcher in 2021 and a viable starter.
- The Bears added veteran Damien Williams on a one-year deal. Williams, released by the Chiefs earlier this off-season, opted out in 2020. In 2019 with the Chiefs, Williams rushed for 498 yards and five touchdowns, starting six games. He also added 30 receptions for 213 yards and two TDs. Williams is a veteran who provides depth, but figures to have little fantasy impact on starter David Montgomery, who is still an RB2 for me. Williams joins the mix with Tarik Cohen, whose value may be most impacted by Williams’ signing.
- The Jets signed veteran running back Tevin Coleman to a one-year, $2 million deal. The Jets are a leading contender to add a running back in the draft, but Coleman provides depth and options in a backfield that currently features second-year back La’Mical Perine and veterans Josh Adams and Ty Johnson. Coleman began his career with the Falcons before signing a two-year deal with the 49ers prior to the 2019 season. After a solid first season in San Francisco, Coleman was a non-factor in 2020. He appeared in eight games, starting one, but added just 53 rushing yards and caught four passes for 34 yards. If given a significant role with the Jets, Coleman could have RB3 upside.
- Former 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard signed a two-year, $5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In three seasons, Beathard has thrown for 3,469 yards and 18 TDs as a backup and spot starter, going 2-10 in 12 starts. The Jaguars own the No. 1 overall pick and are largely expected to take a franchise quarterback. Signing Beathard could be an indication former starter Gardner Minshew is available on the trade market.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.