Frank Reich expects big year for Nyheim Hines’ fantasy football value

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich has full autonomy of the offensive play-calling so when he specifically talks fantasy football, we might want to listen.

One player Reich mentioned specifically in that vein was running back Nyheim Hines. As the Colts look to correct their wrongs from his lack of usage in 2021, Reich expects a bounce-back year in fantasy football for the former fourth-round pick.

“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 to consider drafting him,” Reich told reporters Wednesday.

Reich isn’t one to delve much into the fantasy realm when it comes to football. Most coaches don’t, not that they should. But there is some value to what Reich is saying even if he isn’t a degenerate who is conducting mock drafts already like yours truly.

As the Colts look to get Hines more involved, specifically working in the slot more in 2022, we took a look at why a return to value is likely in store. Despite seeing career-lows with Carson Wentz in 2021, we should expect Hines’ season-ending numbers to look closer to that of 2018 and 2020.

Hines will have more value in PPR leagues rather than standard scoring. His value, both in fantasy and real football, comes from his work in the passing game. The backfield is still Jonathan Taylor’s to own, and there is no concern that an increased workload for Hines will impact that for fantasy purposes.

There will be inherent risk with Hines’ fantasy profile. Being a player whose value is predominantly in the passing game, there will be times when Hines simply isn’t used enough because of the game script.

Even during his best seasons, Hines had some inconsistent fantasy finishes. In 2020 (his best season), he finished as the RB20 in PPR scoring. That season still included 10 games where he finished outside the top-24 running backs on a week.

With that said, Hines will have value as a flex play in PPR formats. This is especially true when the schedule calls for a high-scoring game or negative game script.

We’ll see what Hines has in store for fantasy managers in 2022, but he should return to his typical value with Matt Ryan now in command.

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