INDIANAPOLIS – An NFL coach giving fantasy football advice?
Yes, I’m listening.
As the Colts wrapped up an OTA session in late May, Frank Reich headed towards the team’s media room sharing a laugh with Colts public relations guru Matt Conti.
How the topic came up is unknown, but Reich couldn’t help but share some insight that fantasy football owners all around the country would later salivate over.
“If I was a fantasy owner, if I was going to be in a fantasy league,” Reich shared. “I think I’d pick Nyheim this year. I think I’d consider drafting Nyheim.”
Well, so much for Hines flying under the radar in the FF world this year.
Since the start of this offseason in January, the Colts have not shied away from stressing the need to get Hines the ball more.
And the arrival of Matt Ryan has only strengthened that thought.
“It’s incumbent upon us to spread the ball around, number one,” Reich says. “But also, would we like to have Nyheim be up there as far as at the end of the season when you tally up who has the catches, do we want Nyheim to kind of be one of those top three guys?
Hines’ NFL tenure has seen a pretty stark contrast in his catches based off the efficiency of the Colts quarterback.
With Andrew Luck (2018) and Philip Rivers (2020), Hines caught 63 balls in each of those two seasons.
With Jacoby Brissett (2019) and Carson Wentz (2021), Hines’ receiving production dipped to 44 and 40 catches, respectively.
As Hines looks ahead to his 5th season in the NFL, the 25-year-old doesn’t hide his excitement in working with Matt Ryan.
“Love him,” Hines says when asked about the new Colts quarterback. “Kind of reminiscent of Philip with his command. Just his detail, his leadership, him just talking to us after every route, coming and talking to every guy. It’s great.
“I think it’s going to be great for myself and this offense. I think the sky’s the limit with Matt. So, I’m super excited to work with him.”
With the Colts electing not to make any notable moves this offseason for a proven wideout or tight end, that has added to the importance of needing Hines to be consistently involved.
If you ask the Colts though, it sounds like a change at quarterback should do the trick in accomplishing that.
“We had plays for him (last year), don’t get that wrong,” offensive coordinator Marcus Brady says of Hines. “Going into the games, he had a good plan going in…
“We do want to use him, and we’ll see this offseason, just getting him more involved in different areas and lining him up in different spots and try to just maximize (and) see what he can do. That’s going to be the challenge for him this offseason. We just want to see what more he can do and bring. But ultimately, we want to try to get the ball in his hands in space because we know that’s where he’s great at.”
In the spring, the Colts had Hines do some positional drill work with the wide receivers as the plans are in place for him to be an important and versatile skill piece for an offense needing such a weapon.