NFL Free Agency Fantasy Fallout: T.Y. Hilton, Jack Doyle, and Nyheim Hines get a boost from Philip Rivers

Tom Brady isn’t the only veteran quarterback leaving behind a legacy. Philip Rivers is leaving the Chargers and signing with the Indianapolis Colts. The deal is expected to be finished by the time the league year opens and another chair will be taken in this game of quarterback musical chairs.

Before 2020, Rivers had a history of outperforming his ADP, but a lot of that had to do with the fact he has a history of playing 16 games. He’s now 38 years old and coming off one of his worst seasons but still hasn’t averaged worse than 7.8 yards per attempt since 2016. While he’s definitely not as good as he was in his prime, he’s also a clear upgrade over Jacoby Brissett. 

I boosted the efficiency of each of Rivers’ pass catchers by five percent with the news and boosted their pass rate as a team just slightly. It’s not enough to make Rivers someone I want to draft in a one-quarterback league but it does boost the value of T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle. It may also bring Nyheim Hines into play.

Stephen Holder intimated on the Fantasy Football Today podcast that he expects Hines to be more involved and there are few quarterbacks in the NFL who use their backs in the passing game like Rivers. Just ask Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon. I gave Hines a boost of two percentage points in target share and he’s now the No. 36 running back in my PPR projections. 

Doyle didn’t get quite as big a boost as Hines, but only because the Colts already targeted their tight ends a ton. I have Doyle at 90 targets, but his hold on those targets could be disrupted in free agency. If they don’t bring in significant competition at tight end I’ll view him as a borderline starter in PPR.

Here are the rest of my 2020 projections for the Colts as of March 17:

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