There’s a new quarterback under center for the Indianapolis Colts this season, and if word out of training camp holds any weight, there may be a new lead-dog in their receiving corps as well. A receiver, mind you, with just 127 career receiving yards under his belt.
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Parris Campbell Primed for Breakout?
As training camp strings along, many eyes have been focused on 2020 second-round pick, wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. However, it’s the Colts’ second-rounder from 2019, Parris Campbell, that is the receiver most worth monitoring in fantasy football circles, a player in whom The Herald Bulletin has reported is “starting to resemble the star the Indianapolis Colts believed they drafted.”
Riddled with injuries during his rookie campaign, Campbell appeared in just seven games last year, finding the end zone only once on a mere 18 receptions. Certainly a far cry from his 90 reception, 12 touchdown senior season at Ohio State just one year prior.
However, now healthy, and expected to man the majority of snaps from the slot with Chester Rogers now in Miami, Campbell possesses tantalizing upside in PPR-scoring formats.
Campbell to Lead Colts in Targets?
As of now, TY Hilton remains the No. 1 target in Indy’s passing game, but that’s not to say there can’t be a changing of guards this season.
For starters, the 30-year-old speedster has never been much of a high-volume receiver, averaging less than 62-receptions over four of his past five seasons. Secondly, his lower body injuries still appear to be lingering, as the four-time Pro Bowler began camp on the active/NFI list.
More important to Campbell’s value than Hilton’s availability is quarterback Philip Rivers’ infatuation with supplying his inside receivers with a heavy workload. Look no further than names such as Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates and Eddie Royal as prime examples.
Over the past three seasons, the former Chargers signal-caller has finished on average as the sixth-ranked quarterback in football in terms of pass attempts intended for slot receivers.
Furthermore, receivers who have led a Philip Rivers-headed offense in percentage of routes run from the slot have all gone on to lead their team in PPR fantasy points over that same span.
Early Season Return
Campbell’s schedule is in no way a cakewalk, as Colts receivers own the 21st-ranked strength of schedule heading into the 2020 season, per FantasyPros. With that said, I wouldn’t go nearly as far as classifying it as intimidating. Campbell currently has only three bottom-10 fantasy matchups lined up this year, based off of 2019 production.
Plus, we shouldn’t need to wait long to see if Campbell is the real deal, as he faces the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Jets in two of the first three weeks of the season. Both of whom ranked amongst the worst 10 defenses in football a season ago in terms of points surrendered to opposing receivers.
Verdict: Buy Campbell as a WR3 with high-end WR2 upside in PPR Formats
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