Update August 31: Pittman has struggled with drops at camp and Frank Reich says the rookie needs to get more comfortable in the offense. Pascal returned to practice from a hamstring injury on Monday and Campbell is recovering from a concussion he suffered from a car accident. Campbell didn’t sustain any other injuries in the crash.
Update August 24: Not much has been said about Pascal so far, but Pittman and Campbell have received positive reviews. Campbell is rebounding nicely after an injury-riddled rookie year and could make a run at the WR2 spot. Pittman might be behind Campbell, but is getting first-team reps in practice. All receivers will need to make the most of Hilton missing time with a hamstring injury.
In this series we will look at the most important fantasy football position battles for each NFL team. Opportunity is king in fantasy, as you can’t produce fantasy statistics without getting on the field. So, the first step when looking for value plays is to project, correctly, which players will win training camp battles.
The untimely retirement of Andrew Luck threw a wrench in the Indianapolis Colts’ 2019 plans. They failed to reach the playoffs with Jacoby Brissett under center, but have since acquired former Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. T.Y. Hilton struggled with lingering injuries all last season and Eric Ebron left to join the Pittsburgh Steelers. That means there’s room for more pass catchers to grow in Indianapolis’ offense.
Michael Pittman Jr., Zach Pascal, and Parris Campbell will be battling for the Colts’ WR2 spot, and they all have a shot at playing second fiddle to Hilton. Will the two returning players be able to hold off the rookie? Let’s take a look at last year’s stats to figure it out.
Pascal played in all 16 games last season and led the Colts in receiving yards (607) and touchdowns (5). He’ll surely drop in the pecking order should Hilton become healthy again, but the 25-year-old has a leg up on the competition given how much he contributed in his second NFL season. He was around 50th among fantasy wideouts in standard and PPR leagues.
Indianapolis had high hopes for Campbell last season, but the 2019 second-round pick dealt with injuries and was only able to tally 18 receptions for 127 yards and a score through seven games. His 4.31 40-yard dash and 40-inch could make him explosive, but he’ll need more reps to show what he’s capable of.
Pittman could be in line to become the Colts’ next go-to guy, as Hilton is entering a contract year and Campbell appears to be more of a gadget player right now. Pittman’s 6’4” frame can help him win 50-50 balls. He is likely to rack up red zone targets, and that could bolster his touchdown total.
Pittman should be on even ground with Campbell and Pascal with a new signal caller stepping in. If he could build chemistry with Rivers early, he could be worth drafting before all returning receivers not named Hilton.