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2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football Summer Sleeper: Indianapolis Colts

We pick out a veteran who might finally put things all together in Indianapolis.

In our annual 32-part Summer Sleeper series, DLF scribes identify a lightly-touted player on each NFL roster who may be worthy of your consideration. Our subjects all have varying levels of “sleeperness,” but each merits a bit of in-depth discussion.

To help everybody along, we are going to be categorizing our sleepers under one of three headings:

Super Deep Sleepers – Players who aren’t roster-worthy in 12-team leagues, but are still worth keeping an eye on.

Deep Sleepers – An end-of-the-roster player who is more often than not on the waiver wire in 12-team leagues.

Sleeper – A likely rostered player who makes for a good trade target. Their startup ADP puts them out of the top 175 or so.

Because we aren’t going to give you the likes of mainstream sleepers, most of these players will undoubtedly fizzle. All we are asking is for you to keep an open mind and perhaps be willing to make room for one of these players on your bench. You never know when the next Adam Thielen or James Robinson is going to spring up. Feel free to add your own thoughts about our choice for the designated sleeper, or nominate one of your own in the comments below.

Next up in our Summer Sleeper series, the Indianapolis Colts and…

Parris Campbell, WR IND

Category: Sleeper

Somewhere out there, someone is rolling their eyes at me. I get it, it’s fair. There is some difficulty in trying to prop up a receiver who has played 15 of 49 possible games heading into his fourth professional season. Stick with me for a few minutes and let’s see where this trail leads.

THE STATS

Courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

THE INJURIES

When the Colts drafted Parris Campbell 59th overall in the 2019 NFL draft, it was not with the intention of Jacoby Brissett being the starting quarterback. It was with excitement to pair the explosive former Buckeye across from TY Hilton and really open things up for Andrew Luck, who was coming off of his second-best statistical season. As dynasty managers, we all remember what happened in August of 2019 as being quite possibly the most gut-wrenching and surprising retirement in our beloved sport.

It was not an ideal start to Campbell’s career. In his rookie year, he only played in seven games, logging more than a 50% snap share in two of them. After being sidelined due to an abdominal strain in week four, he suffered two fractures; one to his hand and one to his foot, both before the end of the season. He finished with 127 receiving yards and one score.

In year two, he had a slight rebound in ADP and another change at quarterback.

Philip Rivers signed with the Colts in what would end up being his final season. He took a liking to Campbell immediately. In week one, Rivers targeted Campbell nine times. Campbell reeled six of them in for 71 scoreless yards.

With Rivers’ proclivity to hyper-target a capable receiver, the arrow was pointing up for Campbell… Until it wasn’t.

In week two, he suffered both an MCL and PCL sprains that would effectively end his season.

Next up, the 2021 season and yet another new quarterback in Carson Wentz. Campbell showed some rust but seemed to be coming into form by week five where he had six targets for 56 receiving yards. In week six, he smoked a Texans defender and Wentz hit him deep for a 51-yard score. Shortly afterward, he left the game with a foot injury and closed the door on another season.

Yes, there is a documented injury history to contend with it. Underneath it all, there is a very good receiver lurking.

Campbell was drafted to eventually replace Hilton. Standing at six feet tall and 208 pounds, he is slightly bigger than Hilton. Campbell’s 4.31-second 40-yard dash placed him in the 99th percentile among his class. Campbell is literally a bigger and faster version of Hilton, who had a number of years as a productive fantasy asset.

Despite the injuries, the Colts have yet to trade or cut Campbell, which is telling. It shows that the decision-makers are not ready to close the door on this young receiver, or their belief in the talent and what he could bring to the team.

THE NOW

Campbell enters his fourth season and his fourth quarterback. Matt Ryan is at the offensive helm. There has already been positive news out of minicamp about Campbell.

While we could spend some time discussing Wentz versus Ryan, Ryan has had a longer track record of sustained success and more importantly, he trickles that value down to his receivers.

Since the 2014 season, Ryan has failed to produce a top-ten receiver only one time. That was 2021. Julio Jones departed in free agency and Calvin Ridley missed a large chunk of the season and their defense was so bad that the Mighty Ducks Flying V could have scored against them.

Entering the 2022 season, the overall assumption is that Michael Pittman is the unquestioned primary receiver in the Colts offense. That still leaves the viable second-read receiver role still open and who better to audition than the guy the Colts can’t quit?

Since the 2017 season, Ryan’s second-read receiver has finished in the WR22-38 range. If Pittman retains his alpha role, there are still points on the table for the second receiver in an offense that has little to offer. Zach Pascal has moved on and the Colts drafted Alec Pierce, who also profiles as a deep threat. Assuming health, Campbell should be first in line for that role.

With a current startup cost as the WR84, ADP 188.00 overall; there is little in the way of risk and still some hopeful upside for Campbell to emerge as a fantasy-relevant receiver.

2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football Summer Sleeper: Indianapolis Colts
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6gummybearsandsomescotch
25 days ago

Thanks John! Campbell is available in our rookie draft as an FA. Single QB, PPR. Where are you taking him?

Patrick Martin
25 days ago

Every year I swear “never again!” and every year I find a way to love again and give him another shot. One more kick at the can for almost nothing won’t hurt I suppose.

Mark Boutot
24 days ago

I like the idea but at this point, after three years of hope and disappointment, he is in the “prove it” category for me.

Gregory Massa
Reply to  Mark Boutot
24 days ago

I think he’s more likely in the “lol” category

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