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Parris Campbell is Primed for a Second-Year Breakout

by John Ferguson | @FantasyFerguson | Featured Writer
Sep 14, 2020

Parris Campbell led the Colts in receiving yards in Week 1.

The biggest winner in fantasy for the Colts after Week 1 was easily Nyheim Hines, but getting lost in the footnotes of Hines’ performance is the man that led the team in receiving. Parris Campbell had some substantial hype in his rookie season as a potential breakout candidate. Unfortunately, his body had other ideas as he limped through just seven games. Now, in his second year on a re-energized passing offense, Campbell could be primed for a breakout.

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Player Profile

Parris Campbell played his college ball at Ohio State. He broke out in his senior year, leading the Buckeyes with 90 catches for 1,063 yards and 12 TDs. He led the Big-10 in receiving TDs that season while ranking second in the league in receptions and third in receiving yards. He did that while playing alongside fellow second-year wideout Terry McLaurin who was being drafted as a high-upside WR2 before this season started.

The Colts took Parris Campbell in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He flashed blazing speed at the combine, clocking a 4.31-second 40-yard dash. They had high hopes for him to run as a legitimate WR2 alongside T.Y Hilton as a rookie, but several injuries derailed Campbell’s season. He suffered a sports hernia, broken hand, and eventually, a broken foot that ended his season when he was sent to I.R. Campbell managed a rookie stat line of just 18/127/1 throughout eight games played.

State of the Offense

We got our first look at the Colts with new QB Philip Rivers under center, and the team’s performance as a whole left something to be desired. They entered the week as one of the biggest favorites but wound up losing to the Jags 20-27. Campbell led the team with 71 receiving yards while his nine targets tied with Hilton for the team lead.

While the Colts weren’t able to walk away with the win in Week 1, the volume of their passing offense was very promising. Rivers attempted 46 passes, which tied for second-most in the league, and turned that into 363 passing yards, which ranked third-most. If the Colts defense couldn’t do enough to stop the Jags, we should see plenty more game scripts like this favoring the passing game moving forward.

Outlook

The biggest story out of the Colts’ Week 1 performance was Nyheim Hines and the role he had on their new-look offense. This has kind of stolen the thunder of Parris Campbell, who flashed some incredible plays throughout the game and outplayed Hilton. I wouldn’t bet on Hines seeing eight targets per game every week for Indy, and with no other wideouts fighting for the WR2 role, it’s Campbell’s to lose. We also know that Hilton has struggled to stay healthy more often than not. A superficial injury to Hilton could thrust Campbell into a WR1 role on what could suddenly be one of the most pass-heavy offenses in the league.

Campbell could have a serious breakout as soon as Week 2 against a Vikings defense that just got shredded by Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. He is only owned in 22% of Yahoo leagues, which is pretty egregious, considering he is locked into a WR2 role for this team and should see substantial weekly volume. Campbell offers weekly WR3/Flex value and should be a priority WR add off of waivers this week. With the speed he has, he’s a big play waiting to happen. Hopefully, you listened to our man, Mike Tagliere, who recommended before Week 1 that Campbell should be a priority waiver wire stash. If you didn’t, you still have a decent chance to grab him this week before his value takes off.

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John Ferguson is a featured writer and editor at FantasyPros. For more from John, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyFerguson.

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