In Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season, Indianapolis Colts pass-catchers fell into one of two categories: Michael Pittman Jr. and everyone else. New Colts quarterback Matt Ryan pumped the ball to his No. 1 wide receiver vs. the Houston Texans, (mostly) disregarding his other offensive weapons. For the Colts' Week 2 matchup vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars, don’t give up on the team’s secondary targets yet. Here is why WR Parris Campbell will be the Colts fantasy football sleeper this Sunday.
Parris Campbell is the Colts fantasy football sleeper in Week 2
Matt Ryan threw 50 times for 352 yards in Week 1’s stunning tie with the Texans. This week, the Colts Week 2 schedule has the team traveling to Jacksonville, a place that’s been a house of horrors for the franchise for the last seven seasons.
The Colts haven’t won in Jacksonville (or in London when the Jaguars were the home team) since 2014. That means Indy is likely in for another closer-than-it-should-be game against a division opponent.
Last week, Michael Pittman Jr. led the team in receiving by a wide margin, with 13 targets, nine catches, 121 yards, and one touchdown. After that, Ryan spread the ball around, with no other player getting more than seven targets and four catches.
The second-highest targeted WR in Week 1 was actually Ashton Dulin. However, he doesn’t get the nod as the Colts Week 2 fantasy football sleeper because he was only on the field for 35% of the team’s offensive snaps.
Parris Campbell is the clear No. 2 wideout heading into the Colts Week 2 matchup. He only had four targets, three catches, and 37 yards last week (as opposed to Dulin’s 6/3/46), but was on the field for 77% of the offensive plays, second at WR only to Pittman at 98%.
#Colts WR and TE routes run on 55 Matt Ryan dropbacks Week 1:
* Michael Pittman 55
* Parris Campbell 46
* Alec Pierce 37
* TE Kylen Granson 30
* TE Mo Alie-Cox 20
* Ashton Dulin 15
* Mike Strachan 4
* TE Jelani Woods 4
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) September 12, 2022
In addition to opportunity, Campbell should be the Colts fantasy football sleeper this week thanks to the opponent as well.
The Jaguars gave up over 300 yards and four passing touchdowns last week to the Colts' former signal-caller Carson Wentz and the Washington Commanders. And while the Jags D held WR1 Terry McLaurin to two catches for 58 yards and a TD (13 points in standard PPR scoring), the team’s WR2 and WR3 had nice fantasy days.
Curtis Samuel had eight catches for 55 yards and a touchdown (19 points), and rookie Jahan Dotson added three catches for 40 yards and two scores (19 points).
With such an imbalance on the Colts' side of the ball, the Jaguars will likely go with a similar game plan of trying to shut down Pittman in the passing game. This will open up opportunities for Matt Ryan’s secondary WRs, and Parris Campbell will be the player in that spot around 40% of the time more than Ashton Dulin. Rookie second-round pick Alec Pierce was a trendy Colts fantasy football sleeper pick before the season but didn’t look like a top option in Week 1.
Pierce was on the field for 51% of the Colts' offensive plays, saw just two targets, and made no catches. One of those targets was a Red Zone target that Pierce dropped in the end zone. That can’t give Ryan a ton of faith in his young pass-catcher. Plus, Pierce is currently in concussion protocol and his status Sunday is unclear.
Heading into the Colts Week 2 matchup, there’s a good chance a second Colts WR will emerge as a valuable fantasy player. With his combination of skill, experience, and opportunity, Parris Campbell can be that player. This is why the WR is a solid flex play in deeper leagues and the Colts fantasy football sleeper in Week 2.