The Value of Nyheim Hines

Have you seen this kid run?!? Nyheim Hines runs like he could stay on top of a cloud. He is incredibly light on his feet but he can still juke with the best of them. Get this guy in space and you have yourself a touchdown; his speed on the 40 yard dash was 4.38 seconds.

His current ADP has him as RB46 in the middle of the 10th round (12th round in standard scoring, but still RB46). In Rookie drafts, he is the 9th RB off the board. Let’s discuss why this is the perfect spot to draft him and how you could even feel comfortable taking him a little earlier.

RETURN OF ANDREW LUCK

A healthy Andrew Luck means that defenses will have to pay attention to the wide receivers. Without Andrew Luck, the pass attack is weaker. Case closed.

Year QB Attempts Completes Pass Yards Pass TDs
2017 Brissett 469 276 3098 13
2016 Luck 545 346 4240 31

Defenses didn’t respect Brissett under center and it showed. Brissett’s completion percentage was almost 5% lower than Luck’s the year before. To add insult to injury, the Colts offensive line ranked 25th in 2017 according to Pro Football Focus. Jacoby Brissett did not shine under the pressure. The result was a terrible passing game and inefficient running plays.

The return of Andrew Luck means defenses won’t be able to stack the box against the run. TY Hilton has the potential to be a monster and must command defensive attention. The Tight End tandem of Ebron and Doyle will also provide a major distraction to the opposing defense. These adjustments will provide space for the Colts running backs like Nyheim Hines to shine brightly.

BACKFIELD AND COACHING – A CHANGING OF THE GUARD

Frank Gore has left town. That opens approximately 260 touches regardless of who is under center. Marlon Mack is talented and is currently considered the lead back. In 2017, he ran for 3.8 yards per carry, though. That was only 0.1 better than Frank Gore. Certainly not a model of efficiency.

Enter Nyheim Hines. He will likely start the season as the passing down back. However, if he can continue his efficient ways from college (5.6 yards per carry), we might see him take more of a lead role. Even if Mack turns his efficiency around, we will see how Nyheim Hines will continue to be a large part of the offense a little later on in the article.

Hines will also benefit from the changes to the Colts’ coaching staff. After a dismal 2017 and a rather disappointing 2016, the Colts fired HC Chuck Pagano and hired Frank Reich, formerly the offensive coordinator for the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. They have also named Nick Sirianni the offensive coordinator, formerly the wide receiver coach for the San Diego Chargers. This brings us to our next point.

RECEIVING SKILLS IN COLLEGE

Nyheim Hines played in the wide receiver role during his freshman and sophomore year in college. While his natural fit is running back, NC State found a way to utilize the talented Hines to their benefit. Could the new coaching staff utilize Hines in a similar fashion? The Colts wide receivers aren’t making a lot of pre-season noise with the exception of TY Hilton. As mentioned above, even if Marlon Mack maintains his spot as the lead running back, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Colts utilize Hines in their passing game, perhaps in the slot. This will boost Hines’ value especially in a PPR format.

IMPROVEMENTS IN THE DRAFT

The Colts had 11 picks in the 2018 draft including five picks in the first two rounds. They used two of those early picks to strengthen their offensive line. The 2016 offensive line is always mentioned when discussing Andrew Luck’s tendency to be sacked and could also be partially culpable for the inefficiencies in the running game. The new pieces will improve the offensive line, give Andrew Luck more time to pass, and help open holes for the running backs to run through. Like I said above, give this guy some open space and you have yourself a touchdown.

CONCLUSION

Nyheim Hines was the fastest running back at the combine and third fastest overall. He was on the track and field team at NC State, so he knows how to run fast. The Colts have a healthy star quarterback and strengthened their offensive line. They have a coaching staff who will recognize his receiving skills. Finally, the running back position is wide open. Even if the result is RBBC, Hines is the most talented receiver of the bunch and will have PPR value.

In rookie drafts for dynasty leagues, I cannot argue that Hines should go higher than the 9th spot ADP for running backs. The eight RBs in front of him all have a direct path to a lead role. In redraft leagues, he is certainly worthy of your attention.

Most predictions have the Colts with a sub .500 result in 2018. Even if that’s true, it means that they will be playing from behind. This increases the number of passing plays. Who is the clear passing down running back? Nyheim Hines. If Marlon Mack continues to play inefficiently, who will be waiting to take some of his snaps away? Nyheim Hines.

Seriously, have you seen this kid run? If you were standing on a trampoline and Nyheim Hines ran past you, on the SAME trampoline, you wouldn’t even bounce. If a gentleman who just had Lasik saw Nyheim Hines run past in a blur, he would return to his doctor saying the surgery was a failure.

Draft him. After you draft him, find me on Twitter @FFA_Marc. I will reply with a gif of knowing approval.

 

About Marc Szymanski

@FFA_Marc on Twitter Resident of southeast Michigan and the wonderful suburbs of Detroit. In real life, I am the Manager of Technology Operations for a software company. Graduated from Baker College with an MBA in Information Systems. Fan of the wonderful game called Fantasy Football. Fan of the Packers AND Lions. Thanks to Madden '94 for the Sega Genesis for causing an internal struggle twice a year.

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