Looking at the ownership percentages in ESPN leagues, running back Nyheim Hines is only owned in 33.8% of leagues.
Why is it so low?
I’m assuming Fantasy players are avoiding him because of his lack of carries. So far in 2018, he has not exceeded five, and he’s also not rushed for more than 19 yards in a single game. On top of that, he’s only averaging 3.0 yards per carry. That’s not going to win a Fantasy championship.
But Hines is actually leading the rushing attack in time spent on the field. He’s played 57% of the offensive snaps so far this season, and the next closest player is Jordan Wilkins. He’s been on the field for just 40.3% of the offensive snaps.
Playing time doesn’t guarantee Fantasy success, but if you’re not on the field, you can’t score. His playing time is an indication that the coaching staff wants to keep him involved in each game.
And because of his pass-catching abilities, Hines needs to be added to your bench…
Nyheim Hines Needs to Be Added to Your Fantasy Football Team in Week 5
Outside of Week 2, Hines has caught at least five passes per game. His receptions are keeping him Fantasy relevant, as he’s scored a minimum of 7.5 Fantasy points per contest this season.
Again, his main value is as a receiver, but he’s still scored a total of three touchdowns in four games.
And because of the injury to T.Y. Hilton and the lack of a rushing attack (the Colts are ranked 29th in rushing yards), Hines could see an uptick in receptions moving forward. Hamstring injuries can be nagging and lingering, so Hilton could miss several weeks or play at less than 100%.
That potentially opens the door for more targets for Hines…
For Week 5, the Indianapolis Colts play the New England Patriots. The Over/Under is 53, and the Patriots are favored by 10 points.
Vegas expects Indianapolis to be behind, which means they will need to throw the ball. Hines is third in targets for the team, and he’s also second in yards after the catch (YAC) with 71 yards. Hines can do a lot of damage and rack up Fantasy points each time he touches the ball.
Now, Fantasy players do have to worry about Hines’ touches when Marlon Mack returns. Mack posted a 21-225-1 stat line as a receiver last year, so if he can be effective running the ball and catching the ball, Hines may see less playing time.
But until Mack recovers from his hamstring injury and can get on the field, Hines could offer several relevant Fantasy performances.
The Bottom Line on Nyheim Hines
Hines is turning into the poor man’s version of James White.
White is only averaging 5.2 carries per game, but he has a better yard per carry (YPC) average than Hines, averaging 5.2 yards each time he runs with the ball. That higher total makes him more valuable than Hines.
But where they are similar is their involvement as pass catchers. White has the same amount of catches (22) as Hines, and he has three touchdown receptions. Hines has two.
As the season goes on and Hines keeps developing, hopefully his YPC average improves to generate more Fantasy points for his owners.
And while Fantasy players still have to worry about Mack, Hines is still the back to own in Indianapolis right now.