"I'm nowhere near finished, man, and I want to prove that to the world and everybody," Nicks told FOX Sports' Mike Garafalo recently. "That's definitely my mentality, but I don't even want to talk about it. I feel like I got into that situation last year talking about it. I'm about to just go out there and prove it.
"I can't even describe the feeling to you. It's like a burning sensation inside of me. I just want to be the best. I know I have to work hard at it; it's something that's in me. It's just in me and takes over me."
Nicks was underwhelming in Indianapolis, catching only 55% of his targets while posting 38 catches for 405 yards and four touchdowns. The Titans also added Harry Douglas this offseason, so he and Nicks will join a receiving corps that already includes Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter. There isn't much fantasy value here.
“This guy can make plays. He’s big. He’s fast. He can stretch the defense, all those types of things,” said Pagano. “It’s a learning process, and he’s going to be better in year two than he was in year one. He’s going to have more opportunities.”
Overall, Moncrief played more than 50% of the snaps in just six games (week 8 at Pittsburgh when Reggie Wayne was out & the last five weeks of the season). In those six games, Moncrief accumulated 18 receptions, 301 yards, and all 3 of his TDs.
That’s more than 56% of his catches for the year, about 68% of his yards, and 100% of his touchdowns for the season...in just six games, the only games where Moncrief played a majority of the snaps. The picture is getting clearer as to why the 6’2”, 221 pound burner is expected to get more opportunities in 2015.
In those six games, Moncrief averaged 3.0 catches for 50 yards and 0.50 touchdowns, but that split includes both huge games (3-134-2 vs. Washington, 7-113-1 vs. Pittsburgh) and disappearing acts (a goose egg vs. Houston, 2-5 vs. Dallas, 3-16 vs. Tennessee), so his production was all over the place. Moncrief's ADP took a two-round hit (6th to 8th) once the Colts signed Andre Johnson, and the signing certainly takes some of the wind out of Moncrief's sails. But both Reggie Wayne (859 snaps) and Hakeem Nicks (576 snaps) are gone, so there may be room for both Johnson and Moncrief to play starter's snaps. The question is how often the Colts go to two-TE sets since Dwayne Allen should be healthy after missing six games last season. When either Allen or Wayne were out, Nicks played 59% of the snaps. When both were in the lineup, Nicks played just 45% of the snaps. Moncrief is still going to be a breakout candidate, but his playing time is up in the air.
The Colts have added an intriguing talent with great pedigree to their receiving corps. Indianapolis announced Monday it agreed to terms with CFL wideout Duron Carter, son of Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter.
Duron Carter goes 6-5, 205 pounds. After a checkered college career, he caught 124 passes for 1,939 yards and 12 touchdowns in two seasons with the Montreal Alouettes.
"His length is what jumps out right off the bat and his ability to make the big play with that length in a variety of ways," Colts GM Ryan Grigson said. "He has very good quickness and wiggle for his size and has excellent ability to adjust to the ball in air."
Per College Football Talk...
The (Florida Atlantic) Owls were the fourth collegiate stop for Carter, son of former star NFL receiver Cris Carter, the past three years, with academics serving as a significant hurdle at nearly every one of them. Carter was declared academically ineligible for Ohio State’s appearance in the Rose Bowl game following the 2009 regular season, an issue that also kept him out of spring practice in 2010.
He left the Buckeyes in June of that year and enrolled at a junior college in Kansas. After transferring to Alabama in April of 2011 from the JUCO ranks, eligibility issues again involving academics kept him from practicing with the Tide until late August.
It was announced in late September of 2011 that Carter would not play at all that season and would instead take a redshirt. He was suspended for spring practice this year, which prompted him to take his leave of Tuscaloosa and officially transfer to FAU.
College Football Talk also mentioned that Carter was the No. 11 ranked receiver of his high school class. The signing puts a dent in the upside of Donte Moncrief, who will now have Carter to contend with if he hopes to start in 2015. Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks may or may not be back in the fold, so this is a situation to monitor this offseason.
With Hilton inactive, Donte Moncrief draws the start and is a fantasy WR2 start with Reggie Wayne (PPR) and Hakeem Nicks having Sneaky Start appeal. Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen also get a bump. Andrew Luck's ranking takes a slight hit with Hilton out, but he has enough weapons and should be able to manufacture plenty of fantasy points against Dallas.
"For some," Pagano responded. "This guy is pretty special. Don't count him out."
As we reported yesterday, those around the team consider him doubtful even though his official status is questionable. If he’s out, Donte Moncrief becomes a fantasy WR2 with Reggie Wayne (PPR) and Hakeem Nicks having Sneaky Start appeal. Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen would also get a bump. Andrew Luck’s ranking takes a slight hit with Hilton out, but he has enough weapons and should be able to manufacture plenty of fantasy points against Dallas.
Friday, December 19, 2014, 6:02pm
Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring, questionable) missed practice all week and is questionable for Week 16. The beat writers are describing Hilton as doubtful, though he’s officially questionable. We currently do not expect him to play, since Indianapolis doesn’t have a whole lot to play for. If he’s out, Donte Moncrief becomes a fantasy WR2 with Reggie Wayne (PPR) and Hakeem Nicks having Sneaky Start appeal. Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen would also get a bump. Andrew Luck’s ranking takes a slight hit with Hilton out, but he has enough weapons and should be able to manufacture plenty of fantasy points against Dallas.
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 6:14pm
Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) missed practice again Thursday. Hilton was expected to return today. If he’s out, Donte Moncrief, Hakeem Nicks and Reggie Wayne would all see a significant bump in a nice matchup against Dallas. His absence would hurt Andrew Luck, but he’d still be a must-start given the matchup.
With Reggie Wayne losing a step, the Colts need Moncrief's playmaking ability as an alternative to T.Y. Hilton. The third-round rookie has the size and athleticism to become a star with Luck as his quarterback.
While it may have just become official this week, it's no surprise Moncrief is now the team's WR3. We had a news item on Saturday that said it remains to be seen if he passes Reggie Wayne for the WR2 role. The item said that Wayne is still a security blank for Luck, but there's no denying Moncrief's big-play ability. He's certainly worth a pickup, at least in deeper leagues, but owners should probably still consider him boom or bust at this point. However he's one big play away from giving owners very nice fantasy numbers.
Saturday, November 29, 2014, 9:13am
Colts beat writer Mike Wells answered a question about Donte Moncrief and the WR2 role on the team:
T.Y. Hilton will hold onto the torch for a number of years before Donte Moncrief gets hold of it. Hilton has unofficially taken the torch from Wayne as Andrew Luck's big-play target. Wayne is still Luck's security blanket, but the days of him outrunning the defense for a 50-yard touchdown have passed. Wayne knows it, too.
But I'll still take Wayne over most defensive backs when it comes to getting open on short to intermediate routes. Moncrief will become the Colts' No. 2 receiver sooner than later. It just won't happen until Wayne decides to call it quits on his likely Hall-of-Fame career.
According to Wells it looks like Wayne may hold the WR2 role a little longer. But Moncrief at least appears to be poised to steal WR3 targets away from Hakeem Nicks. By next year, it looks safe to assume Moncrief will be the clear WR3.
Friday, October 31, 2014, 5:43pm
Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow, not injury related) returned to take full practice reps Friday after missing practice Thursday. Wayne is suddenly on track to play on Monday night. Donte Moncrief would be a Sneaky Start if Wayne can’t play, and Hakeem Nicks has some desperation appeal in a revenge game against his old team. If Wayne plays, then Moncrief would only hold desperation value as the team’s third wideout (at best).
Friday, October 31, 2014, 10:58am
Colts beat writer Mike Wells: The Colts are saying the right things publicly, but it's been a mystery why Hakeem Nicks hasn't been a factor. Last weekend's game basically summed up his time with the Colts. With Wayne out with an elbow injury, Nicks was the No. 2 receiver, but he was clearly outplayed by rookie Donte Moncrief. Nicks only caught one of the six targets from Luck for 27 yards while playing 60 of 66 snaps. Moncrief only needed 40 snaps to catch seven passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. You would have thought having a bigger role in the offense would help Nicks. Now you have to wonder if he'll fit in at all this season because Wayne will likely play Monday and Moncrief's performance may have been good enough to move him ahead of Nicks as the third receiver.
With Reggie Wayne looking iffy for Monday night, Moncrief would be a Sneaky Start against the Giants. Hopefully we'll know if Wayne will play by Sunday morning. If not, depending on Moncrief won't be for the faint of heart. He still has some upside as the Colts' WR3, even if Wayne plays, however.
Thursday, October 30, 2014, 6:15pm
Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow, not injury related) missed practice Thursday. It appears that Wayne is questionable for Monday night’s game. Donte Moncrief would be a Sneaky Start if Wayne can’t play, and Hakeem Nicks has some desperation appeal in a revenge game against his old team.
Bradshaw, who was not brought back after the 2012 season, and Hakeem Nicks, who was not re-signed after last season, will surely be determined to show their former team they made a mistake not keeping them. Because neither, particularly Bradshaw, ever wanted to leave.
This is an example of the #OldTeamTheorem that Senior Editor John Paulsen likes to talk about on Twitter (@4for4_John). Players are generally extra motivated to stick it to their old teams. It doesn't always result in a big game, but more often than not, players seem to outperform their usual production. We expect Bradshaw to play well. If Reggie Wayne misses another game, Nicks could be in the mix for a surprising game as well, though Donte Moncrief has been outplaying him thus far.
Reggie Wayne (elbow) is ahead of schedule and considered day-to-day.
The Colts hope to get him back out there this week, the story added, but it's a bit of good news that he's ahead of schedule. While Wayne will slide back to his normal WR2 role, Donte Moncrief had a huge game in his place against Pittsburgh, seemingly moving ahead of Hakeem Nicks as the WR3. Wayne has struggled as of late so it's possible we start to see a little more of Moncrief.
If Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was any indication it should be an easy decision for coach Chuck Pagano.
With Wayne out because of an elbow injury, Moncrief stepped up and complemented Hilton by catching seven passes on a team-high 12 targets for 113 yards and a touchdown -- all career highs -- in the loss.
"Donte was running great routes, playing fast and he certainly doesn't play like a rookie," quarterback Andrew Luck said. "He's solid, he's steady and I'm happy for how well he played."
The story said the original thought was that the Colts would ease Moncrief, the team's third-round draft pick, into a larger role because of their depth at receiver this season. But his speed, athleticism and ability to make plays has accelerated the process. Moncrief showed off his skills when he made a leaping catch over Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen for a 31-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Nicks, who started the game as the No. 2 receiver, finished with only reception for 27 yards in the six times he was targeted, the piece added. Moncrief is a name to watch and could have some deeper league, flex value in this heavy-passing Colts offense.
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