While it’s important not to get caught up in the preseason rookie windstorm that happens inevitably each year, certain performances are important to pay attention to when looking for the next fantasy stars. And while the situation in Indianapolis may appear at first glance to be unraveling for everyone involved in the Colts offense, one rookie could have an excellent chance to stick out as a bright spot in 2023.
Josh Downs stands currently as the second-highest-graded rookie wide receiver by PFF, posting an impressive 85.3 receiving grade through two preseason games. His ability to uncover and separate from his defender was one of his best skills in college, and that skillset should translate well into the pros where he’ll be tasked with doing the same his first year in Indy.
With Anthony Richardson starting at QB in Week 1 and presumable not having Jonathan Taylor flanking him in the backfield, the onus will fall quickly on Downs’ shoulders to help bring along Richardson and get him into a rhythm week by week. Downs has seemingly locked up the top slot role, and with a rookie at QB likely to experience growing pains inside the Colts offense, there’s a chance that Downs could become a favorite target of Richardson’s, both as a first read and after the play breaks down during improvisation.