The Indianapolis Colts weren't expecting to have to rely on Darrius Heyward-Bey when they signed him in the offseason, not with fellow wide receivers T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne on the squad; Heyward-Bey was a luxury. But with Wayne lost for the year after an ACL injury two weeks ago, the team will be expecting much more performance out of Heyward-Bey, starting with its Sunday game against the division rival Houston Texans.
Heyward-Bey caught four passes for 44 yards and a touchdown, adding a 30-yard run, in the Colts' 39-33 victory over the Denver Broncos in Week 7. The score was his first of the year, and first since joining the Colts. Heyward-Bey only has one game with more yardage, and was held without a reception despite six targets in Week 5 against the Seattle Seahawks.
Fantasy impact: Heyward-Bey has only one official drop on the season, but could have been credited with others, and drops have been a problem for him for all five years of his career. He'll need to overcome that to be as productive as the Colts (and fantasy owners) need him to be going forward.
That said, Heyward-Bey is a heck of an athletic specimen. The team has had two weeks to figure out a new game plan without Wayne, and Heyward-Bey promises to be a crucial part of it. It's probably too much to ask to expect Heyward-Bey to be a surefire fantasy starter, but he wouldn't be an awful choice for a Week 9 flex play.