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Fantasy Football Today

Physical nature attracted Chuck Pagano to Hakeem Nicks

By Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer

A lot of people in the Fantasy world might not like Hakeem Nicks after going touchdownless in 2013, but Chuck Pagano isn't one of those people.

At the NFL Owners Meeting in Orlando, the Colts head coach focused on a singular quality of Nicks' game when asked about why he was a good fit for the team. He also suggested that opponents will start playing more man coverage and that Nicks can beat it thanks to that quality -- his physical style.

"Everybody's going to get up in your face now and play bump and run and make it really hard for you to get off the line of scrimmage," Pagano told CBSSports.com. "(Nicks) gives you a big, physical presence. When Reggie went down, Da'Rick Rogers was a big guy but he hadn't played and was thrust to the forefront. With Hakeem, you get another big, physical receiver that will do a great job versus press coverage. And the teams that we're going to have to face, all of them are built to stop the big wideouts. We're going to face big corners, if you will. He brings a lot to the table in that respect."

Pagano did mention how his offense will be overloaded with receiving threats, one of whom being T.Y. Hilton. He had a great opportunity to step up last season but didn't quite do it when Reggie Wayne went down with a torn ACL. The addition of Nicks should force defenses to play against Hilton differently.

"Did he have to do some of the other stuff because of the absence of Reggie? We had to be creative, we had to move him around," Pagano said of Hilton. "We couldn't sit him in one
spot or play him in one spot. We had to do some things because we knew that they were going to roll the coverage to him, they were going to double him, put a guy up on his nose, disrupt him at the line of scrimmage and have a guy over the top, all those things. We
had to do a bunch of different things just to try and get him loose, get him free."

It stands to reason that Hilton will be able to get free more often with Wayne and Nicks (and their tight ends) picking up defensive coverage. But with deep receiving corps comes questions about opportunities -- and Hilton might not have nearly as many as the 138 regular-season targets had last year.

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