Next up in our team preview series are the Indianapolis Colts. Enjoy!
The elephant in the room with the Colts is clearly Andrew Luck and his health. This was quite the roller coaster ride last year with owner Jim Irsay repeatedly saying that Andrew Luck was going to be ready by Week 1. That clearly did not happen, but there was still hope he would play until October when there was a setback in his rehab and he was placed on season-ending IR.
The rest of the supporting staff for the Colts has not been good for years. This is evident by the 8-8 record the Colts had in 2015 and 2016 that a lot of people say would have been a lot worse if it weren't for Andrew Luck. In fact without him in 2017 they went 4-12. This year I'm not sure there is going to be much of an improvement this year from the supporting roles, with the exception of T.Y. Hilton and maybe the tight ends.
2018 Fantasy Football Indianapolis Colts Preview
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- Andrew Luck
- Jacoby Brissett
As mentioned above Andrew Luck is the star of the team here. The Colts success rides on him being healthy. Right now Luck's ADP in Fantasy Football drafts is QB11. If he were 100-percent healthy right now I would expect that to be in the top 5. I know its easy to forget just how good Luck is, but he is truly special.
He has thrown for over 4,000 yards three times, with a career-high 4,761 yards. That same season he threw for 40 touchdowns. There are not a lot of quarterbacks who can do that with the lack of talent around him. If he proves to be healthy throughout the preseason, I expect his ADP to climb and fast.
I don't want to forget about Jacoby Brissett though. What he did last year, being traded just weeks before the season started was quite amazing. He started 15 games and passed for over 3,000 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also ran four in. His issue is he holds onto the ball too long and got himself into trouble far too often. Still, if Luck goes down, the Colts will at least have somebody they can rely on. In Fantasy Brissett is nothing more than a streamer.
If Marlon Mack can hold off Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins, there's a big workload available to him. pic.twitter.com/qk26LDavpt
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) May 15, 2018
The Colts running situation has not been good in years. The last 1,000-yard rusher was Frank Gore in 2016, and he barely hit 1,000 yards with 1,025. Before that you have to go all the way back to 2007 with Joseph Addai.
This year they are relying on a bunch of running backs who have yet to prove anything. Mack is going to be the de facto leader of this committee approach, especially thanks to Robert Turbin being suspended the first four games of the season. Mack is probably best used as a change-up role to a true lead back, but the Colts do not have one.
However, the Colts do hope that one of the rookies, Nyheim Hines or Jordan Wilkins can become that guy. My take is it is unlikely that Hines becomes a true workhorse back as his size and skill set puts him into the pass-catching role. He is 5'8/198 and his speed makes him a viable mid to late-round PPR guy for sure. Wilkins is a bigger back, 6'1/216, but lacks the pedigree to be that
Overall, I'm avoiding this backfield in fantasy drafts in 2018.
Don't sleep on T.Y. Hilton having a huge year in 2018! pic.twitter.com/918oztYxn0
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 6, 2018
So the receiving core really is T.Y. Hilton and not much else. Hilton had a down season in 2017, understandably so without Andrew Luck, but before that he had four straight 1,000 yard seasons. He also had some ridiculous games thanks to his deep threat ability (as you can tell by the graphic above).
If you trust Luck to be fully healthy for the 2018 season, you should draft him accordingly.
Ryan Grant has signed this offseason and is my favorite to start the season as the No. 2 receiver. He had a decent season in Washington last year catching 45 passes for 573 yards and four touchdowns. Chester Rogers is likely to work in the slot this year but has yet to show much of anything in his short time with the Colts.
Honestly, Rogers and Grant are not anybody I am targeting any drafts.
Jack Doyle actually saw targets (slightly) more often than Rob Gronkowski, based on routes run. pic.twitter.com/CMN8xUcu3L
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) June 18, 2018
The tight end position is a place of strength, sort of, for the Colts. Jack Doyle led this team in catches last season with 80 and has proved himself a worthy possession target, especially in the redzone. The worry is he is not a downfield target as he averaged 8.5 yards per catch last season. In PPR leagues his value is much higher than in standard due to this.
There is a threat to Doyle's value though and that is offseason acquisition of Eric Ebron. Ebron has teased us in Detroit many times but never could materialize into the consistent tight end many thought he could be. Still, though Ebron is a legit weapon, especially in the redzone, so all those redzone targets you thought would go to Doyle, might go to Ebron instead.
I still like Doyle much more, especially in PPR league. The ceiling is much higher for him, but the floor is not quite as high now with Ebron in town. I would not be surprised if Doyle finished as a top 5 tight end or outside the top 10, it is that hard to predict.
The Colts will go as Andrew Luck goes, period. If he is healthy, they likely blow away their Vegas over/under of 6.5 wins. If he is still hurt or gets hurt, then they likely fall under it.
Their complimentary pieces also heavily rely on him. Yes, Doyle and Hilton were useful last season, but also very inconsistent. Luck will help them and the others for sure, but regardless those are really the only two you want to target in standard-sized leagues.
Visit the F6P Fantasy Football Draft Kit Page for more advice to prepare for the 2018 season.
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