Can Anthony Richardson Live Up To His Enormous Potential? | 2024 Indianapolis Colts Fantasy Football Draft Guide

by Michael Tomlin
Can Anthony Richardson Live Up To His Enormous Potential?

With the Indianapolis Colts and their Fantasy Football preview for the season, there’s one main question: can Anthony Richardson live up to his enormous potential?

If that question is answered, then the rest of the dominoes fall into play for Indy. Is Jonathan Taylor worth a Top-15 pick? Will rookie receiver Adonai Mitchell have any redraft value? Why is Michael Pittman Jr. so boring?

It all comes back to can Anthony Richardson live up to his enormous potential. He is definitely the make or break player for the offense (although I think boring Michael Pittman Jr. will still be solid without Richardson doing well).

So, let’s start with trying to solve the riddle of can Anthony Richardson live up to his enormous potential. (All of the Average Draft Position date is per Fantasy Pros as of June 13th.)

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Can Anthony Richardson Live Up To His Enormous Potential?

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Anthony Richardson was one of the most hyped rookie quarterbacks in Fantasy Football circles that I can remember. The behemoth of a man with an athletic skillset of a much smaller player had Fantasy Football managers drooling at his potential.

Then, the season actually started and Richardson debuted with a QB4 performance. He then proceeded to leave a game in the first half and miss the following week.

It was a short stint out, as he returned the week after with a QB2 performance. Naturally he was hurt in the first half of the next game and missed the rest of the season. So what did we learn?

Well, we learned that Richardson’s ceiling is arguably the highest in the league. Even missing more than 50% of half of his games, his per game average was twelfth at the position. His two full games averaged to the QB2.

At the same time, we also learned that Richardson has a low floor, but the kind of low floor that is okay. Hear me out.

A player that will play and perform badly truly hurts your team. A player that misses time hurts you in a sense, but also allows you to recover with a replacement. Especially at the position of quarterback, where replacement-level value is widely available on the waiver wire.

In both of Richardson’s full games he had ten rushing attempts and at least 200 yards passing. He scored both through the air as well as on the ground.

I would say those numbers are going to be the bottom end of his range. If he gives you 200 yards passing with a throwing score, ten rushes at around five yards per attempt, and scores a rushing touchdown every other game or so, that equals out to 22 Fantasy Points per game, or the QB2 last year.

We do not need (and should not use in such a small sample size) any advanced statistics or numbers. If you want to have faith that Richardson will play 13+ games, then his price tag as the sixth quarterback off in the board in the fifth round is one of the best values of the year.

Can Adonai Mitchell Become FLEX-Worthy?

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The common thought is that the Colts’ offense will have less passing in 2024 compared to last season with Gardner Minshew at quarterback. Fun fact: in just the games Minshew started, the Colts threw the ball 34.6 times for 229 yards per game.

In Richardson’s two full games he threw it 31 times for 211 yards per game. That is hardly significant, especially since Richardson should progress from his rookie season.

So, let’s say that Mitchell can even be Josh Downs from last season. Downs did not even crack double-digit PPR Fantasy Points per game. Why would Mitchell even be in consideration since he is being drafted after Downs anyway?

Richardson can throw the ball 70 yards downfield with ease. He averated almost 15 yards per completion in college (compare that to Minshew’s career 11 yards per completion). He wants to launch it. Richardson averaged over a full yard more in intended air yards per attempt.

Josh Downs is not that guy, pal. He runs closer to a 4.5 40-yard dash and averages 11 yards per catch. Adonai Mitchell is the one that will be on the receiving end of these bombs.

Mitchell ran a 4.34 forty at the combine. He averaged well over fifteen yards per catch his last year in college and 15.4 yards per catch for his career.

If Richardson and Mitchell find a spark, they could be a steal of a best ball stack.

Are We Sure Jonathan Taylor Is Worth A Top-15 Pick?

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Jonathan Taylor has not started in 16 of the Colts’ last 30 games. That is a pretty big red flag for a back that will be 26 years old before the end of the season.

Okay, but what about when he does play? Was he not RB12 in PPR and RB8 in half-PPR points per game last year?

Sure, he pulled in decent numbers per game. But let’s dive deeper. Are we sure that 2021 was not the outlier instead of the norm?

In 2021, Taylor had 2,171 scrimmage yards ad 20 total touchdowns. He averaged 106.5 yards rushing per game, a touchdown on ever 18 rushing attempts, and caught a score on every 20 receptions.

For the rest of Taylor’s career, he has averaged less than 77 rushing yards per game, a touchdown ever 27 rushing attempts, and catches a score every 42 receptions.

Taylor’s yards before contact has gone down every year. Has his line gotten that much worse year-over-year or has he become a step slower off the ball?

In my mind, you are paying a premium for a possibly unattainable ceiling when a high-end RB2 is much more likely.

Can he be the RB12 again? Probably. Will he become a Top-5 back again? I would not bet my early Round Two pick on it.

Why Is Michael Pittman Jr. So Boring?

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I was talking to our esteemed leader F6P Joe about topics for this article, and I literally said I did not want to do Pittman because he seems “boring.”

Garnder Minshew, rookie Anthony Richardson, washed-up Matt Ryan, washed-up Nick Foles, rookie Sam Ehlinger, washed-up Carson Wentz, rookie Jacob Eason,  washed-up Philip Rivers, and Jacoby Brissett. That is the list of quarterbacks that Michael Pittman Jr. has had throw the ball in Indianapolis.

There is a decent chance that second-year Richardson will be the best quarterback he has played with. As bad as that has been, Pittman has averaged 99 catches for 1,053 yards since his rookie year.

Pittman finished as the 13th-highest scoring wide receiver last season in PPR scoring. Now he is being drafted as a WR3 as the 25th receiver off the board. What am I missing here?

I get that we want a Wonkavator-esque limitless ceiling on every player we draft. But you know what? Guys with high floors (100 catches, 1,000 yards) are these “league winners” that everyone throws around too much now.

Michael Pittman Jr. in the third round is super boring and no one will say anything when you put the sticker up. But the kind of consistency he provides is completely under-rated now.

I hope I answered can Anthony Richardson live up to his enormous potential along with the other Colts’ pressing Fantasy Football questions. Be sure to check out our award-winning rankings!

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