|By Vin Sadicario, Monday, November 4, 2013|
QB Andrew Luck - Solid/Safe Pick
Andrew Luck enters his second NFL season as a solid fantasy starting quarterback. Luck threw for more than 4300 yards and 23 touchdowns in his rookie season, and should continue to improve under Chuck Pagano. Luck should come off fantasy draft boards at around the number 10 quarterback, with the potential to move into the top 6 or 7 if he continues to progress. Even without Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians, Luck will be a solid starting QB in fantasy this season.
RB Trent Richardson - Solid/Safe Pick
Update (11-4): It's fair to say that even with a bye week, the Colts still haven't solved their Trent Richardson run game woes. Ignore the fact that Indy went into passing game mode against the Texans after falling three scores behind, thus limiting the ground game chances. While the ex-Brown went 20 yards on eight carries, Donald Brown had 49 on six rushes. Starting in Week 4, Richardson's rush totals: 60, 56, 40. 37, 20. Always a threat for a TD, though he's gone four games without. Let's consider Week 10's matchup against the Rams as Richardson's personal Alamo.
Profile: Trent Richardson's trade to the Indianapolis Colts should be seen as a good thing for himself as well as his fantasy owners. Richardson should take over as the Colts' primary running back as soon as he gets fully acquainted with his teammates and the new playbook. Ahmad Bradshaw should see a limited amount of carries, but Richardson will be the team's go-to running back for the remainder of the season.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw - Quality Backup
UPDATE 9/25 - Trent Richardson's arrival in Indianapolis means much less work for Bradshaw, and disappointment for fantasy owners. Bradshaw should see close to 10 touches per game in the immediate future, but will make for no more than a bench option in fantasy leagues barring an injury to Trent.
Ahmad Bradshaw has a chance to get his career back on track as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. Bradshaw topped 1000 yards for the Giants last season, but can be seen as an injury risk, as he is still not fully recovered from foot surgery. Bradshaw is a superior talent to Vick Ballard and Donald Brown, and should see the majority of the carries for the Colts for as long as he stays healthy. Fantasy owners should view Bradshaw as a high end RB 3 or Flex option.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
RB Vick Ballard - Bye Week Fill-in
Vick Ballard should start the season as the Colts' backup running back, following the signing of Ahmad Bradshaw. Ballard was a disappointment last season, eclipsing 100 yards in a game only once, and scoring just two touchdowns on the season. Ballard should not have too much trouble holding off Donald Brown and Delone Carter for the backup job, but is unlikely to start many games, barring an injury to Bradshaw. For now, fantasy owners should view Ballard as a RB 4-5.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
RB Donald Brown - Deep-league Only
Donald Brown will battle Delone Carter for the number three running back spot in Indianapolis. Brown has been a disappointment since entering the league, and will face an uphill battle if he hopes to overtake Vick Ballard as the team's backup running back this season. Fantasy owners should only draft Brown as a late round running back, and should not expect any type of major production from him this season.
WR Reggie Wayne - Solid/Safe Pick
Reggie Wayne caught more than 100 passes last season, making that the third time in four years that this has happend. Wayne was second in the league in targets, and should continue to put up good numbers this season. Wayne has added value in PPR leagues and is locked in as a WR 2 in all fantasy leagues.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
WR T.Y. Hilton - Sleeper (undervalued)
Update (9-10) Hilton played only about 50 percent of the Colts' offensive snaps in week one. He is clearly behind Darrius Heyward-Bey at the moment. Fantasy owners will not be able to count on Hilton to live up to his draft potential until he passes Heyward-Bey on the depth chart.
Update (8-25): Though still not technically a starter, Hilton sure is producing like one. The second-year target hauled in two passes for 17 yards and a touchdown against the Browns in Indy's third preseason game. That's three scores for Hilton, who is coming off the bench behind Reggie Wayne and Darrius Heyward-Bey. The scoring potential is no fluke, which is why he's a high-end fantasy WR3. More snaps would be nice and the Colts are often using two-TE sets, a trend that could make Hilton's week-to-week production dicey. Overall, we're talking about a potential breakout performer who could sniff double-digit touchdowns with enough targets.
Update 8/13/13: Our very own Ian Ritchie, the #4 ranked player in the world just released his breakout candidate and he named TY Hilton his Breakout Player of the year. Here's what he had to say about Hilton:
If you believe in a guy named Luck with a horseshoe on his helmet, you must buy in to T. Y. Hilton. He is being drafted in high stakes contests at 7.1 and I believe his value will be more like a second WR. The game is starting to slow down for this speedster and his production this season will justify a much earlier pick than where he is being drafted. Take him with confidence and take his numbers to the bank.
Preview - T.Y. Hilton was a surprise performer for the Colts as a rookie in 2012. Hilton found the end zone seven times, and had 5 one hundred yard receiving games. Despite the addition of Darrius Heyward-Bey, Hilton should win a starting spot across from Reggie Wayne, and has the ability to improve upon last year's numbers. Fantasy owners should view Hilton as a low-end WR 3 heading into fantasy drafts.
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey - Bye Week Fill-in
Darrius Heyward-Bey is coming off a disappointing season for the Raiders, but will hope to bounce back with the Colts this season. Heyward-Bey will have a tough time beating out promising youngster T.Y. Hilton, making it unlikely that he will make much of a fantasy impact this season. Fantasy owners should view Heyward-Bey as strictly a backup this season.
WR LaVon Brazill - Not Draft Worthy
LaVon Brazill should enter the season as the Colts' number 4 wide receiver this season. Brazill was not involved much in the Colts offense as a rookie, and his role should be minimal again this season. Fantasy owners should not consider drafting Brazill.
TE Coby Fleener - Sleeper (undervalued)
Coby Fleener turned in a disappointing rookie season for fantasy owners. Fleener caught just 26 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns, numbers that should be improved upon this season. The presence of Dwayne Allen hurts Fleener's chances of being an elite player, however all indications are that Fleener is going to be much more involved this season. In early pre-season action, 90% of his snaps were lined up off of the line as a wide receiver. This is exciting to see from a fantasy perspective. While Bruce Arians isn't around anymore with his deep ball mentality, we see Fleener as a huge part of the Indianapolis offense. This smells like a big time sleeper situation to us. Snag Fleener as your TE2 this year because the sky is the limit.
Update: Fleener experienced a concussion after the week one preseason game, but after only three days, he's already back on the field. It appears holding him out of practice was just a standard precautionary measure. He's good to go.
TE Dwayne Allen - Quality Backup
UPDATE - Allen suffered a season ending injury and is droppable in all fantasy leagues.
Dwayne Allen was impressive in his rookie season, but his all around skill set could hinder his fantasy production going forward. Allen is an excellent blocker, which limits his opportunities to put up big fantasy numbers. Allen is only likely to produce as a TE 2 in fantasy leagues this season.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
PK Adam Vinatieri - Not Draft Worthy
Adam Vinatieri struggled with accuracy in 2012. Vinatieri connected on 78 percent of his field goal attempts, down from 85 percent in 2011 and 93 percent in 2010. Fantasy owners should avoid Vinatieri, as he looks to be on the downside of his career.
Indianapolis Defense - Not Draft Worthy
The Colts' defense struggled to put up fantasy points in 2012, and this struggle will continue this season. Look elsewhere for a fantasy defense.