Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2014 Fantasy Outlooks: Indianapolis Colts

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

The Colts made the second round of the playoffs last year, taking another small step toward a championship run. They made it there in spite of a receiving corps stripped barren by injuries and awful play and without a consistent run game or quality offensive line.

That's the power of a stud quarterback for you.

Entering Year 3 in Indianapolis, the Colts have further built around Andrew Luck and have themselves a heck of a squad on both sides of the ball. Prized offseason acquisitions include tackle machine D'Qwell Jackson, receiver Hakeem Nicks and second-round pick Jack Mewhort at guard. Nicks should give Luck a terrific target across the middle and down the sideline. Pairing him with a receiving corps that will get back Reggie Wayne (torn ACL) and tight end Dwayne Allen (hip) should free up T.Y. Hilton to run deeper routes and stretch defenses. Mewhort will help stabilize the O-line to keep Luck upright and Jackson will aid a defense that struggled vs. the run last year (26th in the NFL).

So it's all coming together for the Colts, though the one area on the roster they didn't make any big additions to might be the most perplexing: the running game. Indy let Donald Brown walk right to a backup role in San Diego and didn't add another runner via free agency or the draft. It's a sign they're banking on a rebound year from Trent Richardson after he was awful in 2013. That's a risk Fantasy owners might run away from.

Best Indy WR is ... T.Y. Hilton

Maybe we're taking a chance here on Hilton, but he's easily the most threatening receiver on the Colts roster. Last year the offense tried to peg him into the No. 1 receiver's role after Wayne got hurt and it backfired until the end of the year. Coach Chuck Pagano said this offseason they had to keep working and working on Hilton's game in order for him to be effective -- perhaps in the process he got some hard lessons on how to be a top-flight receiver in the league. It paid off over his final three games of the year (28 catches, 482 yards and two scores) and should parlay into bigger opportunities this year, particularly if Wayne, Nicks and at least one tight end is drawing coverage away from him. We could see defenses try and take Hilton away, a practice that really kept the Colts offense stuck in neutral the second half of last season. Though he might be inconsistent, Hilton should still be expected to be the most productive Colts receiver without necessarily being the leader in receptions.

Bust candidate ... Reggie Wayne

We're conditioned to think of Wayne as a quality Fantasy starter. Forget it. It's not so much that he's coming off of ACL surgery and turning 36 in November as it is the Colts topping off their receiving depth this offseason. Nicks was signed, Allen is coming back from hip surgery and the rookie Moncrief will have a chance to get in the mix a little bit. Last year Nicks was part of a 2-3 man show. Now, Luck will have the luxury of spreading the ball around and not having to lean on Wayne for the 11.7 targets per game he averaged over the last two seasons (Wayne caught around 57 pct. of those targets, by the way). Wayne has also posted six scores or less in five of his last six seasons. Please don't overrate him.

Bounce-back candidate ... Hakeem Nicks

2013 Touches Leaders
759 total touches
Trent Richardson 185 (157 car., 28 rec.) 24.4%
Donald Brown 129 (102 car., 27 rec.) 16.9%
T.Y. Hilton 84 (82 rec., 2 car.) 11.1%
Andrew Luck 63 car. 8.3%
Coby Fleener 52 rec. 6.9%
Ahmad Bradshaw 48 (41 car., 7 rec.) 6.3%
All Others 198 26.1%

Ok, so it's not real hard to think of Nicks as a bounce-back candidate after scoring as many touchdowns as you did last season (assuming you're not an NFL player). But what if he did better than last year's 56 catches and 896 yards, too? We're thinking that's a real possibility for Nicks, who hasn't posted over 900 yards or four-plus scores for two seasons now. Count on both of those things happening in 2014 as he finds himself in a spot where he's not really the No. 1 receiver but rather a quality outlet on a team loaded with them. We suspect that defenses won't think about double-teaming Nicks or sending coverage closer to his side of the field. It'll give him multiple chances to get open and move the chains. Will he regain his form as a 1,100-yard, seven-touchdown receiver? We won't discount that possibility, though no one should expect as much. Counting on Nicks as a potential third Fantasy wideout is an acceptable idea.

Schedule analysis

It's a good slate for the Colts, who face some challenging defenses but none of the elite units in the league. And even if they did ... remember how they fared vs. Seattle last season? Indy even has a perk: Three straight home games after a Week 10 bye. They basically are staying in Indiana for the month of November. If there's a complaint it's that they face three teams coming off of a bye (Giants in Week 9, Patriots in Week 11, Jaguars in Week 12). They also waste a great matchup (at Tennessee) in Week 17. Expect a lot of high-scoring games as the Colts take on the powder kegs of the NFC East as well as the Patriots, Bengals and a Week 1 showdown at the Broncos.

Training camp battles

How will the tight end snaps shake out? After Dwayne Allen got hurt in Week 1, Coby Fleener had a ton of opportunities to break out last season and didn't grab the brass ring. This isn't to say that Allen will go on to be the Colts' every-down tight end -- it might mean that both guys get relegated to complementary/red zone roles. That won't help Fantasy owners.

How will the run game shake out? This is a question the Colts probably would like to know the answer to themselves. Ahmad Bradshaw was re-signed after having two vertebrae in his neck fused together. Vick Ballard is coming back from a torn ACL suffered last September and Trent Richardson is coming back from a season gone horribly wrong. Unless Dan Herron or Zurlon Tipton go off in training camp or someone else waltzes into the Colts facilities, that's what they have. The commitment the team made to Richardson last fall suggests he'll get another grand opportunity.

Bold prediction

Andrew Luck finished last season as the seventh-best quarterback in Fantasy, despite posting only six games with 20-plus Fantasy points, the lowest of any passer who averaged 20 or more Fantasy points per game. It's also his second consecutive season with only six. But those years are over -- Luck will fare much better and be far more consistent this season. His receiving corps, as illustrated above, is deeper than ever. His offensive line is stronger than ever. His schedule is better than ever. His running game is ... well, it's there and probably not strong enough to take the ball out of Luck's hands. But here's a fun fact: Luck had those six games with 20-plus points last year and another three with 18 or 19 points. That's how close Luck was to having nine 20-plus-point games, as many as Nick Foles. Luck will again be a Top 10 quarterback and potentially Top 5. Not bad for a player you can nab in Round 5 or 6.

Injury report

Reggie Wayne (torn ACL), probable for start of training camp. ... Ahmad Bradshaw (neck), questionable for start of training camp. ... Vick Ballard (torn ACL), probable for start of training camp. ... Dwayne Allen (hip), probable for start of training camp. ... Donald Thomas (bicep, quad), probable for start of training camp.

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Kyle Orton set to face Jets
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(6:07 pm ET) Bills quarterback Kyle Orton, who was probable with a toe injury, is active as expected for Monday's game against the Jets in Detroit. Orton has thrown just one touchdown pass over his past two games.

Colts sign Victor Butler, waive Kelcy Quarles
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(6:04 pm ET) The Colts announced they re-signed linebacker Victor Butler and waived defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles Monday.

After recording three tackles over two games for the Colts this season, Butler was waived Nov. 18. Quarles has played in one game this season and notched one sack.


Injured Bills gain clearance for MNF
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(6:03 pm ET) Several Bills who were on the injury report are active for Monday's game against the Jets in Detroit. The group includes cornerback Ron Brooks (groin), kicker Dan Carpenter (groin), wideout Chris Hogan (hip), defensive end Manny Lawson (ankle) and guard Kraig Urbik (shoulder).

Sammy Watkins ready to roll
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:58 pm ET) Bills rookie receiver Sammy Watkins, who was probable with a groin injury, is active as expected for Monday's game against the Jets in Detroit.

Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson among Jets cleared to play
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:56 pm ET) All the Jets who were probable on the injury report are active for Monday's game against the Bills in Detroit.

The list includes running backs Chris Ivory (shoulder) and Chris Johnson (knee), guard Oday Aboushi (shoulder), linebacker Antwan Barnes (knee), guard Willie Colon (knee), wideout T.J. Graham (neck), linebacker David Harris (shoulder), safety Jaiquawn Jarrett (calf), center Nick Mangold (shoulder), linebacker Trevor Reilly (knee), receiver Greg Salas (wrist), cornerback Darrin Walls (calf) and quarterback Geno Smith (right shoulder).


RB Bilal Powell (illness) among Jets' inactives
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:48 pm ET) The Jets declared running back Bilal Powell (illness), quarterback Matt Simms, offensive tackle Dakota Dozier, receiver Walt Powell, defensive back Josh Thomas, center Wesley Johnson and linebacker IK Enemkpali inactive for the game against the Bills in Detroit. Bilal Powell's absence means the Jets have three running backs active: Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson and John Conner.

Bills announce Week 12 inactives
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:40 pm ET) The Bills declared fullback Frank Summers (neck), tight end MarQueis Gray, linebacker Randell Johnson, offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, wideout Marquise Goodwin (ankle) and defensive ends Jarius Wynn (knee) and Bryan Johnson inactive for Monday's game against the Jets.

Bills RB Fred Jackson active for game against Jets
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:33 pm ET) Bills running back Fred Jackson, who was questionable with a groin injury, is active for the game against the Jets in Detroit. Jackson sat out Week 11 and figures to share backfield duties Monday night with Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon.

Lions RB Reggie Bush listed as limited
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:27 pm ET) Lions running back Reggie Bush, who's missed four of the past six games with an ankle injury, would have been limited had the team practiced Monday. Bush's status remains up in the air for Thursday's game against the Bears.

Chiefs S Eric Berry placed on NFI list with possible lymphoma
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5:14 pm ET) Chiefs safety Eric Berry has been placed in the non-football injury list with a mass on the right side of his chest, team trainer Rick Burkholder told reporters on Monday. Burkholder told reporters Berry did not experience discomfort until the Oakland game on Thursday.

The team believes what Berry has right now is lymphoma. He is expected to go to Emory University hospital for further evaluation. According to coach Andy Reid, Berry addressed his teammates before leaving the team.

"Right now, he needs to be a beast. He'll attack this," coach Andy Reid said.

Berry released the following statement: "I am truly thankful for all of the support from family, friends, coaches, teammates and the entire Chiefs kingdom. At first I was in shock with the diagnosis on Saturday and did not even want to miss a game, but I understand that right now I have to concentrate on a new opponent. I have great confidence in the doctors and the plan they are going to put in place for me to win this fight. I believe that I am in God’s hands and I have great peace in that. I know my coaches and teammates will hold things down here the rest of the season and until I am back running out of the tunnel at Arrowhead. I am so thankful and appreciative of being a part of this franchise and playing in front of the best fans in the NFL. I will be back!"


 
 
 
Rankings