Daily Dr. Roto — August 1, 2018
Indianapolis Colts Team Preview
Outlook: Frank Reich is the new head coach in Indianapolis, and he brings with him the swagger of winning a Super Bowl last year with the Philadelphia Eagles. Look for the Colts offense to be even more dynamic and creative as Reich figures out ways to maximize the abilities of his skill players. It’s a shame that he can’t do that on the defensive front, as the Colts are still very soft on the defensive line and will struggle to stop opposing offenses.
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QB: This year’s outlook for the Colts certainly looks much brighter now that Andrew Luck is expected to begin the year as the starter. You could make the argument that Luck (or Aaron Rodgers) might be the most valuable players in the league to their respective teams. Without Luck, the Colts were mired in the bottom of the AFC. With Luck, they have an outside shot at the playoffs if they can figure out their defensive woes. Right now, I am prepared to take Luck as my 10th or 11th QB off the board, but I will move him up much higher if I see him looking good in training camp. The Colts have a ton of talent surrounding him that he might end up being a top-five QB by season’s end.
RB: I can vividly remember shouting at my television last year wondering why the Colts refused to give Marlon Mack the football. Mack was often the fastest player on the field, but Chuck Pagano seemed to loathe to give him a chance to make a big play. With Reich at the helm, Mack has been running with the first team offense in training camp and I expect that he will get the lion’s share of the carries this season. That said, Reich had a ton of success in Philadelphia last season rotating carries amongst a multitude of running backs. With that in mind, the Colts drafted Nyheim Hines from NC State in the 4th Round in this year’s draft to give the Colts a Darren Sproles-type player. Hines will get about 3-5 carries a game as well as 4-6 receptions out of the backfield. Moreover, he is a monster return man, so if your league gives extra points for return yards, he will make a great late round pick. A true sleeper in the backfield is Jordan Wilkins out of Ole Miss. Wilkins was a late-round pick in this year’s draft, but he runs hard and is tough to bring down. There are questions about his ability to block and catch, but he is such a big body that he should slot in as the short yardage back regardless.
WR: The only receiver worth drafting on the Colts is TY Hilton. Hilton is one of the more elusive receivers in the game, always finding a way to catch the ball in traffic to make a significant gain. Hilton had an off year in 2017, but that can be attributed to the fact that Jacoby Brissett was throwing to him and not Andrew Luck. In years past, Hilton was a second-round Fantasy pick, and I think with Luck’s healthy return, Hilton will be worthy of being selected that early once again. The Colts brought in Ryan Grant from the Redskins in free agency this off-season. Grant is not flashy, but he is reliable and will most likely be the starter opposite Hilton. The Colts also drafted Daurice Fountain from Northern Iowa and Deon Cain out of Clemson in this year’s NFL Draft. Fountain is a relative unknown, but he showed some excellent skills in senior all-star games, and Cain is an explosive speedster who has excellent separation speed. It is possible that both of these receivers supplant Grant in the Colts’ offense by mid-season.
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TE: Jack Doyle had 108 targets and 80 receptions last season, which showed how far he has come in the league. The Colts lack wide receiver depth, so expect them to go with a lot of two tight end sets this season which means that Doyle will still be a huge contributor on offense. The Colts also brought in the underachieving Eric Ebron from Detroit in free agency. Frank Reich had a lot of success in Philadelphia using both Zach Ertz and Trey Burton, so it seems logical that Doyle and Ebron should be used similarly in Indianapolis.
K: Adam Vinatieri is ageless. At 44 years old, he still booms 50+ kicks with ease. With Andrew Luck back, Vinatieri should have even more attempts, and he is worthy of consideration as a Fantasy starter.
D: The Colts are still atrocious on defense, but IDP owners should keep their eyes on LB Darius Leonard. I expect that he will be the linchpin of the defense for the next decade and could lead the team in tackles as early as this season.
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