Fantasy Football Indianapolis Colts Preview: Andrew Luck A First Round Pick?
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The 2015 Colts are chock full of Fantasy goodness. We all know the National Football League is a pass happy league and Andrew Luck has plenty of options on where he wants to throw the ball. Those options will add up to boatloads of points not only on the scoreboard, but for Fantasy teams as well. Luck is widely regarded as the No. 1 QB in Fantasy Football heading into the 2015 season.
Indianapolis is built around the right arm of Luck and rightfully so. Luck has quickly become one of the best quarterbacks in the game since being picked first overall in 2012 NFL draft. This offense can put up points with the best of them and stack them up quickly. Luck has the arm strength to make any throw in the book and forces defenses to cover the entire field.
The receiving group is not only strong but also extremely deep. They are led by T.Y. Hilton, who has the speed and quickness to take any reception in for a touchdown. The organization did decide to move on from Reggie Wayne but in signing Andre Johnson they added a similar player who is hungry to prove that he is not on the downside of his career. With the Texans Johnson was constantly the focus of the defense but that won’t be the case with the Colts. Johnson could be in for a bounce-back season as he is unlikely to see double coverage as defenses will have a safety over the top of Hilton more often than not. Johnson could be a steal in the middle rounds of your draft. Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett (2015 first round pick) will also be in the mix for receptions. If injuries strike the starters they will become hot Fantasy additions.
Life doesn’t get much easier for defenses when it comes to the tight end position. The Colts have a two-headed monster in Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener. Both of these players give Luck a big target to throw to over the middle and that big target is often a quarterback’s best friend. Still though, having two good TEs isn’t Fantasy friendly as it can be difficult to decide which one to start week in and week out. An increased emphasis on the WRs could also cut into the TE production.
During the past couple of seasons the Achilles heel for Indianapolis on offense has been the running game. When the team gave up a first round pick to Cleveland to acquire Trent Richardson in 2014 some looked at the deal as the final piece of the offensive puzzle for Indianapolis. Well, it didn’t work out that way, as Richardson was what can only be described as a complete bust in Indianapolis. The Colts looked to once again solve the running game issues this season by signing veteran back Frank Gore, formerly of the 49ers. Does Gore have a lot left in the tank? Age has to be a concern as Gore is 32 years old, but he did rush for over 1,100 yards last season and that was for a team with a dysfunctional offense in San Francisco. He won’t have that problem this year. The Colts will see very few eight man fronts this season with defenses much more worried about the passing game than the running game. While Gore may no longer be a Top 10 running back, he is certainly not someone to be forgotten about. It seems unlikely that he could’ve ended up in a better situation than where he is now.
Reggie Wayne and Luck had the kind of chemistry that can be hard to replace but Johnson was acquired to more than fill the gap. There are much bigger concerns defensively. The Colts finished 19th in the NFL last season in points allowed, a ranking they have to improve upon with the addition of linebackers Trent Cole and Nate Irving, plus safety Dwight Lowery. The Colts need a consistent pass rush and above average secondary play as they will likely be playing with a lead most of the time, thus forcing opposing offenses to throw the ball more often than not against them. The biggest question on defense may be what the return of LB Robert Mathis will mean. Mathis missed all of last season due to an Achilles heel injury and PED suspension. He is now 34 years old. Will he have that same burst off the edge to get to the quarterback? If the answer is yes, than he and Cole could make life very uncomfortable in the pocket for the opposing quarterbacks and will be solid IDP options.
It was a surprise to many when the Colts drafted Dorsett in the first round. They already had Hilton, Johnson, and Moncrief. Still, this goes to show that the team believes they will be throwing the ball a ton and want to cover themselves at the receiving position. Dorsett and Moncrief will battle for targets and receptions throughout the season with the winner being Fantasy relevant, especially during bye weeks or in PPR leagues.
Daniel Herron shouldn’t be forgotten about in the run game either as the Colts are unlikely to run a 32- year-old Gore into the ground. Josh Robinson could push Herron for backup duties with continued impressive work.
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