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The Colts were one of the, if not the, most disappointing teams last year. They had everything going for them. A sure-fire superstar QB in Andrew Luck, who for some reason still uses a flip phone, star receiver T.Y. Hilton, plus they added two impact players in Frank Gore and Andre Johnson. Yet, there they were in week one of the NFL season struggling on defence, while their high-flying offence was getting throttled by the Buffalo Bills. This game is perhaps the best microcosm of the Colts entire season as it highlighted what was wrong with them. Luck battled injuries, which, in turn, impacted Hilton, while Johnson and Gore showed their age, and the defence, aside from Vontae Davis, couldn’t stop a nose bleed.
So whats changed this year? Well, for starters, Luck is healthy again. When Luck is on the field he is one of the top-five QB’s in the league. He is a great passer who can make all the throws. He is big, strong, and fast, people forget he ran almost as fast as Cam Newton at the combine. The Stanford Cardinal alum’s only real weakness is his offensive line as Indy’s o-line is atrocious. They have spent a lot of draft picks over the past few years trying to address this problem but none have solved the issue. Luck is usually a pretty durable guy, and if he manages to play in every game he will put up some monster stats making him worthy of his lofty fantasy ranking. Luck will be picked early by someone, probably the third QB taken behind Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers.
The reason why Luck is as successful as he is is because he has had plenty of weapons to throw the ball to during his young career. Hilton is once again the cream of the crop at the wide out position in Indy. He is a smaller receiver, but that has not stopped him from being a big play guy for the Colts offence even last year with Luck banged up. With a healthy Luck look for T.Y. to have a bigger year while being selected around the fourth or fifth round. The Colts also have a pair of young receivers to look out for. The first, and really one of the lone bright spots from last years team, is Donte Moncrief. Moncrief is coming off a surprise second season in the league where he posted 733 yards and six touchdowns. As a result of this success, the third-year pro is seen as potential breakout candidate, going somewhere in rounds six to eight, and I for one, agree with this label. I like Moncrief. He has size, speed and the ability to be a starting receiver in the NFL, which he was basically after the Johnson signing proved to be a poor fit. The third receiver to look at is Phillip Dorsett. While he only played in 11 games last year, making just 18 catches, Dorsett is a burner. He is lightning quick and with Luck back (starting to notice a trend here) should eclipse those numbers this season. He is worth a late pick due to his upside.
Running back is a bit of a trickier situation for the Colts. Where as they are deep at receiver we do not really know what the Colts have in the backfield. Their starter, for now, is still Frank Gore, and that alone will warrant Gore being picked in the first five rounds. The old horse is slowing down though and starting to show signs of his age coming off his worst statistical season (967 yards, six touchdowns) since 2011 where he missed five games. Basically Gore is a buyer beware player. He needs to be drafted due to his status as a starting back, and if you are a “zero-RB” theorist, Gore would be an excellent option for you. Should he falter the Colts have a who’s who in mediocre backs. Robert Turbin, Jordan Todman, and the recently signed Stevan Ridley should all not be on anyones fantasy team. Josh Ferguson, the rookie out of Illinois is an interesting option though, as he has drawn praise from Colts owner Jim Irsay and head coach Chuck Pagano. Ferguson could be worth a flier in later rounds just in case Gore goes down with injury.
Tight end for the Colts has also seen a bit of a shake up as Luck’s best friend Coby Fleener was allowed to take his talents to New Orleans this summer leaving Dwayne Allen as the Colts clear cut starter. Allen only caught 16 passes in 13 games last year but that was as Fleener’s back up. He should have a much better year this year as the starter and could post pretty decent numbers (think back to his 2012 rookie season). If you are waiting until the end of your draft to pick a tight end, Allen could be the guy for you. Just hope he stays healthy.
Adam Vinatieri is still the Colts kicker. He is still good at kicking footballs. He would be a great kicker to get.
QB Andrew Luck; WR T.Y. Hilton; WR Donte Moncrief; WR Phillip Dorsett; RB Frank Gore; RB Josh Ferguson; TE Dwayne Allen; K Adam Vinatieri