Evan Silva

Offseason Low Down

print article archives RSS

Colts Fantasy Preview

Thursday, July 6, 2017


Colts Offensive Profile Under Chuck Pagano

2013-2016 Pass Attempts Rank: 15th, 1st, 9th, 13th
2013-2016 Rush Attempts Rank: 23rd, 17th, 21st, 23rd
2013-2016 Play Volume Rank: 18th, 2nd, 12th, 12th
2013-2016 Yards Per Play Rank: 15th, 7th, 32nd, 14th
Unaccounted for Targets from 2016 (Rank): 60 (25th)
Unaccounted for Carries from 2016 (Rank): 10 (30th)

Projected Starting Lineup

QB: Andrew Luck
RB: Frank Gore
WR: T.Y. Hilton
WR: Donte Moncrief
WR: Phillip Dorsett
TE: Jack Doyle
LT: Anthony Castonzo
LG: Jack Mewhort
C: Ryan Kelly
RG: Joe Haeg
RT: Le’Raven Clark

Passing Game Outlook

A top-four fantasy passer in three of the last four years, Andrew Luck enters year six of his career as a perennial top-shelf QB1 with health concerns that may not be answered until deep in August. Although the kidney laceration that cut Luck’s 2015 season nine games short can be chalked up to misfortune, Luck’s 2016 concussion and post-season right (throwing) shoulder surgery are causes for at least some alarm. Luck got the shoulder taken care of all the way back in January, but he missed all spring practices and hadn’t even resumed throwing as of the first week of July. While Luck’s upside remains undeniable, it is surprising July drafters have been so aggressive to select a quarterback in the midst of a throwing-arm rehab. In MFL10 best-ball leagues, Luck is coming off the board as the QB3 behind Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. FF Calc mocks prefer Luck as the QB5 behind Rodgers, Brady, Drew Brees, and Matt Ryan. Until we get clarity on Luck’s health, I wouldn’t feel comfortable drafting him ahead of Brees or Russell Wilson. The Colts have ranked 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 2nd, and 2nd in the NFL in quarterback hits allowed in Luck’s five NFL seasons. It’s fair to wonder if that accumulation of contact will soon take its toll on him.

The thought of Luck missing any time is worrisome for T.Y. Hilton, who averaged 63.0 yards per game with just two touchdowns in Luck’s ten missed games over the past two seasons. Last year with Luck in the starting lineup 15-of-16 weeks, Hilton finished third in the NFL in receiving yards per game (90.5) with career highs in targets (155) and catches (91) and a league-high 1,448 yards. In addition to concerns about his quarterback’s health, Hilton’s bulk stats may be threatened by the healthy return of Donte Moncrief, who missed seven games in 2016. Whereas Hilton averaged 10.3 targets for 101.3 yards with a nine-touchdown pace in Moncrief’s absence, Hilton’s averages dipped to 9.2 targets, 82.1 yards, and a four-score pace when Moncrief played. While Hilton should still offer a safe floor if Luck’s rehab goes as planned, I’ve found it difficult to embrace Hilton at his early- to mid-second-round ADP (overall WR8).

Donte Moncrief was 2016’s biggest fantasy breakout candidate, yet saved face only because he scored a touchdown in 7-of-9 games. Moncrief never reached 65 yards – he’s done so once over his last 19 games – and ranked a career-worst 83rd among 96 qualified receivers in PFF’s yards-per-route-run metric. Moncrief did battle toe, shoulder, and hamstring problems, but it was a disappointing season considering he was drafted as early as the third round in PPR leagues. Moncrief now enters his contract year as an enigma with obvious touchdown-scoring skills. Over the past 20 years, only 13 NFL receivers have scored more TDs than Moncrief (16) before the age of 24. While it’s entirely possible Moncrief simply isn’t very good, it’s also conceivable this is a still-developing prospect born just three months before hyped incoming rookie Kenny Golladay who lost his 2016 effectiveness entirely to injuries. As Moncrief has maintained WR32 (MFL10s) and WR33 (FF Calc) ADPs, public optimism hasn’t subsided.

Competitors for sub-package receiving snaps include ex-Raven Kamar Aiken, Ryan Grigson first-round mistake Phillip Dorsett, and basketball player-turned-tight end Erik Swoope. 28-year-old Aiken led the 2015 Ravens in receiving, then was demoted to a lightly-used fourth receiver behind Steve Smith Sr., Mike Wallace, and Breshad Perriman last year. Dorsett has been atrociously ineffective through two NFL seasons. The most intriguing prospect is Swoope, a multi-year developmental project who averaged 19.8 yards on 15 receptions last year. Listed at 6-foot-5, 258 on the Colts’ website, Swoope was a defensive stopper on the Miami Hurricanes’ basketball team from 2010-2014. With Coby Fleener long gone and Dwayne Allen off to Foxboro, Swoope has a chance at a permanent role in two-tight end sets. Last year’s Colts ran “12 personnel” two-tight end formations on a league-high 31% of their offensive snaps.

Whilst Moncrief and since-departed Allen battled ineffectiveness and injuries, Jack Doyle emerged as Luck’s second most-trusted pass option by leading all NFL tight ends in catch rate (78.7%) and finishing fifth at the position in red-zone receptions (9). Also seen internally as a capable run-pass blocker by the Colts, Doyle was immediately identified by new GM Chris Ballard as a player to keep, culminating in a three-year, $18.9 million extension. Although Doyle is a sub-par athlete with 4.91 speed at 6-foot-5, 254, he caught 162 passes in four years at Western Kentucky and has always been a capable possession/red-zone tight end. Assuming Luck returns at full form, Doyle is one of my favorite late-round tight ends based on his touchdown upside. He’s priced fairly at ADPs of TE12 (FF Calculator) and TE13 (MFL10s).

Running Game Outlook

Frank Gore continued to lose steam in his age-33 season, falling under 4.0 yards per carry for the second straight year and even hitting new lows as a pass protector – always a career strength -- finishing 60th of 62 qualified running backs in PFF’s pass-blocking efficiency. Gore lost increased snaps to Robert Turbin in the second half of the season and was outperformed by Turbin on scoring-position opportunities, converting just 2-of-10 carries inside the five-yard line into touchdowns while Turbin scored on 5-of-10 attempts inside the five. Gore has been a top-20 PPR running back every year since 2005, so predicting his breakdown has been an unfruitful endeavor to say the least. Now at age 34, the end is nearing. With minimal upside in a best-case scenario and an ineffective committee member as his floor, Gore is an uninspired fantasy pick, even at his seemingly bargain-cost RB34 (FF Calc) and RB35 (MFL10s) ADPs.

The Colts re-signed Robert Turbin to a two-year, $2.7 million contract after he earned the trust of the coaching staff, spelling Gore on passing downs and converting short-yardage and goal-line chances at an efficient clip. While far from a sexy fantasy consideration as a sixth-year journeyman on his fourth NFL team, Turbin has been talked up by beat writers and GM Chris Ballard as a candidate for an increased 2017 role. One obstacle is fourth-round rookie Marlon Mack, who posted a top-five SPARQ score in this year’s running back class after averaging 6.69 yards per carry over his final two seasons at USF. Explosive and versatile but exceptionally raw bordering on undisciplined, Mack earned a college reputation for too often bouncing runs outside and lost touches to non-NFL prospect “D’Ernest Johnson” in 2016. While Mack is a far more exciting prospect, Turbin will enter camp as the heavy favorite for No. 2 back duties.

2017 Vegas Win Total

The Colts’ 2017 Win Total is 9.0 games with a lean toward the over (-125). Working in Indy’s favor is a schedule Rotoworld SOS analyst Warren Sharp identified as the NFL’s third easiest, while Ballard poured enough resources into the defense to give it a shot at mediocrity. Indianapolis’ 2016 Pythagorean Win Expectation (8.5-8.6) also suggests they underachieved slightly to finish 8-8. While most signs points to the Colts as a smart-money over team, lingering concerns about Luck’s throwing shoulder, the right side of the offensive line, and the defense have me leaning toward the under on Indy pulling out nine wins.



Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Waivers: Perine a must-add

    Waivers: Perine a must-add
  •  
    Dose: Wilson breaks loose

    Dose: Wilson breaks loose
  •  
    Dose: Allen explodes vs. Bills

    Dose: Allen explodes vs. Bills
  •  
    Dose: Brown lights up Titans

    Dose: Brown lights up Titans
  •  
    Silva: Week 11 Matchups

    Silva: Week 11 Matchups
  •  
    Dose: Bills to Start Peterman

    Dose: Bills to Start Peterman
  •  
    Matchups: Burkhead vs. Raiders

    Matchups: Burkhead vs. Raiders
  •  
    Waivers: Davis

    Waivers: Davis' Time to Shine