While my counterpart CPGM Drew is low on the fantasy prospects of the Indianapolis Colts offense, I am expecting a huge bounce-back this season. Last year the Colts offense was littered with injuries, inconsistencies, and bad offensive line play which led to a season to forget for Andrew Luck and company. A new approach and emphasis on improving the offensive line through the 2016 draft will go a long way in the overall success and fantasy production for Luck and his skill position players.
QB Andrew Luck
Around this time last year we were all talking about Luck potentially being the number 1 fantasy quarterback to target in your upcoming draft. The Indianapolis Colts were an ascending team with a young quarterback who just came off of a 2014 season in which he threw for 4,761 yards and 40 TDs while completing 61.7% of his passes. We assumed the rich was getting richer with the addition of two University of Miami all-time greats Frank Gore and Andre Johnson. The Gore addition was going to provide balance and stability to the offensive rushing attack to help take some pressure off of Luck. The Johnson addition was going to make the division rival Texans weaker and also add a reliable, veteran presence to the receiver unit that could help the young T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief take their game to the next level. Everything sounded good but as we all know now, Luck’s play on the field disappointed all his fantasy owners who selected him with one of their top picks in their fantasy leagues. Now it is up to future owners to decide if Luck can get it together and flash the big time potential he demonstrated in 2014 or will he struggle once again? Three things need to happen for a bounce-back: The offensive line has to protect Luck from taking a beating (2nd most QB hits in 2015, 118), Luck has to be able to stay healthy (goes hand in hand with my first point), and Luck has to do a better job of taking what the defense gives him and not try and hit a home run on every play (goes hand in hand with point 2).
WR T.Y. Hilton
T.Y. T.Y. T.Y. T.Y.!!!!!! You got to love when a little guy who stands at 5’9 180 pounds dominates on a football field playing against stronger, more physical players. What T.Y. lacks in size he makes up with speed and relentlessness, running circles around opposing defensive backs with ease and consistency. He is Luck’s guy and when all else fails Luck will target T.Y and once T.Y gets the ball in his hands he can make a house-call within a blink of an eye. Last season was a disaster for the entire Colts organization as they failed to live up to the lofty expectations given to them in the preseason. Luck only played in seven games in 2015 leaving 40-year-old backup QB Matt Hasselbeck as the starter. Although Hasselbeck didn’t totally ball up in a fetal position when given the helm, his arm strength and deteriorating talent absolutely hamstrung the receiving core. I say all that to say Hilton still managed 1,124 yards and 5 TDs in a down season for the Colts passing attack. Don’t be surprised if T.Y. ends up as a Top 5 fantasy wide receiver in 2016.
WR Donte Moncrief
The Andre Johnson acquisition in the off-season resulted in a small hiccup to Moncrief’s overall production in the 2015 season. It took about half the season for the Colts to realize that Johnson was a shell of his former-self and that Moncrief is a bonafide number 2 receiver on the roster. He faced the same obstacles as Hilton last season with Hasselbeck as the starter but this year you should expect a huge breakout campaign for Moncrief with Johnson no longer on the roster and Luck at 100%. Moncrief was targeted 7.7 times per game with Luck under center making him the number 2 option in a high octane passing offense. Once the Colts get into the red zone the bigger bodied Moncrief will be the guy eating up the targets which buoys his fantasy ceiling even higher. Moncrief’s floor is a 1,000 yard 7 TD receiver, and the scary thing is that’s his floor.
Others of note:
- RB Frank Gore
- TE Dwayne Allen