It’s August, and you know what that means? Fantasy football is back in action. If you’re addicted like a lot of people, congratulations. If you despise it, well, be prepared to be annoyed until December.
The fantasy world is starting up again and that means one thing — preparing for your league’s draft. Being the die-hard Colts fan that you are, you’re hoping to find that middle ground between having a Colts-less roster and being blinded by your love for the Colts and either drafting too many of them or drafting them too early.
That’s where I’m hoping to help. After going over and doing numerous mock drafts, I’m going to tell you where you can draft your favorite Colts.
*Please note that the following advice is being given with belief you’re in a 10-team league with standard scoring. You will need to adjust accordingly if your league has more players or uses a different scoring system.*
Don’t ask my why, but Luck is not getting the love he deserves. Last season — in ESPN standard scoring leagues — Luck finished with the 4th-most fantasy points among quarterbacks. The only one’s to have more points than Luck were: Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Cam Newton. Despite not hitting the usual 30 touchdowns, 4,000 yards marks that most top fantasy quarterbacks have, Luck was able to run for 377 yards and four touchdowns to balance it out. On top of that, Luck didn’t take points away from himself by throwing picks — he only had nine. In most mock drafts, Luck has been going in the 6th-round. The earliest he gets drafted is the 5th round, and he has gone as late as the 8th-round. Even if Luck doesn’t improve from last season at all – which he definitively will – he would still be a steal at where he is being drafted at now. Go out and draft Mr. Andrew Luck.
Running backs just aren’t what they used to be anymore. Having two go-to fantasy backs is rare, and the main focus has now been to just get one guy you can trust every week and let the other backs give you what they can. Because of this, sometimes you have to take a chance on running backs earlier than usual just because the depth isn’t there. So even though Richardson was….ungood last year, he is still going in the 5th or 6th-round in nearly all mock drafts. The thought process here is you want to get a player that you know is going to get a lot of opportunities and touches. With Vick Ballard out and Ahmad Bradshaw not being able to stay on the field, Richardson seems like the definite bell-cow for the Colts this year. I would be comfortable taking Richardson for the simple fact that he has the world to prove. Having a chip on your shoulder can be a beautiful thing. Richardson knows that everything is downhill from here if he can’t perform well this year.
T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne:
I put these two together because the fantasy world is viewing them nearly equal right now. Both players are going right in the 6th-round, and your preference is really all that separates them. Yes, nearly everyone can agree that Hilton is the more skilled player with the most upside right now, but that doesn’t change Luck’s infatuation with Wayne. Through seven games last year — all the games that Wayne played — Wayne finished with 38 catches for 503 yards and two touchdowns. During that same period, Hilton finished with 27 catches for 412 yards and two touchdowns. It’s easy to see why people are viewing them the same. I wish I could help you go one direction, but I just can’t. In fact, the wide receiver situation in Indianapolis scares me — for fantasy purposes (it’s amazing in real life). I do believe that the team will be more pass-happy in 2014, but I’m not sure if one receiver will be the definite best when it’s all said and done. I could see Hilton, Reggie and Hakeem Nicks all being big, equal parts for Luck.
With everything I just said, Nicks’ position is pretty bleak and he is currently being drafted in rounds 10-12. The potential for something special is there, but will it actually happen? Will Luck and him gain the chemistry needed to be successful? Will Nicks actually stay healthy? That’s probably the biggest concern regarding Nicks — his health. Nicks has never played an entire 16-game season, so one shouldn’t assume that this year will be any different. However, in my opinion, if Nicks is healthy and Luck has good chemistry with him, Nicks should end up as a top-two receiver for the Colts — next to Hilton and above Wayne. There’s no reason not to use a late pick to stash Nicks on your roster. If it works out you will feel like a genius and if it doesn’t, no biggie.
The Other Guys:
The other Colts are players you can guarantee getting in one of the last couple of rounds or even off the waiver wire when the draft is over if you really want them.
Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen are both intriguing options, but the tight end position is currently a crap-shoot and it remains to be seen if one of them can stand out. Fleener ranked 13th among tight ends in ESPN standard scoring leagues last year and Allen had a touchdown in his only reception before being injured. Don’t be afraid to take Fleener or Allen, but you’ll have to wait and see which one gets the most fantasy production.
Despite being an old man who will need a walking cane in a couple of years, Adam Vinatieri still finished 5th among kickers last year in ESPN standard scoring leagues. Kickers don’t mean too much in fantasy, but taking Vinatieri is a solid choice if you want to show your Colts pride.
To wrap things up, the Colts are filled with mid-round fantasy options. You don’t want to look like an idiot by drafting every Colt you can, but with a couple of smart choices you can look like a genius and have some of your favorite players. Just remember one thing: Fantasy football is meant to be fun.