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Fantasy Football Primer: Colts Corner

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Can any Colts other than quarterback Andrew Luck be counted on to produce for your fantasy team this season? Let’s take a look.

QB Andrew Luck

We know he can carry the Colts. The question is: Can he carry your fantasy teams? Despite somewhat pedestrian numbers his first couple of seasons (back-to-back years with just 23 passing touchdowns), I say yes. This will be the season Luck eclipses both the 4,500 yards mark and more importantly the 30 passing touchdowns mark. He has shown nothing but growth since his second season, raising his completion percentage from 54.1 to 60.2, while cutting his interceptions in half (from 18 to nine). Expect the growth to continue and for Luck to enter the realm of both elite NFL and fantasy quarterbacks. 

RB Trent Richardson

If I may quote Daily Reporter sports editor Brian Harmon’s words from his Tuesday column: “Trent Richardson is a bust. B.U.S.T.” We hate to have to spell it out for you, but there’s just no other way to say that this guy has never run like a No. 1 fantasy running back, and he probably never will. We know the 11 touchdowns from his rookie season look impressive, but the failure to reach 1,000 yards on 267 rushing attempts is inexcusable.

Here’s the truth: A 3.6 yard per carry average didn’t cut it in Cleveland, it doesn’t cut it in Indianapolis, and it shouldn’t cut it on your fantasy team. The only cutting that should be done is by Colts GM Ryan Grigson as we waves goodbye to Richardson and the first round pick he sold to get him.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw

Assuming health, which is a big assumption with Bradshaw, my money is on him to usurp Richardson’s starting gig as the Colts starting back as soon as Week 5.  Just as Donald Brown proved he was the superior back last year, so to will Bradshaw. The 28-year-old is a smart add to your fantasy teams, as he will thrive in an offense reliant on Luck, Andrew that is. Bradshaw has caught 20 passes or more (including one 47-catch season) four times, and he has never played with a quarterback like Luck. We’ve seen before, and we’ll see it this year: Luck won’t be afraid to make short, safe check-down throws to his soft-handed veteran.  

WR T.Y. Hilton

The guy below him on this list can’t play forever. Well, probably. Modern science and all. But at some point, T.Y. Hilton will emerge as the Colts’ No. 1 weapon and Andrew Luck’s favorite target. We saw glimmers of his brilliant talent last season, as he totaled 82 catches, 1,000+ yards and five touchdowns, but he never consistently produced like a No. 1 receiver playing with a star quarterback should. That ends this season. Bet on the speedster catching somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 balls, while putting up 1,200 yards and eight scores on his way to becoming a top-flight fantasy receiver.

WR Reggie Wayne

It’s rare, but it can be done. Terrell Owens and Chris Carter are somewhat recent examples of wide receivers who produced fantasy relevant numbers in their age 35 seasons. That said, the list of players who have failed to make an impact at that age is a much, much longer list. I’m not one to bet against Wayne, but with his age, his return from a gruesome injury and his playing in one of the deepest receiving corps in the league, it’s not hard to imagine we’ve already seen the best this  Colts legend has to offer.

TE Dwayne Allen

If NFL scouts cared about fantasy football, their analysis of Allen would be this: “Better real-life player than fantasy player.” Why? Because he’s such a good blocker. And while that should help the Colts offense immensely, it does nothing for your fantasy team, unless you play in some newfangled, super-scoring league where good-blocking is rewarded with fantasy points. Odds are you don’t, and odds are Allen fails to produce like a top 10 tight end because of it. 

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