This one is for you Colts fans who are also fantasy football nuts (like me). I am going to be doing a weekly piece highlighting the fantasy stock of all the Colts’ starters. My apologies for not doing one for week one. Here we go.
I think we all know where I stand on Andrew Luck. I am a big fan of his and am extremely disappointed that I don’t have him on any of my fantasy teams. Luck had a good showing last week against the Raiders throwing for 178 yards, two touchdowns, and rushing for another touchdown. The Dolphins defense is considerably better than the Raiders’ defensive unit, however.
Last week, the Phins recorded three interceptions against quarterback Brandon Weeden and the Browns. Luck is no Brandon Weeden, however, and along with the Pep Hamilton “no-coast offense” should fare a little better than Weeden did last week. The scariest aspect of the Dolphins defense will come to those of you who play in a league in which sacks count against your quarterback. The Colts’ offensive line surrendered four sacks to the Raiders last week that realistically could have been six or seven if Luck hadn’t been able to show off his athletic ability. The Dolphins racked up six sacks against the Browns’ offensive line last week, a unit that is significantly more talented than that of the Colts. The Dolphins did allow Weeden to throw for 244 yards last week as well. This game could turn out to be a shootout which would fare well for our young quarterback.
Luck is Luck though and he is going to be a solid fantasy start all season. He’s got the passing ability and he has shown on multiple occasions that he also has the rushing ability. If you have him, start him. Stock Up
The Colts’ running backs are most likely going to be splitting carries the entire season. There are far better options available in fantasy football, but if you are in a deeper league you may need to look to one of the Colts’ backs for help.
It was announced Friday that Ballard suffered a season-ending ACL tear during Thursday’s practice. The injury apparently came on a freak, non-contact play. This is a tough blow for the Colts as they were hoping to continue to make strides in the implementation of the power running game. Also a tough break for a great young player. Stock Down
Ballard’s injury ups Bradshaw’s fantasy value tremendously. Bradshaw will now shoulder the load in the running game, and he has proven that, when healthy, he can deliver. The Dolphins’ defense is still a stout unit so proceed with caution but Bradshaw’s value is definitely on the rise. Stock Up
Even at his age, Reggie Wayne is still a solid fantasy option at wide receiver. He is Andrew Luck’s go-to guy, and rarely lets him down. Reggie recorded ninety-six receiving yards last week along with one touchdown. The Dolphins’ secondary may be a little stingier than the Raiders’, but that shouldn’t bother our veteran leader. Furthermore, if you are in a PPR league, Reggie is absolute gold. Luck targets him like crazy, and Reggie rakes them in. His ninety-six yards came on eight catches last week. Reggie is a must-start in fantasy almost week-in and week-out. Stock Up
DHB got the nod to start over the up-and-coming T.Y. Hilton last week which surprised a lot of people (in spite of the money the franchise expended on the former Raider). Last week, he didn’t put up great fantasy numbers by any means, but he proved that his hands are better than they used to be. Like I said before, this game could turn into a shootout. In that scenario, DHB’s top-end speed could prove to be a valuable tool for the Colts to utilize. At best, though, DHB is a low-end flex player this week. Luck hasn’t developed a rapport with him yet as he has with Wayne and Hilton. His stock could definitely rise throughout the season, though. Stock Down
Last year, Hilton proved to be one of the gems of the draft. Last week, however, he was nearly non-existent in the game plan. Luck really likes his fellow draft-mate, and we can only hope that the game plan for the rest of the season includes more of Hilton. He has the same deep threat ability as DHB, but also has the better relationship with Luck. There has to be more in the works for him this week than there was last week, which is why I am higher on Hilton than I am on DHB. Stock Up
Allen has locked in his place in the starting role at tight end. Yes, the Colts use a lot of two tight end sets, but Allen has proven to be the much more reliable option. Allen is another Colt that I am greatly disappointed not to have on any of my teams. He is going to be a great option for all fantasy players as the season moves forward. That being said, although he did haul in a twenty-yard touchdown reception, Allen did get a little banged up in last week’s win over the Raiders. He sat out Wednesday’s practice in an attempt to nurse his hip injury back to health. The MRI on the hip came back negative and Allen has said that his hip is fine. We can only hope. Keep an eye on his status for Sunday, but if it goes unchanged, I am very high on him as a starter. Stock Up
Needless to say, Fleener has been fairly disappointing in a Colts uniform thus far. He has had problems with drops as well as staying healthy. He only recorded one reception for seven yards last week against Oakland. Unlike Allen, Fleener is not a viable option at TE for fantasy owners. Look elsewhere for help. Stock Down
There were both dark and shining moments from the Colts’ defense last week against the Raiders. The unit was gashed by the mobility of quarterback Terrelle Pryor who scampered for 112 yards. The defense held Run DMC to only forty-eight yards rushing, however (he did get a goal line touchdown, though). The Dolphin’s Lamar Miller couldn’t get anything going last week against the Browns so hopefully the Colts will be able to produce similar results this week. The Colts did only allow Pryor to throw for 201 yards. Ryan Tannehill is a better passer than Pryor, however and has more weapons. The Colts’ secondary, which recorded two crucial interceptions against the Raiders, will need to ensure that Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline do not blow up for huge days. It’s honestly kind of a toss-up here. The Colts’ defense is not the worst option in fantasy, but there are definitely better options. Stock Down
Adam Vinatieri, in spite of his age, still remains a viable option at kicker in fantasy football. He has some problems with his accuracy nowadays, but he also still has the ability to drill the long attempts. Again, this could end up in a shootout which would mean a slew of extra point attempts at least. I still have faith in our kicker. Do you? Stock Up
And that does it for my Colts fantasy advice for the week. I must warn you, though, take my advice with a grain of salt for I have overthought my way out of two championships in the past two years. You’re welcome!