Head coach- Frank Reich
Offensive coaching philosophy- balanced, up tempo at times, quick short passes
What to expect- Frank Reich enters his 2nd year as the Colts head coach. He wants his star QB to get the ball out quick, into the hands of his playmakers, to limit the hits his star QB absorbs. Reich came from Philadelphia so expect both offenses to be similar.
Quarterback- Andrew Luck rose from the ashes last year. While many fantasy analysts had written him off for dead, (cough cough not yours truly- I had him tied for #1 QB on rankings) he came roaring back proving the naysayers wrong and reclaiming his rightful place as one of the elite QBs in the game. As the year went on Luck’s arm got stronger and the Colts got more aggressive with the play calls- sometime almost too aggressive, needlessly putting Luck in harms way on trick plays several times. Fortunately Luck escaped unscathed. This year the shackles are completely off. The conservative play calls from early in the year to ease his arm are no longer a concern. He also has the best weapons he’s ever had. The only thing which could limit his production is an improved defense and a coach who wants to run the ball more. Still- this is one of the most powerful offenses in the NFL. In an era where the rules favors passing and offenses in general, few have the fantasy potential of Andrew Luck in 2019.
Running Back- Marlon Mack is the lead dog here. Despite speculation of a committee Coach Reich has insisted Marlon Mack is “the guy”. When he was healthy last year Mack put up big time numbers. He doesn’t catch a lot of passes because they pull him on 3rd downs a lot, but his rushing yards and TDs make up for that. He is one of the few 3rd rd RBs who has top 5 RB potential if things break right. However there is also some risk with Mack starting with injury concerns. A hamstring sidelined him last year. Nyheim Hines is the 3rd down back. He had his ups and downs last year. Another year in this offense should help. Keep an eye on free agent Jay Ajayi. The Colts brought him in for a look in May. Ajayi suffered a knee injury, last year, but has been cleared by doctors to play. He’s very familiar with this offense having played for Philadelphia where Reich was the offensive coordinator two years ago. If Mack gets injured or if they want a power RB for short yardage gal line carries Ajayi could get signed. One thing is for certain- there are a lot of touchdowns in play here. Whoever the Colts use in that role will be extremely valuable for fantasy owners.
Wide Receiver/Tight Ends- This is the best unit Andrew Luck has ever had. It all starts with T.Y. Hilton. Hilton is the #1 WR on this team. His speed is dangerous and his route running underrated. Only his size caps his potential. Hilton played hurt much of last year proving his toughness to the team. Now healthy- he should do alot better. The Colts signed free agent Devin Funchess to be the #2. Funchess is a hybrid - a TE playing WR causing mismatches. He doesn’t have speed, but has size to work the middle of the field and the red zone. Having played for a run dominant offense in Carolina he has sleeper potential, but the reports were mixed about him in the Spring with drops. The most exciting player is rookie Parris Campbell from Ohio State. Scouts said he ran a limited route tree in college. The Buckeyes used him in the slot and on gadget plays. Campbell has size and killer speed. He could be a force down the stretch as his game and knowledge of the playbook improve. He has the ability to take any catch the distance- he’s that dangerous, Expect him to be the slot WR. He could also be used on screens and runs. Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle are the TEs. Ebron is going much higher this year than years past. It’s hard to see him repeating his career year, Funchess should cut into his targets. Doyle is coming off an injury riddled season. He still has to gain weight to get ready to play. When he comes back he also should cut into Ebron’s targets.
Offensive Line Very Good Rookie Quenton Nelson was everything the Colts could have asked for. 2nd round pick Braden Smith also helped turn a weakness into a strength. Center Ryan Kelly, tackle Anthony Castonzo, and guard Mark Glowinski round out a very good unit. Hey with a guy named Mark you can’t go wrong haha!
Schedule- Excellent They play half of their games in the perfectly controlled RCA dome. Miami, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Kansas City- there are a lot of average defenses and potential shootouts
Bye- Week 6
Playoff Schedule- weeks 14-17 Good at Tampa Bay, at New Orleans, Carolina, at Jacksonville It’s decent. This offense can score on anyone. Weather doesn’t look like an issue. Only Jacksonville could be a defensive game but that’s week 17 when many fantasy seasons are over with.
Sleeper- Parris Campbell, Jay Ajayi (Free Agent)
Undervalued- Andrew Luck, Devin Funchess
Overvalued- Eric Ebron
Bottom Line- This is one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. The team enters it’s 2nd season under Frank Reich so they should be much more familiar with the offense- well most of them. Newcomer WRs Devin Funchess and Parris Campbell only make this offense more potent. Campbell looks legit. If he improves his route running the sky is the limit with Luck’s accuracy. This improved talent combined with a 2nd year of getting stronger should only help Andrew Luck propel to another level. He has 2018 Pat Mahomes stats type of potential with this group. There are a lot of mouths to feed here suppressing some of their draft cost, but there is big time upside if you pick the right guys. That’s how you win fantasy leagues folks- get guys on powerful offenses like the Colts that the masses are undervaluing on draft day.