2012 Team Outlook: Indianapolis

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2012 Team Outlook: Indianapolis

A fantasy football preview of the Colts this year. Profiled players include Andrew Luck, Drew Stanton, Donald Brown, Vick Ballard, and Deji Karim.

The Indianapolis Colts will enter the season in an unfamiliar position, without long time quarterback Peyton Manning in charge of the offense. Rookie Andrew Luck will struggle, but should be near the top of draft lists in rookie drafts. The Colts' running game will be led by the unspectacular duo of Donald Brown and Delone Carter. Bringing back Reggie Wayne will help Andrew Luck and the Colts offense, while Austin Collie will be a reliable option in the slot for Luck. Rookies Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen will compete for playing time at tight end, and should grow into a nice duo for the future.

Rookie Andrew Luck will be thrown into the Colts' starting lineup from day one. The number one pick in the NFL draft has all the tools to be a top flight starter in the NFL, but will go through some growing pains in his rookie season. Rookies are often drafted too early in fantasy leagues, so make sure you do not reach for Luck as anything more than a middle of the pack fantasy backup. If you play in a dynasty league that holds a rookie draft, Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Trent Richardson should be the first three rookies off the board. Luck is a great bet for the future, but do not overvalue him in fantasy redraft leagues this season.

Drew Stanton will likely win the backup quarterback job for the Indianapolis Colts this season. The former Michigan State quarterback is an average backup, and with the weapons the Colts have on offense, he would not be worthy of a pickup in the event of an injury to Andrew Luck. Stanton should not be on the fantasy radar under any circumstances.

Donald Brown will probably enter the 2012 season in a platoon with Delone Carter in the Colts backfield. The former Connecticut Huskie played a major role in the Colts backfield last season, but was not able to stand out as a future every down running back. Brown had a couple good games, but also mixed in very average games. Delone Carter will cut into Brown's production, and if he does not get off to a good start, he could be moved into a backup role before long.

Rookie Vick Ballard could be in the mix in the Colts backfield if Donald Brown or Delone Carter struggle to start the season. Brown and Carter have not been overly impressive when given the chance to play, so it is possible that Ballard will get an opportunity to see some action as early as this season. Despite his possible involvement in the Colts offense, Ballard should not be on fantasy radars at the moment.

Deji Karim will probably start the season as the Colts' number three or four running back, after being claimed off waivers from the Jaguars. Karim has a career rushing average of under three yards per carry, so even if he were to be forced into the lineup, he would not be a good fantasy option. Karim should not be on fantasy radars right now.

Delone Carter is likely to be in the mix for a platoon role in the Colts backfield this season. With no clear cut lead back on the roster, the Colts will go with the hot hand on a week to week basis. Carter and Donald Brown will be the main two running backs in the Colts offense, but this is probably a situation that fantasy owners should avoid. If you are looking to take a flier on a Colts running back based on upside, Carter may be the better bet.