2013 Team Outlook: Indianapolis Colts
QB Andrew Luck, IND - Solid/Safe Pick
Andrew Luck enters his second NFL season as a solid fantasy starting quarterback. Luck threw for more than 4300 yards and 23 touchdowns in his rookie season, and should continue to improve under Chuck Pagano. Luck should come off fantasy draft boards at around the number 10 quarterback, with the potential to move into the top 6 or 7 if he continues to progress. Even without Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians, Luck will be a solid starting QB in fantasy this season.
QB Matt Hasselbeck, --- - Not Draft Worthy
Matt Hasselbeck was signed by the Colts this off-season to backup Andrew Luck. Hasselbeck should not be drafted in fantasy leagues, and would have little value even if Luck were to go down with a long term injury.
RB Vick Ballard, --- - Bye Week Fill-in
Vick Ballard should start the season as the Colts' backup running back, following the signing of Ahmad Bradshaw. Ballard was a disappointment last season, eclipsing 100 yards in a game only once, and scoring just two touchdowns on the season. Ballard should not have too much trouble holding off Donald Brown and Delone Carter for the backup job, but is unlikely to start many games, barring an injury to Bradshaw. For now, fantasy owners should view Ballard as a RB 4-5.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw, --- - Quality Backup
UPDATE 9/25 - Trent Richardson's arrival in Indianapolis means much less work for Bradshaw, and disappointment for fantasy owners. Bradshaw should see close to 10 touches per game in the immediate future, but will make for no more than a bench option in fantasy leagues barring an injury to Trent.
Ahmad Bradshaw has a chance to get his career back on track as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. Bradshaw topped 1000 yards for the Giants last season, but can be seen as an injury risk, as he is still not fully recovered from foot surgery. Bradshaw is a superior talent to Vick Ballard and Donald Brown, and should see the majority of the carries for the Colts for as long as he stays healthy. Fantasy owners should view Bradshaw as a high end RB 3 or Flex option.
RB Donald Brown, --- - Deep-league Only
Donald Brown will battle Delone Carter for the number three running back spot in Indianapolis. Brown has been a disappointment since entering the league, and will face an uphill battle if he hopes to overtake Vick Ballard as the team's backup running back this season. Fantasy owners should only draft Brown as a late round running back, and should not expect any type of major production from him this season.
RB Trent Richardson, --- - Solid/Safe Pick
Update (11-4): It's fair to say that even with a bye week, the Colts still haven't solved their Trent Richardson run game woes. Ignore the fact that Indy went into passing game mode against the Texans after falling three scores behind, thus limiting the ground game chances. While the ex-Brown went 20 yards on eight carries, Donald Brown had 49 on six rushes. Starting in Week 4, Richardson's rush totals: 60, 56, 40. 37, 20. Always a threat for a TD, though he's gone four games without. Let's consider Week 10's matchup against the Rams as Richardson's personal Alamo.
Profile: Trent Richardson's trade to the Indianapolis Colts should be seen as a good thing for himself as well as his fantasy owners. Richardson should take over as the Colts' primary running back as soon as he gets fully acquainted with his teammates and the new playbook. Ahmad Bradshaw should see a limited amount of carries, but Richardson will be the team's go-to running back for the remainder of the season.