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2024 Fantasy Preview: Indianapolis Colts


Anthony Richardson looks to lead the Colts to the playoffs
How will Anthony Richardson grow in year 2?


Team Preview

Indianapolis Colts

2023-24 Record 9-8

Points Scored: 396 10th of 32

Points Allowed: 415 28th of 32


Key Additions:  QB Joe Flacco


Losses: QB Gardner Minshew, RB Zack Moss, WR Isiah McKenzie


Draft picks: (15th) Laiatu Latu DE, UCLA (52nd) Adonai Mitchell WR, Texas (79th) Matt Goncalves OT, Pitt (117th)  Tanor Bortolini G,  Wisconsin (142nd) Anthony Gould WR, Oregon State (151st) Jaylon Carlies LB, Missouri ( 164th) Jaylin Simpson CB, Auburn (201st) Micah Abraham CB, Marshall (234th) Jonah Laulu DT, Oklahoma


Summary: The Indianapolis Colts were on the verge of making the playoffs last season, falling short on 4th down in Week 18 versus the Texans.  The Colts rallied around veteran signal-caller Gardner Minshew after many viewed Indianapolis’ season as over after their 4th overall draft pick, Quarterback Anthony Richardson injured his shoulder in Week 4.  Rookie head coach Shane Steichen did a tremendous job in year one.  The Colts have a lot of momentum heading into the 2024/25 season.


Passing: The Colts have made minimal offseason moves.  With Minshew now in Las Vegas, the Colts brought in veteran quarterback Joe Flacco to continue to mentor Richardson, and have a viable backup should disaster strike. News out of Indy is all positive on the recovery process for Richardson as he’s expected to be the opening-day starter.  The weapons are there for AR-15 to have a strong year throwing the ball, although he’ll be drafted in fantasy for his rushing potential.  Should anything happen to Richardson, Joe Flacco could be a tremendous value in Superflex leagues.  


Rushing: In the backfield, the Colts look to have a two-headed monster between Jonathan Taylor and their quarterback.  Zack Moss is on to Cincinnati leaving Trey Sermon and Evan Hull to battle for the backup spot in the backfield.  Taylor has only played one full season in his career (2021) and had to battle back from back and ankle injuries for most of last season.  He then turned in a monster Week 18 performance, going for 30/188 and a touchdown. Is Taylor back, or is Father Time catching up with him?  Should Taylor miss any games, the Colts may turn to Richardson to run the ball more.  Hopefully, he has learned to avoid taking big hits and save his body.  Sermon finally showed signs of life late last season and will be an interesting handcuff heading into the season.  


Receiving: Indy added wide receiver Adonai Mitchell in the 2nd Round of the draft to a receiving corp that already has bonafide star Michael Pittman Jr., and Josh Downs.  Alec Pierce will see a decrease in targets, and the tight end room is anyone’s guess.  Kylen Granson has looked good in spurts, Will Mallory is still very raw.  Mo-Allie Cox has a minimal role as a touchdown-dependent option. Jelani Woods may never pan out as a reliable fantasy option after missing the entire year with a hamstring injury.  Rookie Anthony Gould could be an exciting player to watch, given the new NFL kickoff rules.   If your league awards points for return yardage, he’s one to keep an eye on.


Fantasy Impact: This is essentially Anthony Richardson's second rookie season; he left three of his four games early due to injury last year.  He attempted 84 passes on the year, completing 50 of them.  His continued development under the watchful eye of Steichen will be one of the biggest storylines of the year.  If Taylor produces at a high level, this may be the time to sell in Dynasty leagues if you are not competing.  The main Colts receiving weapons all stand to have a career year, should Richardson take the next step in his development and improve as a passer.   Look for Michael Pittman to outperform his ADP; someone has to catch all of Richardson’s passes.   Right?  Josh Downs and Adonai Mitchell look to be a decent WR3 but not consistent weekly starters.  


Prediction: 10-7.    Chris Ballard has done a fine job building this team through the draft in the trenches.  The Colts addressed a glaring need on defense in the draft.   Gus Bradley’s squad allowed the fifth most points in the NFL last season.   Indy used their first pick on Defensive End Laiatu Latu from UCLA, a fierce pass rusher who, combined with Kwity Paye will seek to disrupt the quarterback.  Kenny Moore, Julian Blackmon and company will be looking to slow down the suddenly tough AFC South quarterbacks.  Interestingly, the Colts do not play usual rivals Kansas City or Baltimore during the regular season, and stand to face four teams that figure to start a rookie quarterback ( Chicago, Minnesota, New England, Denver ).   This could be a sneaky good Defensive unit for fantasy purposes.   The Colts will make strides this year, but look to be at least a year away from joining the AFC elite.  



Schedule:

Week 1  vs   Houston Texans

Week 2  @   Green Bay Packers

Week 3  Vs   Chicago Bears

Week 4  Vs   Pittsburgh Steelers 

Week 5  @   Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 6  @   Tennessee Titans

Week 7   Vs   Miami Dolphins

Week 8   @   Houston Texans 

Week 9   @   Minnesota Vikings

Week 10  Vs  Buffalo Bills

Week 11  @  New York Jets

Week 12  Vs  Detroit Lions

Week 13  @  New England Patriots

Week 14  BYE 

Week 15  @ Denver Broncos

Week 16  Vs  Tennessee Titans

Week 17  @ New York Giants

Week 18  Vs Jacksonville Jaguars






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