QB Andrew Luck (Indianapolis)
Like Robert Griffin, Andrew Luck should be a solid QB1 with upside as a rookie. I expect him to have better passing numbers than either Newton or Griffin, but he won’t match either of their rushing numbers, which is why Griffin has the advantage over Luck in fantasy, at least for this year.
Projection: 4000 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 240 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns (260 pts standard/306 pts in 6 pt TD leagues)
RB Donald Brown (Indianapolis)
With Joseph Addai gone, Donald Brown looks like the clear lead back in Indianapolis. However, the former 1st round pick has had a very inconsistent career. Both Delone Carter and Vick Ballard could challenge for his job at some point this season if he struggles. There is some upside here with Brown in an improved Indianapolis offense.
Projection: 180 carries 770 rushing yards 7 total touchdowns 20 catches 180 receiving yards (137 pts standard/157 pts PPR)
RB Vick Ballard (Indianapolis)
8/7/12: Vick Ballard, not Delone Carter, is listed as Donald Brown’s primary backup. Ballard is the only one of Indianapolis’ 3 backs drafted by the current regime and in an unclear backup, that means a lot. If Brown gets benched, which will probably happen, Ballard will become a starting running back and even until then, he’ll serve as a power compliment to Brown.
He’ll need Carter and Brown to struggle to become the lead back, but that could happen. The Colts had 3 backs go over 100 carries last year with Brown, Carter, Joseph Addai. They could have a similar thing happen this year with Brown, Carter and the rookie Ballard. There’s some sleeper value with him.
Projection: 150 carries 650 rushing yards 6 total touchdowns 18 catches 140 receiving yards (115 pts standard/133 pts PPR)
WR Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis)
8/20/12: Moving Wayne down a little bit, upon closer examination of the Colts’ receiving corps. You can read about it here.
Reggie Wayne still managed 75 catches for 960 yards and 4 touchdowns last year with Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky at quarterback, but here’s nearing that point where even Hall of Fame wide receivers fall off a cliff statistically. I’d let him be someone else’s problem.
Projection: 64 catches 870 receiving yards 6 receiving touchdowns (123 pts standard/187 pts PPR)
WR Austin Collie (Indianapolis)
8/20/12: Collie is the Colts’ receiver you want to own, even after his latest minor concussion. Read about it here.
Projection: 73 catches 930 receiving yards 6 total touchdowns (129 pts standard/202 pts PPR)
TE Coby Fleener (Indianapolis)
8/20/12: Fleener hasn’t quite been as big of a part of the offense in the Preseason as anticipated. Wide receiver Austin Collie has been Luck’s favorite target.
I like Fleener to have an immediate impact. Andrew Luck loves throwing to his tight ends and the Colts should use plenty of two-tight ends sets to get Dwayne Allen and Fleener involved, though Fleener is the better receiver and more useful player for fantasy purposes. Luck has familiarity with Fleener and should target him early and often, particularly in the red zone. As I’ve said before, this Colts receiving corps still leaves a lot to be desired and Fleener might finish the season 2nd on the team in receiving. There’s some potential for him to have a Rob Gronkowski esque rookie season.
Projection: 42 catches 670 receiving yards 6 receiving touchdowns (103 pts standard/145 pts PPR)