If the Colts want to keep pace in the AFC South, they'll need 2023 No. 1 draft pick Anthony Richardson to find a way to stay on the field. He suffered a concussion in Week 2, then sustained a season-ending injury to his throwing shoulder in Week 5. He's expected to be a full participant in the offseason program, and being that Richardson missed the bulk of last year, he'll need reps so he can develop chemistry with his wide receiver corps.  

Below the CBS Sports Fantasy staff will take a look into the Colts' entire team outlook including changes to the top of the depth chart that matter for Fantasy, a burning question for Fantasy Football managers that needs to be answered, a review of their draft class, strength of schedule, and individual player outlooks for all of the notable Colts players who may end up on your Fantasy rosters.

Colts 2024 lineup changes

1/1/2024Week 1 2024 (proj)
QBGardner MinshewAnthony Richardson
RBJonathan TaylorJonathan Taylor
WRMichael PittmanMichael Pittman
WRJosh DownsJosh Downs
WRAlec PierceAdonai Mitchell
TEKylen GransonJelani Woods

Burning question: Will the coaching staff help Anthony Richardson to better protect himself?

Following the Colts' 31-21 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1, Trevor Lawrence told Richardson that he needs to "protect himself." Just four weeks later, Richardson was sidelined for the remainder of his rookie season. At 6-foot-4, 244 pounds, Richardson is ultra-athletic. He's run as fast as 4.43 in the 40-yard dash, and he has an absolute rocket for a right arm. Head coach Shane Steichen initially leaned on Richardson's athleticism, but to ensure a full season, Steichen must limit designed quarterback runs. Richardson, too, must avoid leaving the pocket unnecessarily. Equipped with wide receivers who are capable of consistently winning against man coverage and running back Jonathan Taylor who is a viable checkdown option, Richardson should take considerably less punishment in 2024.  

2024 NFL Draft class

115Laiatu LatuDLUCLA
252Adonai MitchellWRTexas
379Matt GoncalvesOLPittsburgh
4117Tanor BortoliniOLWisconsin
5142Anthony GouldWROregon St.
5151Jaylon CarliesDBMissouri
5164Jaylin SimpsonSAuburn
6201Micah AbrahamCBMarshall
7234Jonah LauluDLOklahoma

Colts 2024 schedule

1Sep 8, 2024vsHouston1:00 pmCBSLucas Oil Stadium
2Sep 15, 2024@Green Bay1:00 pmFOXLambeau Field
3Sep 22, 2024vsChicago1:00 pmCBSLucas Oil Stadium
4Sep 29, 2024vsPittsburgh1:00 pmCBSLucas Oil Stadium
5Oct 6, 2024@Jacksonville1:00 pmCBSEverBank Stadium
6Oct 13, 2024@Tennessee1:00 pmCBSNissan Stadium
7Oct 20, 2024vsMiami1:00 pmFOXLucas Oil Stadium
8Oct 27, 2024@Houston1:00 pmCBSNRG Stadium
9Nov 3, 2024@Minnesota1:00 pmCBSU.S. Bank Stadium
10Nov 10, 2024vsBuffalo1:00 pmCBSLucas Oil Stadium
11Nov 17, 2024@N.Y. Jets8:20 pmNBCMetLife Stadium
12Nov 24, 2024vsDetroit1:00 pmFOXLucas Oil Stadium
13Dec 1, 2024@New England1:00 pmCBSGillette Stadium
15Dec 15, 2024@Denver4:25 pmCBSEmpower Field at Mile High
16Dec 22, 2024vsTennessee1:00 pmCBSLucas Oil Stadium
17Dec 29, 2024@N.Y. GiantsTBAMetLife Stadium
18Jan 5, 2025vsJacksonvilleTBALucas Oil Stadium

Colts 2024 player outlooks

By Dan Schneier and CBS Fantasy staff

QB Anthony Richardson

Richardson's combination of arm strength, arm talent, and rushing upside earned him a top-10 ranking across the board from our experts heading into his first NFL season. Richardson was a Fantasy superstar immediately, averaging 25.9 points per game in his two full starts. This would put him on pace to be the QB1 overall over a full season. Of course, Richardson didn't play a full season and instead suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 5. In 2024, Richardson will once again be one of the highest-upside QBs in Fantasy Football, but he will carry a boom-or-bust profile due to his injury profile. The Colts added Adonai Mitchell at WR in the draft and Richardson will get the benefit of playing with Jonathan Taylor in 2024. If he stays healthy, Richardson will be a league-winning player who you can grab in the sixth round of your one-QB leagues.

QB Joe Flacco

Flacco signed with Indianapolis this offseason, and he will be the No. 2 quarterback for the Colts behind Anthony Richardson. Flacco is only worth drafting with a late-round pick in deep Superflex and two-quarterback leagues as insurance for Richardson, but Flacco shouldn't play much if Richardson is healthy all season. That said, Richardson couldn't finish his rookie campaign with a shoulder injury, and he also missed time with a concussion in 2023. Last year, Flacco was a hero for the Browns and Fantasy managers when he came off his couch to replace Deshaun Watson (shoulder) in Week 13, and Flacco scored at least 20.2 Fantasy points in five games in a row while leading Cleveland to the playoffs, including four outings with at least 309 passing yards. If Flacco, 39, does play this season then add him off the waiver wire, but it will likely take an injury for Flacco to be Fantasy relevant this year.  

RB Jonathan Taylor

Taylor had a murky 2023 season due to injuries and a contract dispute, but he found his stride from Week 7 on when he earned the featured role in the Colts offense. Over that final stretch, Taylor averaged just fewer than 100 total yards per game (99.4) despite missing a three-game stretch from Weeks 13-15. With Anthony Richardson back at QB, Taylor should see more open run lanes with defenses accounting for the QB's rushing ability. He should also see more red zone opportunities. Taylor is a locked-in RB1 and will be selected in the back half of Round 1 in most Fantasy leagues.  

RB Trey Sermon

Sermon has been running as the Colts RB2 early in 2024 OTAs after a strong showing during his limited opportunities in 2023. Given Taylor's injury history, Sermon will make for an excellent handcuff option should he maintain the RB2 role through training camp and the preseason. Sermon is worth allocating a pick in the final rounds of your drafts.  

WR Michael Pittman

Pittman became the go-to target for Gardner Minshew in 2023. He earned 156 targets and turned them into 109 receptions and 1,110 receiving yards. His 30% target share ranked him among the league leaders. In 2024, his outlook changes with the Colts moving on from Minshew and Anthony Richardson returning to the lineup as the starter. There is more variance in Pittman's profile after the team added Adonai Mitchell at WR in the draft and because it's unknown how Richardson will distribute the football. Pittman is a third-round pick in Fantasy drafts but he has a lower floor than most WRs coming off the board in this range.  

WR Josh Downs

Downs displayed an immediate rapport with Anthony Richardson in 2023, but Richardson's time as the starter was short-lived. Downs still managed to create separation and rack up 68 receptions and 771 receiving yards with Gardner Minshew. Downs only cashed in on two touchdowns all season long and is a better fit in full-point PPR leagues. In all PPR formats, Downs is worth selecting as early as the 12th round. In standard scoring, he should come off the board a round or two later.

WR Adonai Mitchell

Mitchell enters the NFL with a lacking production profile, but he draws the praise of those who studied his game film due to his freakish combination of size, speed, and footwork. He will have the opportunity to immediately win one-on-one matchups in the red zone and should have blow-up weeks where he scores one or multiple touchdowns. Mitchell is a high-upside swing in Rounds 11-13 of your drafts due to his athletic profile and the upside of how that fits with Anthony Richardson and his plus arm strength and arm talent.

K Matt Gay

Gay finished with the fifth-most Fantasy points overall in 2023 and the fifth-most field goals made. With Anthony Richardson returning to the lineup, it could mean fewer field goal opportunities but more scoring opportunities for Gay in 2024. He is a fine target as your starting kicker and should remain in the K1 mix in 2024.

Colts DST

The Colts DST scored the 11th-most Fantasy points per game in large part due to their five combined defensive and special teams touchdowns. The defensive scheme puts the players in a position to create turnovers but there will be regression coming on the touchdown front. With the majority of the team's offseason investments spent to improve the offense around Anthony Richardson, you might want to pass on the Colts and opt for a higher-upside DST in that fringe DST1/2 range at the end of drafts.