The last-minute retirement of Andrew Luck threw the Colts' 2019 season into disarray, but they pivoted about as well as you could hope this offseason with the addition of Philip Rivers. Rivers is closer to his final full-body heave down the field than his first, but he should help revive the Fantasy career of T.Y. Hilton. What's trickier is figuring out what the Colts are going to do with their running backs.
Record: 7-9 (17)
PPG: 22.6 (17)
YPG: 327.4 (25)
Pass YPG: 194.3 (30)
Rush YPG: 133.1 (7)
PAPG: 32.1 (24)
RAPG: 29.4 (5)
Relevant Fantasy players
Number to know: 10.5
T.Y Hilton's average depth of target (aDOT) was a career low in 2019. From 2014 through 2017, Hilton's aDOT ranged from 12.2 to 14.0. Some of that could have had to do with Jacoby Brissett, but Hilton's second lowest mark (11.2) came in 2018. Hilton has only topped 82 receptions once in his career and he's never scored more than seven touchdowns. If he's not consistently earning opportunities down the field, there's really no path to him being a top-15 receiver.
2. (34) Michael Pittman Jr., WR
2. (41) Jonathan Taylor, RB
3. (85) Julian Blackmon, S
4. (122) Jacob Eason, QB
5. (149) Danny Pinter, G
6. (193) Robert Windsor, DT
6. (211) Isaiah Rodgers, CB
6. (212) Dezmon Patmon, WR
6. (213) Jordan Glasgow, LB
TE Eric Ebron, CB Pierre Desir
49 running back rush attempts, 5 running back targets, 55 wide receiver targets, 58 tight end targets
Rankings and Projections
| ||Heath Cummings' projections|
|QB||Philip Rivers||4,205 YD, 27 TD, 15 INT|
|RB||Jonathan Taylor||978 YD, 6 TD; 12 REC, 82 YD, 1 TD|
|RB||Marlon Mack||688 YD, 6 TD; 4 REC, 34 YD, 0 TD|
|RB||Nyheim Hines||165 YD, 2 TD; 59 REC, 430 YD, 3 TD|
|WR||T.Y. Hilton||129 TAR, 81 REC, 1,162 YD, 6 TD|
|WR||Michael Pittman||73 TAR, 44 REC, 612 YD, 5 TD|
|WR||Zach Pascal||62 TAR, 37 REC, 500 YD, 3 TD|
|TE||Jack Doyle||84 TAR, 55 REC, 569 YD, 5 TD|
Will Jonathan Taylor lead the backfield in carries in 2020?
"Marlon Mack is on the final year of his rookie contract, and the Colts selected potential future workhorse Jonathan Taylor in the second round of the draft. Taylor blew up the combine with a 4.39 40-yard dash at 226 pounds, and he averaged more than 2,000 yards rushing across three seasons at Wisconsin. Nyheim Hines figures to maintain his pass-catching role, but Taylor can still have big rookie season behind the Colts plus offensive line if he can overtake Mack for early-down work." - Ben Gretch
One sleeper, one breakout and one bust
Jack Doyle hasn't posted a top-10 season since 2017, but with Eric Ebron gone he should have a great opportunity. In 2019, the Colts' 29% tight end target rate was the fourth-highest in the league, and they've averaged 154 targets per year to the position in two seasons under Frank Reich. Rivers has a long history of targeting the position and Doyle should be way ahead of Burton and Mo-Alie Cox in the pecking order. Doyle is available in the double-digit rounds in every draft.
As Austin Ekeler will tell you, there's more than enough room for a pass-catching back in an offense with Rivers playing quarterback. Hines has 70-catch upside in 2020 and should set career highs in total yards and touchdowns as well. Expect more volume and better efficiency as Hines produces solid flex numbers at worst in PPR.
The upside isn't as high as what we saw from Ekeler last year, but it is well inside the top 20 in PPR.
Yes, Taylor should be the breakout pick. Unfortunately his ADP makes him a much more likely bust candidate. He is being drafted in third round ahead of backs like Le'Veon Bell, Chris Carson, and James Conner. While Taylor may be more talented than those veterans, he's unlikely to earn even 60% of their touches.
Taylor is an incredible talent who could one day be a top-five back in this league. But he's inexperienced as a pass catcher and it was a bit of an adventure when he was asked to handle pass blocking in college. He's going to share early down work with Mack and he has virtually no chance to take on a large share of the running back targets early in the year. Taylor will start the year as a 10-to-12 touch TRAP back and unless he breaks a few long runs, he'll be cheaper in October than he is in August. Pass on him on Draft Day and wait a month into the season to start making offers.
AFC East: Bills | Jets | Patriots | Dolphins
NFC East: Giants | Cowboys | Eagles | Redskins
AFC South: Colts | Texans | Jaguars | Titans
NFC South: Panthers | Bucs | Falcons | Saints
AFC North: Ravens | Steelers | Browns | Bengals
NFC North: Packers | Vikings | Bears | Lions
AFC West: Chiefs | Broncos | Raiders | Chargers
NFC West: Seahawks | 49ers | Rams | Cardinals
Which players are poised for breakouts, which sleepers do you need to jump on, and which busts should you avoid at all costs in your Fantasy football league? Visit SportsLine now to get early rankings, plus see which WR is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.