As we anticipate the start of the 2017 NFL season, the DFF Degenerates Roundtable (@DFF_Degenerates) is tearing down every team in the NFL – #32teams32days. We’re going round-trip to tackle the entire country – AFC East to West, then NFC West to East. We didn’t have to do it, but we did.
Buckle up! It’s going to be a bumpy ride. We’re traveling to another dimension between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge… that’s the signpost up ahead – our next stop – the RED ZONE.
Continuing our series, we visit the
No question this team can have a great passing game, but with Luck still not 100%, can you really count on Grandpa Gore, Robert Turbin, and rookie Marlon Mack?
@DynoEconomist: Gore would be the first 34-year-old running back to have a big season. He has proven capable of doing what other guys his age cannot, but Indy should prepare for him to either be injured or ineffective as the season goes on. Robert Turbin is a backup who should stay a backup. I hope Marlon Mack gets a shot late in the season. Turbin will likely get the first look if Gore goes down, but Mack has the higher upside. Keep an eye on UDFA rookie Dalton Crossan if he can steal the 4th spot on the depth chart from Josh Ferguson.
@DiBari22: In recent years, I haven’t been a big Frank Gore supporter, but for whatever reason, this year I’m all aboard. This of course ensures that he’ll be awful and injured this year as I am jinxed. Until he finally ages out and becomes unproductive, there’s no reason to move off of him, especially in re-draft leagues. He’s actually a guy I’ve been targeting where I can get him in redraft. I’m not as high on Mack as others, but I see a possible opportunity here should Gore finally regress. I was all over Josh Ferguson last year, and in hindsight, that looks like a terrible decision.
@ChristipherBean: Frank Gore is a miracle. He’s clearly at the age cliff, but keeps catching hold of a ledge on the way down. Eventually, he will go though. With Marlon Mack in the fold, that might be sooner rather than later. Mack isn’t one of my top prospects, but he’s solid. He has good market share numbers, was active as a receiver, “big enough” that NFL coaches won’t just pigeonhole him as a 3rd down RB. He has athleticism where it counts.
TY Hilton is the nominal “Number One” Wide Receiver. How do the rest of the pass catchers line up? Is anyone a threat?
@ChristipherBean: TY Hilton hasn’t had a threat to his Market Share since he was drafted. He has had a consistent target share since the moment he became a starter. Colts have VERY predictable target shares. Doyle will continue to have Fleener’s old share and Eric Swoope should jump right into Dwayne Allen’s old target share.
I hope we don’t have many Donte Moncrief believers in-house still, but he’s in for an even rougher year. Outside of an absurd TD% – that will normalize this year – he easily had the worst year of his career. Without those TDs, this year he’s probably getting benched.
If Moncrief had matched his previous career high of 6.1% TD Rate – higher than the 5% the data suggests is likely for 2017 – he would have 3-TDs, which would have given him a pathetic 1.46 FP/T, or WR50 if he played all 16 games. Phillip Dorsett improved last year and I think he could take a few of those targets from Moncrief, and Kamar Aiken is at least serviceable.
@DynoEconomist: TY is a stud, but he will suffer if Luck misses time. This might be the last chance for both Moncrief and Dorsett. If they do not stand out the Colts will likely look for a new guy to take over the number two role next year. Moncrief has upside because of Luck, but his dynasty price makes him not worth owning. I would rather take a cheap shot on Dorsett or Kamar Aiken. As Bean said, Doyle and Swope should take over the target shares that Fleener and Allen used to have, respectively.
The Colts top two WRs get most of the attention; are there other players in this passing game that interest you for fantasy?
@DiBari22: One of the most under the radar signings of this off-season was Kamar Aiken. Two years ago, he proved he could be a legit NFL #1 wide receiver with the Ravens, and now he’s got Andrew Luck under center. While he’s not going to take Hilton’s job, he certainly can take Donte Moncrief’s job when he inevitably gets injured again. Aiken could be one of the league’s best #2s if Luck is healthy.
@DFF_JamesH: I want to throw Chester Rogers name out there as a deep sleeper. He led the league in last year’s preseason shenanigans. I get that it’s only preseason but it should count for something right? A couple of injuries happen in that wide receiver core and he could hold a bit of value in deeper leagues.
@DFF_Walk: Andrew Luck is a bonafide elite NFL and Dynasty quarterback. The shoulder injury, and the resultant rehab process, is slightly concerning but Cam is coming off an offseason shoulder surgery himself and it’s not getting half the buzz. This season could be problematic in redraft because the active PUP is a possibility but he’s a lock top-5 QB for the next 8-10 years and that’s Dynasty gold. Luck loves him some TY except when it comes to touchdowns because they all go to the tight end position. I would not be surprised if Jack Doyle were to lead the NFL in TE touchdowns in 2017. (keep an eye on Erik Swoope in your Dynasty leagues because Luck has supported multiple TEs in the past.)
@DiBari22: I’ll piggyback on what Walker said, and I also think that Jack Doyle can put up a TE1 caliber season. I’m basing this entirely on the presence of offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. Chudzinski is the tight-end whisperer, and although that sounds like an amazing title for an adult film, it’s entirely true. Over the last 13 years that Chudzinski has been coaching in the NFL he’s produced six top-5 tight ends for fantasy. And only three times has a tight end in his system finished outside of the top-15. With or without Luck, Doyle looks to be a lock for a top-12 finish.
@DFF_Madman: Aside from Hilton, no other WRs interest me. But I am a Doyle fan. I’ve tried to add him to any TE-needy teams since last season. He’s a well-rounded TE and going to get play in an offense with Luck and Chud. I expect him to be one of the top-3 pass-catchers in Indy this year and we’ll get a TE1 season from him.
@DynoEconomist: I happen to think Kamar Aiken is very average. The only reason he put up numbers that one year in Baltimore was that there was nobody else there. However, Moncrief and Dorsett haven’t proven a thing so the opportunity to put up decent stats might be there again. At his price, there is no reason not to take a chance. Doyle was underrated for a long time last season, but now people are finally accepting him as a high-end TE2. Swoope has good TD upside if you are struggling at the position.
IDP and IPA Minute
@DFF_Madman: While I drink a delicious IPA, JT Maynard is going to talk about IDP.
@FatAdamSchefter: I’ll say it only here now in this article and nowhere else… Watch out for middle linebacker Antonio Morrison. It has been forever and a day since the Colts have had a player to consistently show up on the IDP stat sheet. Sean Spence is a joke in my IDP world and Edwin Jackson is still green with potential. Mr. Morrison has been there long enough to show he can run that defense.
Andrew Luck (Back in the Saddle Again?)
@DiBari22: I’ve been worried about Andrew Luck all off season and those worries were confirmed as he is yet to have any official timetable for his return. I’m expecting a late start to the year for the signal caller and a slow start once he gets in there. I think this is one of the worst teams in the AFC and after they (and Luck) disappoint all year and the team fires head coach Chuck Pagano, it’ll be a prime “buy low” window on Andrew Luck as Jon Gruden comes out of the booth for a chance to coach one of the most talented QBs in the league in 2018.
@DFF_Madman: Without their star quarterback, the Colts are luckless bastards.
Among the best QBs in the NFL, the lingering injury prevents the offense from growing, and it only goes as far as Luck can take it. It will be a long season in Indy. The coming off-season offers the Colts a chance to reload the talent on this team, so Luck can win with it. Saddle up that horsey, Indy.
Welp, talking about this team is like beating a dead horse. Tomorrow, we’re on to Jacksonville – home of “Garbage Time Blake” and a wide assortment of other things you’d never care to see.
Thank you for reading. We hope this helps you in your quest to find the Holy Grail of dynasty football.
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Previous articles in this series are available here.