Indianapolis Colts Team Outlook
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Indy finished with the second more passing attempts (644) in 2018 while seeing Andrew Luck have growth in his success passing the ball. The Colts ran the ball well at times, but overall they lacked consistency on the ground. This season Luck has more toys, which points to more scoring.
Over six seasons as a starting QB in the NFL, Luck has a 53-33 record. Last season he set career highs in completions (430), passing attempts (639), and completion rate (67.3). His success was helped by plus passing blocking (only 18 sacks).
Andrew now has two seasons with elite TDs (40 and 39) while passing for over 4,200 yards in four years (4,374, 4,761, 4,240, and 4,593). Luck had seven seasons with over 300 yards passing and nine games with three TDs or more setting a high floor in most weeks.
Luck’s 2019 Forecast
In 2019, he’ll have the services of an elite WR, two passing catching TEs, a WR with size, and a speed/quickness WR with big play and possession ability. When adding a pass catching RB (Nyheim Hines), Andrew has more tools for an impact season in 2019. His path points to 5,000 combined yards with another 35+ TDs.
Indy does face a pair of opponents in their division with strength on defense. Either way, Luck should be drafted as top five QB in this season. His only negative was the regression in his rushing ability (46/148/0).
Other Options: Jacoby Brissett, Phillip Walker, Chad Kelly
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In his second year in the NFL, Mack flashed upside in multiple contests. In his 12 games over ten starts, Mack gained 1,011 combined yards with ten TDs and 17 catches. He gained an impressive 4.7 yards per rush while coming up short in yards per catch (6.1). A good portion of his success came in four games (19/126/1, 25/132/2, 27/139/2, and 25/119/1), which accounted for 56.8 percent of his rushing yards and 49.2 percent of his rushing attempts. His season started with four missed games over the first five weeks with a hamstring injury. Mack needs to improve in his pass blocking to earn more value in the passing game.
Mack in College
Over three years at South Florida, Mack rushed for 3,609 yards on 586 carries with 32 rushing TDs. He had the most production in TDs (15) in 2016 while his best chances for success came in 2015 (1,492 combined yards on 226 touches). His yards per carry (6.2) improved each season (5.2, 6.6, and 6.8) while offering some value in the passing game (65/498/1). Marlon is built to provide speed from the outside while having a risk with small holes on the inside. He runs with the ball away from his body in the open field, which will lead to fumbles in the NFL (two lost fumbles in 2019).
Mack’s 2019 Forecast
A tempting player in 2019, but Indy will rotate in a couple of other RBs. Last year he finished as the 21st highest scoring RB in PPR leagues while only seeing action in three-quarters of the season. His next step is 1,300+ yards with double TDs and a bump in catches.
In his junior seasons at NC State, Hines gained 1,265 yards with 12 TDs and 26 catches. His value at receiver was much higher in 2016 (43/525). Over three seasons in college, Nyheim caught 89 catches for 933 yards and one TD. He’ll offer explosiveness to the return game thanks to his plus speed (4.38). Hines lacks size (5’8” and 198 lbs.) with questions about his strength to run through tight quarters or add value in pass protection. His quickness isn’t elite, but he does show a spin move at the point of contact.
In his rookie season, Hines failed to make an impact as a runner (85/314/2) while gaining 3.7 yards per catch. His game played well in the passing offense (63/425/2 on 81 targets). The Colts gave him seven catches or more four games, but Nyheim gained over 60 yards in four games. Passing catching back who has the best value in a chaser game. Possible 150+ touches for 900+ yards with five TDs and 70+ catches.
Other Options: Spencer Ware, Jonathan Williams
Over his last five seasons with Andrew Luck as his QB, Hilton gained over 1,000 yards receiving (1,083, 1,345, 1,124, 1,448, and 1,270). He’s scored 40 TDs in his 108 career games while averaging 16.4 yards per catch over his last five years. Last year he missed two games with a chest and hamstring injury. His season ended with an ankle issue that didn’t require surgery. T.Y. only had 29 catches for 430 yards and four TDs on 54 targets over his first seven games. His game caught stride over his next six games (9/155/2, 7/125, 8/77, 9/199, 5/85, and 7/138) before being shut down in Week 17 (2/61) due to limited playing time. Even with his success last year, Hilton battled multiple injuries. With a healthy season, he projects as a 90+ catch WR with 1,350+ yards and mid-level TDs.
After posting the season of his career in 2017 (63/840/8 on 111 targets), Funchess struggled to find a rhythm last year while battling a back issue for much of the second half of the year. He finished with 44 catches for 549 yards and four TDs on 79 targets with a similar catch rate (55.7) as 2017 (56.8). Over the first six games of the season, Devin had 29 catches for 374 yards and three TDs before losing his value and opportunity.
The move to Indy should create some red zone looks and goal-line TDs while working as the WR2 in the Clots’ offense. I don’t expect an explosive year with Luck having so many other secondary receiving options. A safe bet would be 65 catches for 900 yards and about seven TDs. I expect him to steal some of the TE touchdown chances in the endzone.
At first glance, Campbell gives me the feel of a great player once he adds more upper body strength to help him in the NFL vs. press coverage. His speed (4.31 40 yard dash at the NFL combine) is electric while also offering vision and open field ability. Ohio State used him on many plays close to the line of scrimmage as a pass catcher in 2018, leading to a breakout season (90/1063/12). In his first two years in college, Parris showed explosiveness as a runner (14/186/2). His short area quickness offers an edge in the slot while working best when having a free release vs. zone coverage.
Campbell needs to improve his route running plus show growth his hands in tight coverage. I like his movements with the ball in his hands, and I expect him to fit well in the Colts’ offense that wants to make defenses defend the whole field. Must follow this summer to see if he gains momentum in Fantasy drafts.
In a way, Ebron continued on his career path in 2018, which was set in 2016 (61/711/1). The big difference last year was his TDs (13), and Andrew Luck’s willingness to give him more chances (110 targets). Eric finished with a career-high in catches (66), receiving yards (750), TDs (13), and targets (110). His catch rate (60.0) was below his high level set in 2015 (67.1) and 2017 (71.8). Ebron had four games with double digits targets (11, 10, 15, and 16) with one leading to an impact game (9/105/2). He had two other games with multiple TDs (3/69/3 and 5/45/2).
Unfortunately for Fantasy owners, Eric came up short in two crucial Weeks (15 – 1/8 and 16 – 3/28) costing teams a chance at overall and league titles.
Ebron’s 2019 Forecast
This season Ebron will compete with Jack Doyle for targets, which wasn’t the case in many games last year due to Doyle missing ten games with a hip issue. The Colts are one of the top teams in the NFL using the TE, which is showcased by their totals in 2018 (108/1216/21 with 165 targets). I expect Ebron to be active in the red zone, but his chances will regress due Indy having better WR options and a second viable TE. I would lower my bar to about 60 catches for 700 yards and six to eight TDs. Do not overpay for his 2018 stats, but keep an open mind of his playable value.
Other Options: Mo Alie-Cox, Billy Brown, Ross Travis, Gabe Holmes, Hale Hentges
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