2012 was somewhat of a magical season for the Indianapolis Colts. Between the heartwarming story surrounding head coach Chuck Pagano, and the incredible turnaround to make the playoffs, there is no doubt that the Colts were a team that every football fan was rooting for. For the first time since the Peyton Manning days, there is a handful of Fantasy Football relevance in Indianapolis, and they are next up in Fantasy 32.
The 2012 number one overall pick was worth every penny for the Colts last season… and then some. Andrew Luck led a former 2-14 football club to a record of 11-5, ultimately losing in the first round of the playoffs. Luck, who was found on many league’s waiver wires to begin the season, ended up as a legitimate number one fantasy signal caller. He finished his rookie campaign with well over 4,000 yards, 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Luck also added some rushing stats to his fantasy value, scoring five times with his legs. Luck finished fifth in the league in attempts last season (627), and in an offense that will throw it a ton, with strong options on the outsides, there is no reason Luck can’t get even better in 2013 and emerge as a top 10 fantasy gunslinger.
The Colts don’t have a lot of fantasy appeal at the running back position, but for the majority of the 2012 season, I was pretty high on Vick Ballard. After initial starter Donald Brown went down with injury, Ballard became the number one back in Indy. He rushed for 811 yards and two scores, while averaging 3.9 yards per carry. Not exactly mind-boggling numbers, but I watched him play a lot, and felt he ran hard and has a ton of potential. Still, as much as I may like Ballard, I’m avoiding this running back situation if possible, considering it could very well be a committee. Brown is healthy again, and even if Ballard hangs onto the starting job, there is not a doubt in my mind that Brown will take a huge chunk out of his carries.
I am very excited about this group of wideouts this year. Of course, you know who Reggie Wayne is. The guy (somehow) never gets talked about as one of the elite receivers in the game today, despite posting at least 1,000 yards and five touchdowns in eight of the last nine seasons. Having a good quarterback to toss him the ball definitely boosted Wayne’s value, as he caught 106 balls, his most since 2011. However, his true value comes from the amount of targets he receives. Luck loves his number one receiver, and why wouldn’t he? In his rookie year, Luck targeted Wayne 194 times, which was the second most in football, only behind Calvin Johnson. Wayne is a guy that can catch six or seven balls every game with the amount of targets and high volume of passes Luck throws. Also, Luck wasn’t the only Colts’ rookie that impressed last year. Wideout T.Y. Hilton was very solid, catching 50 balls for 861 yards and seven touchdowns, which was more than Wayne. Hilton has great speed and saw his fare share of targets as well (91). Also, keep in mind he provides extra value with his punt return play, scoring once last year. Hilton will make for a terrific sleeper for 2013.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.