Is it too early to be talking about fantasy football? Probably, but I’m going to do it anyway. The off-season has drastically changed the Colt’s fantasy outlook. It honestly has me excited as a fantasy player. I believe the Colts could have multiple players with significant fantasy impact this coming season. I also feel one player who’s being drafted as the top player off the board could be a fantasy bust.
I believe Jonathan Taylor is the best running back on the planet. You can’t change my mind on this at all. I view this as fact.
Taylor is the unanimous projected number 1 overall pick in fantasy as he should be finishing as the RB 1 and putting up a phenomenal season. I feel Taylor won’t be used as much this coming season. The addition of Matt Ryan has me concerned for Taylor’s value. My hot take is I believe Taylor won’t finish as the RB 1 or even in the top 5 when it’s all said and done next season. While Taylor will still be fed, I don’t think he’ll be handed the rock as often as he was this past year. Matt Ryan does throw to the running backs more than Wentz did, which could be an uptick in PPR points for Taylor. Ultimately I would still draft Taylor in the first round at number 1, but I have some major concerns. It would be stupid to believe the Colts will not be adding another weapon in this coming draft. That will ultimately hurt Taylor’s usage throughout the season. The Colts are EXTREMELY high on Hines this year. Chris Ballard earlier in the off-season about who the playmakers are on the Colts offense. He named Taylor, PittMAN, and Hines. Him naming Hines is what’s causing the disconnect with Taylor for me. Hines having a more prominent role within the offense is good for the team but not ideal for Taylor’s fantasy value. With all of that being said, I believe it’s stock down for Taylor for this fantasy season. While I think Taylor will finish in the top 10 of running backs, I’m unsure if he will finish in the top 5.
Michael PittMAN Jr is a fantasy player I am extremely high on. I believe the addition of Matt Ryan will not only help PittMAN on the field but also as a fantasy player.
We’ve seen in the past Ryan has found success with receivers like Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. I see no reason why Michael PittMAN can’t be the next successful receiver with Matt Ryan. In contrast, PittMAN’s value could change if more than one weapon is brought in to bolster the position. PittMAN finished in the top 20 this past year with Wentz. He wasn’t the most consistent fantasy player, but when he was on, he was on. He showed growth throughout the year, promising a bigger breakout year under Matt Ryan. PittMAN does have WR 2 potential with Ryan under center. While I feel WR 1 is a stretch for PittMAN. I do think he could become a WR 1 this season. The only thing I could see holding PittMAN back this year is the emergence of Hines in the passing game. Along with a potential stud being drafted at receiver in the draft. I believe its stock is up for PittMAN this year. While it’s a stretch to say PittMAN will finish in the top 10, I think the top 15 is reasonable. But another top 20 finish is certain.
Matt Ryan is what you would call fantasy irrelevant.
While I feel the weapons around him are in line for a big season, such as PittMAN, Taylor, and Hines, I can’t say the same for Matty Ice. Ryan has finished in the middle of the pack when it comes to other fantasy quarterbacks. It’s 2022, people; if your fantasy quarterback isn’t mobile, I don’t believe you’re winning games. Having a mobile quarterback who gets those valuable rushing touchdowns is crucial to success. The game has just outgrown the pocket passer in terms of fantasy. I don’t see Ryan being more than a streaming option this coming season. Honestly, I don’t feel he’s worth a draft selection or a roster spot. Against Houston, Jacksonville, and the Giants, I think it’s acceptable to start Ryan, but the other weeks I can’t say I’m confident in it. While Ryan has been middle of the pack when it comes to fantasy finishes, I believe a top 20 finish is in store for Ryan this season with the Colts.
The final player I would like to talk about is Nyheim Hines.
For years I’ve felt like the Colts have essentially wasted the talent of Hines. I feel confident that Hines will be a top 15 fantasy running back. What frustrated me most with Wentz was the inability to throw the check down. I don’t have that concern with Ryan. We can look at how comfortable Ryan is with throwing to running backs this year with Patterson. Who was a surprise fantasy breakout star this past season. I believe Hines could have a similar role in the offense with Ryan. I mentioned previously how Chris Ballard said the top 3 playmakers on the Colts’ offense. He named PittMAN, Taylor, and of course, Hines. It’s also been noted that Hines could potentially see time in the slot meaning his PPR value has increased. I do believe he’ll not only see an uptick in usage but also target share and volume. Hines could become a household fantasy name this coming season. I would compare Hines fantasy stock to $GME in 2021. (It’s a high riser for those who don’t get that) Hines stock has never been higher, and I believe he could be a fantasy championship winner.
I only highlighted four Colts offensive players, but that’s because of the unknown. I do believe rookies could have a significant impact on this roster. As the roster stands right now, I think these four will be targeted the most in our fantasy drafts. Of course, this is a way too early outlook, and anything can change. I do expect changes to be made later on. However, I think it’s safe to say the Colts will be fantasy relevant this coming season.