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Indianapolis Colts Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2022

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RB Phillip Lindsay inked a 1-year deal with the Colts, his agent announced. Lindsay was a revelation as an undrafted rookie back in 2018, running for 1,037 yards on 5.4 yards per carry. He backed that up with another 1,000-yard season in 2019 but has struggled the past 2 years, totaling 751 rushing yards on 3.6 yards per carry for 3 different teams (Denver, Houston, Miami). He'll battle for a backup job behind Jonathan Taylor in Indianapolis. Lindsay would figure to lose passing-down work to Nyheim Hines even in the case of a Taylor injury, so Lindsay isn't an attractive handcuff.

Colts beat writer Jake Arthur calls interior O-line depth one of the team’s biggest holes. Looking across the O-line, Indy’s lost 2,242 snaps with the offseason departures of LT Eric Fisher and OGs Mark Glowinski and Chris Reed. We’re not concerned for Matt Ryan or Jonathan Taylor, as the Colts return an excellent trio of OG Quenton Nelson, C Ryan Kelly and RT Braden Smith. This O-line is simply a unit to monitor going forward.

Joel A. Erickson of the Indy Star believes the presence of QB Matt Ryan will have a “profound effect” on RB Jonathan Taylor’s receiving output. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration; Taylor caught 40 balls last year — 2.35 per game — and we don’t forecast a significant jump this fall. But the thesis here is that Ryan will take the checkdown much more often than Carson Wentz did. Taylor’s also grown as a pass-catcher. “Understanding the different coverages,” Taylor said. “You have certain routes, and maybe, if they’re in a zone, know how to spray it a little bit and then sit down. Things like that, rather than knowing I just need to get to this depth and turn in.” JT was a receiving weapon last year with a massive 10.1 YAC per reception. Even if his pass catching numbers don’t spike, he projects as a clear top-2 fantasy RB.

Colts GM Chris Ballard pointed to WR Alec Pierce's downfield ability as a reason they targeted him in the draft. “The one thing you notice about Pierce is he gets behind people,” Ballard said. “This kid can really, really run and really adjust to the football." Pierce averaged 17.5 yards per catch over the last 3 seasons at Cincinnati and clocked a 4.41-second 40 time at 6'3, 211 pounds at the Combine. “One of the things I like on (Pierce’s) tape is I like him outside,” HC Frank Reich said. “I think he’s very good versus press, I think he’s got length and vertical speed to get down the field. I think for his size, he’s a very good route runner." Pierce has a golden opportunity to win Indianapolis' #2 WR job behind Michael Pittman. He's a nice Round 2 target in dynasty rookie drafts and is worth a look in the later stages of redrafts.

Colts beat writer Zak Keefer believes rookie WR Alec Pierce’s athleticism makes him a “candidate for the Colts #2 WR job.” The competition isn’t exactly fierce, as the Colts have Parris Campbell, Dezmon Patmon, Ashton Dulin, Keke Coutee and Mike Strachan as depth. “He’s got really good size, has really good vertical speed,” GM Chris Ballard said. “He’s got work to do, like any rookie receiver that comes into the league, but we think he’s got a chance to really ascend.” This summer, the 22-year-old could certainly enter the mix as a late-round flier in deep formats. Indy lost 69 targets with the loss of Zach Pascal — and potentially 37 more from free agent T.Y. Hilton, if he moves on.

Colts 3rd-round TE Jelani Woods carries “potential to earn immediate snaps,” per beat writer Stephen Holder. The 6’7, 253-pounder arrives after Indy used a 2021 Round 4 pick on Kylen Granson, who garnered only 15 targets as a rookie. Veteran Jack Doyle retired over the winter, and the supersized Mo Alie-Cox re-signed on a 3-year deal. “The offense,” HC Frank Reich said, “wants to be tight end-centric in some ways. A lot of playmaking goes on in the middle of the field.” Woods, 23, is a long-shot for redraft relevance. But the Colts supply a fine landing spot for his dynasty value.

10:00pm EDT 4/29/22

The Colts selected TE Jelani Woods in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft. A 1-year producer at Virginia (44-598-8), Woods goes a towering 6’7, 259 pounds. Athletically, he tested off the charts with a Relative Athletic Score of 10.0 (out of 10.0). Converting to TE just a few years ago, Woods is a raw product, but he landed in a spot where he can work into Indy’s rotation slowly. The Colts used a mid-round pick on Kylen Granson last year, while they signed Mo-Alie-Cox to a 3-year, $18 million deal in March.

The Colts selected Cincinnati WR Alec Pierce with the 53rd overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Pierce never reached 900 receiving yards across 4 college seasons, topping out with a 52-884-8 line this past year. But he left school with a big 17.5 yards-per-catch average and pops as a big-play threat on tape. Pierce is a contested-catch dominator (he played basketball and volleyball in high school) and a natural ball tracker. His 99.3 deep receiving grade from Pro Football Focus last year ranked 27th among 275 qualifiers. The 6’3, 211-pounder registered a 4.41-second 40 time and a big 40.5-inch vertical at the Combine to earn a 98th percentile Relative Athletic Score. We see shades of Marvin Jones in his game. Pierce lands in a nice spot, with a clear path to the #2 WR job behind Michael Pittman.

The Colts are signing CB Stephon Gilmore to a 2-year deal, according to multiple reports. The move lands Indy's defense the top remaining corner on the market and a guy capable of performing as 1 of the top cover men in the league. Gilmore hasn't been much of an IDP factor throughout his career, though, and shouldn't be counted on for worthwhile fantasy numbers in his new spot.

Stephen Holder of The Athletic writes that TE has been a “focus” of the Colts’ “pre-draft preparation.” Jack Doyle retired in March. Mo Alie-Cox returned on a 3-year deal last month, but he hasn’t played more than 55% of the snaps in a season (2021). Second-year man Kylen Granson brings a receiving profile but stands just 6’2 and caught only 11 passes as a rookie. Holder noted that Indy relied heavily on 2 TE sets last year, while OC Marcus Brady returns for another season. The Colts are currently slated for 7 picks in the 2022 draft, with the first selection on tap at 42nd overall.

According to The Athletic's Zak Keefer, Colts HC Frank Reich said from the NFL owners' meetings that he expects a "MUCH bigger role" for RB Nyheim Hines this season with QB Matt Ryan. Hines saw a career-low 3.4 targets per game with Carson Wentz under center last year. Wentz has historically targeted his RBs at a below-average rate. Reich expects Hines' role to be akin to what he did with QB Philip Rivers back in 2020, when he averaged 4.8 targets per game. Hitting that number might be tough behind RB Jonathan Taylor, although the Colts are currently thin at WR. Hines is still just a later-round pick in early PPR best-ball drafts right now.

After acquiring QB Matt Ryan via trade Monday, the Colts are restructuring the veteran's contract. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports that the altered deal "locks him in at two years and $53.9 million." For fantasy football purposes, that means we should expect Ryan to be Indy's starter through the coming season and 2023, at least.

The Falcons are sending QB Matt Ryan to the Colts for a 3rd-round pick in this year's NFL Draft. That lands Ryan in 1 of the league's more run-leaning offense and with a pass-catching corps that doesn't boast much proven talent beyond WR Michael Pittman. We'll see what else the Colts add to that group. Ryan hasn't been terrific lately, but he marks a lateral move -- at worst -- from Carson Wentz for Pittman and the Colts' other pass-catchers. Ryan brings more consistent accuracy, which could boost Pittman's efficiency. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports that the Falcons are now expected to pursue QB Marcus Mariota. The former Raider would land in an even more barren pass offense. We'll assess that situation further once it comes to fruition.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that "if (Matt) Ryan is traded, it'll almost certainly be Indy." It doesn't sound like a move is imminent, and it's important to note that Ryan still might not move. But keep this report in mind if you're jumping into live best-ball drafts today. We'll see what Atlanta's replacement plan would be if Ryan leaves and where the Colts would turn if a deal does not happen.

The Raiders are sending DE Yannick Ngakoue to the Colts for CB Rock Ya-Sin. Ngakoue tied for 21st in the league with 63 total pressures last season, his lone year with the Raiders. The 27-year-old (as of March 31) is heading into the final year of his contract and coming off his 1st double-digit sack total since 2017. Indianapolis will be Ngakoue's 5th team since 2019. Pro Football Focus ranked Ya-Sin 34th in coverage among all 236 active CBs last year. He should claim a starting gig opposite Trayvon Mullen in Vegas, with CB Casey Hayward an unrestricted free agent. We'll see whether the Raiders make other moves at the position.

The Colts have agreed to a 3-year, $18 million deal to keep TE Mo Alie-Cox around, according to multiple reports. Alie-Cox led Indianapolis in targets last season but ranked just 5th on the team with 45. His 24 catches trailed Jack Doyle, who has since retired. The new contract suggests upside for Alie-Cox in his age-29 season, but he'll still share the position with 2021 draft pick Kylen Granson. We'll see whether Indy adds any other significant TE.

Citing a team source, Colts beat writer Zak Keefer writes that QB Sam Ehlinger shouldn’t be “ruled out” as a potential starter. The Texas product started for 3+ years but didn’t come off the board until Round 6 of the 2021 draft. He didn't throw a single pass last season. In other words, Indy will surely bring in a veteran and/or an early-round rookie following the Carson Wentz trade. Ehlinger, though, is at least a name to monitor in deep superflex dynasty leagues.

Colts beat writer Zak Keffer expects both WR T.Y. Hilton and TE Jack Doyle to retire. Speaking on the Colts’ TE situation, Keffer notes that Mo Alie-Cox is slated for free agency, making 2021 rookie Kylen Granson the current starter. Indy will surely add competition over the next few months. But note that Granson has the catch-first skill-set and athleticism to potentially develop into a sleeper. He exited college with 129-1,879-16 in 37 games. This past year, he notched 11 catches for 106 yards as the Colts’ 3rd TE.

Colts DT DeForest Buckner is active for today's game against the Jaguars. He arrived questionable and is likely well short of 100% after missing the entire week of practice with a nagging knee injury. He'll be risky but also carry upside as an IDP option.

The Colts on Saturday activated WR Parris Campbell from IR. He had been there since Oct. 19 after suffering a foot injury in the Week 6 win over Houston. HC Frank Reich reportedly said the coaching staff will decide whether to play Campbell in the regular-season finale against Jacksonville. We wouldn't bet on a big role if Campbell does get into that game. We'll see about his role for the playoffs (assuming the Colts get there).

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