Shark Bites

The Colts have signed RB Branden Oliver. It was a rough preseason opener for Indy's backfield, which saw Marlon Mack exit with a hamstring injury and Nyheim Hines struggle. Oliver is still a long shot for 2018 fantasy value but is at least worth keeping an eye on. He caught 36 balls as a rookie back in 2014 before injuries got in the way the past 3 years.

The Colts say RB Marlon Mack is "week to week" with a hamstring strain, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That, of course, means we don't know if he'll miss a week, or 2, or even 3. Any missed time at this point for Mack -- who sat out offseason workouts following shoulder surgery -- is not good, as he tries to lock down the starting job. Extra opportunities are great news, on the other hand, for rookie RBs Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines -- as well as veteran Christine Michael. (Yeah, he's still around.) RB Robert Turvin also remains on the sideline with an ankle issue and will sit out the 1st 4 games because of a PED suspension. Hines and Wilkins are players to make sure you get shares of if you're drafting multiple fantasy teams this month.

Colts rookie WR Deon Cain suffered an ACL tear in Thursday night's game against the Seahawks and will miss the rest of the season. The 6th-round pick had been building buzz since the spring and appeared en route to immediate impact on the offense. His injury likely solidifies Ryan Grant's status as the #2 wideout and leaves opportunity for WR Chester Rogers -- along with other new targets such as TE Eric Ebron and rookie RB Nyheim Hines. Cain remains an attractive dynasty stash. He turned 22 this week.

Colts QB Andrew Luck played 2 series in Thursday night's preseason opener against the Seahawks -- his first live action in over 19 months. It went about as well as anyone could have hoped. Luck completed 6 of 9 passes for 64 yards. While he didn't uncork anything deep downfield, what we saw looked like the same guy we knew before all the shoulder issues. Luck also took a couple hits -- 1 on a scramble and 1 on a sack. He had “good rhythm (and) was in complete control," HC Frank Reich said. "I thought he did a nice job.’’ Luck has checked off every box in his return since camp opened. We just bumped him up the QB Rankings.

Colts RB Marlon Mack suffered a hamstring injury in the 1st half of Thursday night's preseason opener. He carried 4 times for 9 yards and caught 2 balls for 23 yards before exiting. We'll look for an update on the severity of the injury, but bum hammies have a tendency to linger. Mack's absence would open up a bigger opportunity for rookie RB Jordan Wilkins.

Colts HC Frank Reich said Sunday that Ryan Grant has "separated" from the pack in the competition for the team's #2 WR job. Chester Rogers has reportedly struggled early in camp, and rookie Deon Cain has "leveled off of late" after a strong start, according to the Indy Star's Zak Keefer. This battle isn't over yet. But if you're taking a shot on a Colts WR late in your draft, Grant looks like your guy for now.

Colts HC Frank Reich talked up rookie RB Jordan Wilkins after practice on Wednesday. “Jordan is one of those guys we are talking about with a real toughness,” Reich said. “I just feel like this guy loves football and he loves the physicality. He has no fear in his game. I think he’s making a very good impression. I’m very happy with the progress that he’s making. He’s showing the ability to play on all 3 downs. He’s better out of the backfield, as a receiver, than I thought he would be. Pass protection, he knows his stuff. He’s making good progress.” Wilkins’ all-around skill set has a real chance to be utilized early in the regular season. He’s on the radar as a late-round flier.

Colts rookie WR Deon Cain had a strong spring and has carried that momentum into training camp. He was a standout in Thursday's session, according to the Indy Star's Zak Keefer. HC Frank Reich has noticed. “In this league, you gotta make chunk plays,” Reich said. “He flashes, he’s got a little knack, he’s good against press coverage.” The Colts' #2 WR spot is wide open behind T.Y. Hilton. Veterans Ryan Grant and Chester Rogers still look like the favorites for the job, but there's certainly opportunity for Cain. We'll continue to track his progress.

Colts HC Frank Reich said Wednesday that he expects QB Andrew Luck to play in the team's preseason opener on August 9. Reich added that Luck is "full go" in practice. The team is clearly happy with where that throwing shoulder is at and is evidently ready to let Luck take some hits in live action. This might just be the most encouraging report we've gotten on him over the past year. Luck is starting to look like an enticing pick at his 10th- or 11th-round price tag.

Colts GM Chris Ballard said Friday that QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) is "good to go" for the start of training camp. He'll take planned days off but will take starter's reps when camp opens next Thursday. “He’s throwing the ball pretty well,” Ballard said. We'll be looking for reports on Luck's arm strength and accuracy in practice and will hopefully get to see him in preseason action. He's certainly on track for Week 1 right now but remains a risk/reward fantasy pick.

Colts RB Marlon Mack (shoulder) has been cleared for the start of training camp, GM Chris Ballard said. Mack missed spring workouts after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. He's still the favorite for lead-back duties this year but will need to fend off rookies Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins. Mack's ADP is currently sitting in the 8th round.

Colts RB Robert Turbin has been suspended 4 games for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. The 7-year vet ran with the starters this spring and drew some positive buzz. But he owns a career 3.8 yards-per-carry average and faces a bunch of backfield competition from Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins. Turbin wasn't a great bet for fantasy value even before this 4-game ban. His roster spot might now be in jeopardy.

Colts QB Andrew Luck threw in practice last week for the 1st time in about 8 months. Insider Albert Breer reports that Luck is now "deeper into his rehab without a major hiccup" than he's been since undergoing surgery on his throwing shoulder in January 2017. He's traveled this offseason to Los Angeles to work on his mechanics and to Amsterdam to learn about alternative training techniques, according to Breer. Luck still hasn't thrown in 11-on-11s, and his reps will be closely monitored when training camp opens. But he certainly seems to be trending in the right direction. Luck's ADP is sitting in the 11th round as the 17th QB off the board. He's a fine shot to take at that price tag.

Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins have been garnering the fantasy attention in the Colts backfield. But insider Stephen Holder warns not to rule out Robert Turbin. "If there’s one thing this offseason has shown, it’s that Turbin seems to have an important place on this football team," Holder writes. Turbin has been getting a bunch of 1st-team snaps this spring. But we wouldn't consider that a surprise considering Mack is sidelined after shoulder surgery and Hines and Wilkins are rookies. Still, HC Frank Reich talked up Turbin's "size and power and strength" this week. Holder believes Turbin is in line to play a short-yardage, goal-line role in what will be a full-blown committee backfield. It'll certainly be a situation to monitor when training camp opens, but we're not ready to call Turbin an option in fantasy drafts.

Colts QB Andrew Luck threw at Tuesday's minicamp session. (Here's video proof.) As far as we know, it's the 1st time Luck has thrown a football in about 8 months. The Colts have played it extremely safe with his rehab this time around, but owner Jim Irsay said that Luck "won't have any limitations" when training camp opens next month. We'll continue to keep a close eye on him throughout the summer, but Luck has turned into a risk worth taking at his current 11th- or 12th-round price tag. He finished 4th among QBs in fantasy points when we last saw him in 2016.

Colts QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) has yet to resume throwing a football and isn't expected to do so until training camp, according to insider Kevin Bowen. As far as we know, the last time Luck did any extensive throwing was the middle of last October. He hasn't played in a game since January 1, 2017. Throwing at the start of camp would give him about 6 weeks to get ready for Week 1. As Bowen notes, "the window for any hiccup in his rehab is all but closed at this point of the offseason." Luck's ADP has dropped into the 11th round of recent best-ball drafts.

Colts RB Marlon Mack underwent offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder, GM Chris Ballard revealed on SiriusXM radio. Mack reportedly played his "entire" rookie season with the injury. Ballard expects Mack to be a full participant in training camp, although it's unclear what he'll be able to do before then. Any missed time is bad news for a 2nd-year player looking to capture a bigger role in 2018. The Colts cut ties with Frank Gore this offseason but added Nyheim Hines (4th round) and Jordan Wilkins (5th) in the draft. This backfield is trending toward a committee, but exactly how the team is planning to divvy touches will be worth monitoring closely this summer.

The Colts picked Ole Miss RB Jordan Wilkins in Round 6 of the Draft, 2 rounds after they selected RB Nyheim Hines. Wilkins stands bigger at 6'1 and 216 pounds. He posted a 4.53-second 40-yard dash, a 72nd-percentile SPARQ score and a 102.6 speed score. Wilkins totaled only 130 touches over his 1st 2 seasons and spent 2016 on academic suspension. But he tallied a 155-1,011-9 rushing line with 26 catches for 241 more yards as a senior. Wilkins averaged 6.3 yards per rush and 10.1 per reception across his college career. He'll be worth watching in what should be a wide-open backfield competition.

The Colts spent an early 6th-round pick on Clemson WR Deon Cain. The 6'2, 202-pounder ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash at the Combine and finished the 3-cone drill in 6.71 seconds. Both numbers rate 77th percentile or better among Combine wideouts since 1999. Cain's production proved inconsistent, though he put up a nice 15.4% career TD rate and topped 17 yards per catch in each of his 1st 2 seasons. He joins a Colts offense with little proven ability behind T.Y. Hilton at WR.

The Colts selected North Carolina State RB Nyheim Hines in the 4th round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Hines blazed a 4.38-second 40 time at the Combine and plays just as fast. He averaged 5.4 yards per carry and 10.5 yards per catch over his 3-year college career, while also scoring 3 times in the return game. Hines goes just 5’8, 198 pounds and never reached 200 carries in a season at N.C. State. But he caught 20+ balls in all 3 campaigns, including 43 in 2016. He has the look of at least a pass-catching, change-of-pace asset as a pro, with the potential to emerge as a committee back on the Gio Bernard-Duke Johnson spectrum. He joins Marlon Mack in a relatively wide-open Colts backfield. Mack looks like the early favorite to lead the team in carries, but there’s plenty of room for Hines to carve out a significant role.

 
 
 

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