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Indianapolis Colts 2019 Outlook: Out of Luck


The Andrew Luck era is over for Indianapolis. I only have one word to say about how I feel about Luck calling it a career: Respect. No anger. No malice. Just Respect.

While some players cry about player safety yet do nothing about it, Luck took a stand and realized his life was most important. He cannot be faulted for this and those who are booing him or trashing him should take a look in the mirror and figure out what is important.

The Colts, on the other hand, have quite a dilemma on their hands. They will be going into their second season opener in three years with Jacoby Brissett behind center. But they are also in some ways in better shape. Let's figure out what this means from a fantasy perspective.

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Back to the Drawing Board

To start, Jacoby Brissett himself is different. Whereas he only had eight days to learn the offense in 2017, he has now been there for two seasons learning. He is a far cry from the quarterback who didn’t complete 60% of his pass attempts and tossed just 13 TD in 16 games.

The surrounding team is also better, starting with the offensive line. This is a unit which was one of, if not the worst in the NFL in 2017. It is now a top-tier unit. This means staying upright in the pocket.

Marlon Mack is also a solid running back for the team. This will allow the Colts to actually have a run game behind the improved line. Add to Mack the playmaking ability of Nyheim Hines and the backfield is a source of strength rather than a blatant weakness.

T.Y. Hilton is still there to lead the receiving group. His value takes a bit of a dip for sure, but not as much as you may think. With Andrew Luck behind center, Hilton was a top-10 receiver. At this point, he should be lowered to between the WR15-18 range. He could also very well retain his value if Brissett is as improved as he could be in the offense.

The real issue is going to be the secondary receivers. Devin Funchess was a late-round flier. This opportunity may have passed as the Colts will try to keep it basic, at least for the time being. Those of you hoping for a Parris Campbell sighting. I’d look elsewhere. None of the other receivers will have enough value in redraft leagues to warrant selecting.

The improved tight end position could get an upgrade as Jacoby Brissett looks to the big guys to get the ball out. Neither Jack Doyle nor Eric Ebron are as good as Zach Ertz, but this offense could rival the Eagles for two tight end sets. This could mean both of them finishing in the top 15 at the position if they are healthy all season. Doyle is slightly more valuable as he sees more snaps in the game, but you can’t deny the talent of Ebron and his value will be depressed now that the Luck news has hit.

 

Conclusion

The Colts offense as a whole takes a hit. This is for sure. Their Super Bowl aspirations are over. But they should not tank for Tua. Not because he isn’t worth it but because they actually have a solid team that could still compete in a weak AFC South.

The offense is still going to be good and the defense, for the first time ever, is finally a unit which can help them and not hurt.

T.Y. Hilton does take a hit in value and should drop further into the fourth round of drafts this week. But Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines should rise in value with the change at quarterback. They will be relied on heavily and both could finish in the top-36 for fantasy purposes, which equates to a weekly flex play for Hines and an RB2 for Mack.

Now the big question - Jacoby Brissett and where to draft him. Well, don’t in single-QB leagues. He will be usable as a streamer for sure and could finish as a top 20 quarterback for fantasy which gives him value in Superflex formats. But you don’t need to draft top-20 quarterbacks in single quarterback leagues. If you have a deep bench or for some reason, you like having a second quarterback, you do worse. But with players like Kirk Cousins and Dak Prescott going so late, there's just no need. Brissett should definitely improve on his completion rate and toss more than 13 touchdowns over a full season, unlike 2017. There's no denying that the offense as a whole will not perform as it would have under Luck.

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