Indianapolis Colts Late August Scouting Report
Luck: Obviously all anyone wants to talk about over the last 72 hrs or so is the sudden departure of QB Andrew Luck from the Colts and from the entire NFL. "Shocked" would be an understatement for most of us, as now the Colts – and fantasy owns everywhere – are scrambling to see what can and should be done with the reins being turned over to QB Jacoby Brissett for the foreseeable future. I was watching the game Saturday night and was already preparing my report, stating that the team was obviously worried about Luck’s availability for the opening game since they were also sitting Brissett in this oft-crucial 3rd preseason game; had I only known that the news would break a few hours later even before we could leave the stadium.
Frankly, I won’t go into a lot of detail here because so much has already been made of this in the national media, and so much more is still unknown. I am working on a more detailed fantasy analysis for the site (possibly for the premium subscribers later this week), but my knee jerk response is that this is at least a small hit to every Colt’s fantasy potential for 2019 as one might expect. There are some guys who would take a bigger hit, and two (Brissett obviously, and perhaps TE Jack Doyle) whose fantasy value might actually rise. For now, I would not recommend doing anything with any Colt on your roster because you certainly shouldn’t cut a guy like RB Marlon Mack and you definitely will not get optimal trade value for those guys either. Sit tight and see how it works out; the offense will certainly be impacted but perhaps not as much as one might expect.
Transactions: The backup running back spot has been a revolving door all preseason. After signing veteran RB spencer Ware and then losing him to injury, they replaced him with the high-potential of young RB Donta Foreman who was waived by the Texans….only to see his season also end via injury. The likely backup now appears to be another former Chief, RB Charcandrick West who looked very promising and efficient in his extended role during the third preseason game. I think that RB Jordan Wilkins has not yet been pushed aside from the back end of the roster though. While there has a been the typical camp shuttling of guys on and off the back end of the camp roster, I think the only other transaction that likely impacts the opening day roster was the loss of WR Daurice Fountain to IR for the second straight season. Fountain could have stuck as the 6th receiver for this team and now is going to be once again wondering what might have been. Depth S Mathias Farley gave the team a lot of good snaps over the last two years while subbing for injured starters, but was released yesterday. This must mean that they are content with a smaller number of safeties on the roster, or the other guyss are giving better potential on special teams perhaps.
Camp observations: A few things about the roster that could be of interest to fantasy drafters… WR Deon Cain again looked like a man among boys on the field, although admittedly this week against the Bears backups and camp fodder. Nonetheless, he put on some moves on his long TD catch-and-run that were stellar regardless of the opponent. This kid clearly is recovered from his major injury last year and is definitely someone I would watch in dynasty leagues. Indeed, he might even supplant WR Devin Funchess before the season is over….Backup and former Mr. Irrelevant QB Chad Kelly has been far superior to perennial practice squad guy QB Philip Walker, and in my estimation will be the guy that serves as Brissett’s backup once he serves his 2-game suspension. Walker thus has a brief reprieve on the active roster until Kelly is cleared to return. I doubt Brissett could ever get benched, but Kelly is only a snap away from leading a decent offense.….it will be interesting to see if the O-line can build upon their performance and gelling last year and give Brissett some protection. He was the most-sacked guy in the NFL when he was forced to play with that crappy unit in 2017, and Luck was the least-sacked last year . Where on that continuum is 2019 shaping up? Likely somewhere in the middle, but if they are more like the 2018 version than the Colts could perform for fantasy and in reality much better than many expect….DE KemokoTuray has looked somewhat dominant in his snaps so far in preseason, looking every bit like the 2nd rounder that he was last year. If he can continue to provide situational pass rush and breathers for DE Justin Houston, this will greatly impact the effectiveness of the Colts’ defense. He might even swap sides and start on the other side, if DE Jabaal Sheard’s injury extends into the start of the season…Veteran PK Adam Vinatieri saw his first action of the preseason, and promptly nailed a 49-yard FG with plenty to spare. No worries for his leg, just maybe for his opportunities in 2019
That is all for now from the Crossroads of America. I will be back before week 1 to preview the Colts’ trip to LA to take on the Chargers in the season opener. Until then….FORGE ON!!!
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Sunday, September 13th, 2020
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