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Indianapolis Colts 2016 fantasy football preview

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NFL: Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time of year again, as fantasy football season is almost upon us. You’re probably preparing for your upcoming draft and reading up on who the best players are projected to be this year, but you also might be wanting to know how your favorite Colts players could do this year.

That’s what we’ll attempt to do here, as we compiled the positional rankings from five different outlets to attempt to put together a comprehensive Colts fantasy preview. The rankings are for a standard scoring league, and the rankings we used were ESPN, Yahoo Sports, NFL.com, FOX Sports, and CBS Sports. Where there were multiple rankings from different writers, we averaged them together for an overall ranking for that player. We then took the rankings from each of the five outlets and then averaged them together to get an overall ranking for each of the Colts’ prominent fantasy football players.

Below, you’ll find those rankings, including the average rank, the highest and lowest rankings for the player, and the range from the highest to the lowest, as well as some brief analysis on our part.

Andrew Luck, Quarterback

Average Rank: 4.04 among QBs

High: 3 (Yahoo)

Low: 5.2 (NFL.com)

Range: 2.2

Though it was a rough year for Andrew Luck in 2015, every indication is that he’ll bounce back and return to form this year. He has been a productive fantasy football player in the past and the fact that the Colts rely so heavily on him should make him one of the top quarterbacks this year.

Frank Gore, Running Back

Average Rank: 25.26 among RBs

High: 20 (ESPN)

Low: 31 (FOX)

Range: 11

It’s hard to know what to make of Gore, a 33-year old back in a passing offense. He’s still a productive back, but the question is whether he’ll get to 1,000 yards this year and whether he’ll get enough carries to truly put up the stats. Fantasy-wise, he’s no sure thing and is best-suited for a second or third back role, perhaps as a flex player who you rotate in and out.

T.Y. Hilton, Wide Receiver

Average Rank: 17.20 among WRs

High: 15 (Yahoo, NFL.com, CBS)

Low: 23 (ESPN)

Range: 8

Hilton is the Colts’ top receiver, so for a team that figures to pass the ball quite a bit this year he could emerge as a very solid fantasy football wideout. Though the Colts have other players who will also receive targets and make plays, Hilton will remain the number one and Luck’s top guy when healthy - making him a good fantasy option.

Donte Moncrief, Wide Receiver

Average Rank: 27.80 among WRs

High: 25 (Yahoo)

Low: 34 (ESPN)

Range: 9

Moncrief will have a prominent role in the offense this year as the starter alongside T.Y. Hilton, and he’s shown plenty of promise through his first two years. He’ll get plenty of catches and yards, but his fantasy value could come especially through touchdowns, as he’s a red zone threat on a team that doesn’t have too many of them. He caught five touchdowns from Andrew Luck last year in seven games, and we could see that continue this year. I think Moncrief is a big sleeper candidate and could emerge as a steal for some fantasy football owners.

Phillip Dorsett, Wide Receiver

Average Rank: 54.06 among WRs

High: 48.3 (CBS)

Low: 62 (NFL.com)

Range: 13.7

It’s hard to know what to make of Phillip Dorsett’s fantasy value this year, and that’s represented by him having the widest range in the rankings of any Colts player. On the one hand, he’s a former first round pick with plenty of athleticism and natural talent who will have a big role in the offense as the third receiver. On the other hand, he’s yet to show in the NFL that he can be a productive receiver and anyone drafting him in fantasy would be doing so assuming he can improve. He’ll likely be available late in your draft and will be a free agent in many leagues.

Dwayne Allen, Tight End

Average Rank: 13.06 among TEs

High: 11.3 (CBS)

Low: 15 (FOX)

Range: 3.7

Dwayne Allen is what he is at this point: he’s a well-balanced tight end who’s not going to put up massive numbers but who will do what the team needs him to (when healthy). He won’t be the most prolific tight end, but the wild card with Allen is touchdowns. He’s the biggest guy among the Colts’ receiving options and could be utilized in the red zone as such, which could boost his value. Overall, he’s probably at the bottom end of a TE1 and on the fringe between a starter and key depth guy in your fantasy league. If you want to wait in drafting your tight end and address other positions early, Allen could become a good option for you.

Adam Vinatieri, Kicker

Average Rank: 10.46 among kickers

High: 7 (Yahoo)

Low: 16 (ESPN)

Range: 9

Vinatieri is among the very best kickers in the NFL, but his fantasy rankings don’t reflect that. With Andrew Luck back under center, however, it means the Colts should be scoring more touchdowns (meaning more extra points for Vinatieri) and should be in scoring range more (meaning more field goal attempts). As long as the 43-year old is still producing at the level he’s been at, he’ll be a good fantasy option for your kicker.

Colts Defense

Average Rank: 21.58

High: 17 (FOX)

Low: 28 (ESPN)

Range: 11

The Colts’ defense hasn’t been great for several years, but they’re somehow not a terrible fantasy football option: in the last three years, the Colts have ranked tenth (2013), tenth (2014), and 14th (2015) in total fantasy points scored in a standard scoring league. Surprised? Yeah, me too, but it suggests that the Colts might be a better fantasy defense than actual defense. I’d still be skeptical of the unit, but that stat is at least something to consider before you draft.