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Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: Constructing a Roster for the Helpless Colts Fan

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

We all know a Colts fan who can’t help but fill their fantasy football teams with Colts players. Sometimes, allegiance takes over logic. Maybe you are one of these fanatics that I speak of. Never fear – I have a plan for you to construct a useable team that will get you by in your fantasy league. Who knows, maybe you’ll get into the playoffs.

Let’s first go over the settings for this hypothetical league and its draft. For me, I always prefer PPR – half-point PPR, to be exact. This will be a standard roster, with 15 total rounds. This is a 12-team league, drafting sixth.

I don’t go into a draft with a specific strategy because you never know how the board will fall to you. However, I am a proponent of going Zero-RB if no elite running back talent is available to you. If that term is unfamiliar to you, it means that you don’t draft a running back inside at least the first few rounds, instead building an elite wide receiver corps for PPR purposes. Keep that in mind when seeing who the top running backs here are.

Assuming David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott are gone by six, I went for an elite wide receiver. I have had Odell Beckham Jr. in at least one league for the past three years and never regret it. Following OBJ in Round 2 is the Colts’ highest-rated fantasy player in TY Hilton. He puts up WR1 numbers every year. Now, you’ve got two WR1’s.

By the third round, you’ve got some “meh” options at running back – nobody worth passing up possibly elite-level receiver talent for. DeAndre Hopkins had over 100 catches, 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns just two years ago. Houston got rid of the problem from 2016, so I trust Hopkins again.

In Rounds 4 and 5, you finally get your running backs. Now, since you’ve waited this long to address the position, you want to make sure that you get guys who have RB1/RB2 potential and contribute in the passing game. Carlos Hyde has been hindered by injuries in his first few years, but he has improved his stats each of his three years. He also began to get more involved in the passing game in 2016, getting targeted 33 times. Ameer Abdullah missed almost the entire season in 2016 with a Lis franc injury, but he has been targeted 44 times in 18 career games. He is a valid bounce-back candidate this year.

Andrew Luck becomes your quarterback in the sixth round, followed by another popular breakout candidate in Donte Moncrief in Round 7. Luck is a very consistent option, as he is always likely to throw for 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. Moncrief scored seven times in just nine games in 2016. Think if his yards and catches can go up in a full season in 2017.

Back-to-back-to-back Colts in Round 8 with Frank Gore getting the call. I no longer value him as a regular fantasy starter because of the threat of Robert Turbin and Marlon Mack, but he could still get his 200-plus touches.

Though Latavius Murray isn’t likely to hold Minnesota’s starting job very long if at all, he will likely score a handful of touchdowns. In Round 10, Duke Johnson is the man. He is Cleveland’s RB2 behind a beefed-up offensive line, and he is also a candidate to become the Browns’ new slot receiver. Sleeper alert.

Another sleeper comes in Round 11 – fan favorite, Jack Doyle. He is the type of player that will give you something every week. Maybe it’s 7 catches one week, a touchdown the next. I would prefer Doyle later than an injury risk like Rob Gronkowski in the second round.

The final four rounds become easy for the Colts fanatic. It’s all about sleepers and filling out the rest of your roster.

Many people are high on Mack as a sleeper. While he’s not my favorite candidate, if you’re going to get him, it must be by now. The next pick, however, is someone I am very high on. Turbin was a highly effective touchdown vulture (8) in 2016. Out of 73 touches, 50.7% went for either a first down or touchdown. Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski has already tipped that Turbin should see an expanded role in 2017.

Finishing the draft up is your kicker and defense/special teams. Adam Vinatieri is my No. 5 kicker this year, so that’s a good grab in the 14th round. While people may laugh at you for taking the Colts DST, I think we all know that they will be better in 2017 than they were in 2016. Not to mention, they get the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1. Many people stream their DST’s throughout the year based on matchups. This is no different of a concept.