Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

 Log In  | Sign Up  |  Contact      

2023 Player Outlooks: Indianapolis Colts

By Hunter De Siver | 6/24/23 |

QB Anthony Richardson
(N/A - Rookie)

When you see a 12-game stat line that included a 54 percent completion rate for 2,549 yards, 17 touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 6-7 record, the No. 4 overall pick in the NFL Draft isn’t exactly what you had in mind. So why was Anthony Richardson taken this early? The eye test is a very powerful thing in sports. Anthony Richardson is 6-foot-4, 244 pounds and runs a 4.43 40-yard dash and can throw it out of the stadium. His dual threat ability might be exactly what the Colts need to get their franchise back on track, because last year was a disaster -- 4-12-1 record, two head coaches and numerous injuries.

Richardson’s deep ball and rushing abilities make him an excellent fantasy football option, but because he’s a rookie, fantasy managers selecting him in the later rounds may have some bumps in the road early on as he learns the pro game. He’s ideally a QB2 on your fantasy team but if he uses his physical gifts and the underrated talent around him, Richardson may become your starter midway through the season.

RB Jonathan Taylor
(2022 RB Rank – No. 16, 13.9 FPts/G)

Jonathan Taylor's 2021 season was simply historic as he finished with 1,811 rushing yards for 18 touchdowns and 360 receiving yards for two more scores. His 377.1 fantasy points (PPR) was the most among running backs and the fourth-most across all positions. In just his second season, Taylor was the runner-up for the AP Offensive Player of the Year award.

However, the former second round pick out of Wisconsin only played 11 games in 2022 due to numerous injuries, recording 861 rushing yards for four touchdowns and 143 receiving yards. Taylor's 152.4 fantasy points (PPR) was the 31st among all running backs. His struggles also stemmed from the Colts having two head coaches and a multitude of injuries on both sides of the ball.

The cleanup process began when the Colts hired Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen as their head coach this offseason. Former Eagles running back Miles Sanders had the best season of his career in 2022, and earned Pro Bowler honors under Steichen's system. This could mean that the already-proven Taylor may be a large focus point in Steichen's new offense. Given a rookie is likely to be starting at quarterback, the offensive gameplan should be to constantly feed Taylor the ball, giving him the potential to exceed his historic 2021 season and return to No.1 on the fantasy football draft board in 2024.

Michael Pittman Jr.

WR Michael Pittman Jr.
(2022 WR Rank – No. 21, 13.7 FPts/G)

Speaking of young players who had a great 2021, but fell below standards in 2022, Michael Pittman Jr. is hoping to return to his best form in 2023. The 26-year-old went from 16th (148.6) in fantasy points in 2021 to 27th (119.5) in 2022. The Colts went through a trio of quarterbacks and Pittman set career highs in targets (141) and receptions (99) in 2022, but he averaged just 9.3 yards per catch compared to his 12.3 the year prior. He struggled to get loose in the open field as the Colts focused on the short-to-intermediate passing game.

The addition of Steichen and Anthony Richardson should hopefully change these issues as the rookie QB has arguably the strongest arm in the class and the new head coach developed one of the best receiving duos in the NFL last season in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. Pittman has shown in the past that he’s capable of running all the routes. With the help of Richardson and Steichen, he can return to form and finish the season as a top-25 receiver in the low-end WR2 range or as a high-end FLEX option.

WR Alec Pierce
(2022 WR Rank – No. 85, 7.0 FPts/G)

Alec Pierce has the height (6-foot-3) and speed (4.33-second 40-time) to become an excellent wide receiver in this league, but he lacks a route tree and run after catch abilities. The 2022 second-round pick didn’t have the best rookie season as he recorded 41 receptions for 593 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games (12 starts).

His yards per reception numbers (14.5) in 2022 were good, but he averaged only 2.8 yards after the catch. Pittman also struggled in this area which could indicate problems with the offensive scheme, but Richardson should hopefully fix it for both of them. However, If Pierce can find a way to get open quicker through perfecting his routes this problem will fix itself. Until he does, he’ll likely remain outside of the top 50 receivers and a late-round draft pick in fantasy football.

WR Josh Downs
(N/A - Rookie)

Similar to Pierce, rookie Josh Downs also isn’t the most proficient route runner. However, they are opposite when it comes to size, separation and change of direction. The 5-foot-9 wide receiver recorded 295 receptions for 2,364 yards and 19 touchdowns during his final two seasons at the University of North Carolina.

Downs gets inside leverage as a slot receiver quite often and has a large catch radius despite his size. He isn’t necessarily a burner, but is still fast and changes direction on cuts very efficiently.

Downs and Isaiah McKenzie are battling for the starting slot receiver job, so it’s currently uncertain how much time he’ll spend on the gridiron every Sunday. Should Downs get the nod, he should finish the season as a top-80 receiver, but he won’t be selected in most redraft leagues.

WR Isaiah McKenzie
(2022 WR Rank – No. 71, 8.0 FPts/G)

The Colts signed former Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie about a month before they drafted Downs. McKenzie had a few games as Buffalo’s WR3, but he was ultimately a special teams returner.

The 28-year-old is yet to truly blossom in the NFL, which is why Downs will likely win the WR3 battle. Should McKenzie lose, he’ll most likely stick on special teams, which won’t earn you fantasy points unless he finds the endzone.

If Downs gets hurt, McKenzie has shown in the past that he is one fast football player. In 2021, he clocked a top end speed of 20.52 miles per hour. His downhill speed is enough to dust past safeties on go routes.

At the end of the day, though, McKenzie won’t be drafted and will only get picked up from the waiver wire if Downs gets hurt.

TE Jelani Woods
(2022 TE Rank – No. 35, 6.2 FPts/G)

Jelani Woods is expected to be the Colts TE1 this season even though backups Mo Alie-Cox and Kylen Granson put up very similar numbers last season. Woods finished with 25 receptions for 312 yards and three touchdowns in 15 games, but only two starts. These numbers could definitely use some improvement and Steichen may once again be a major factor in aiding them.

Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert is considered one of the best tight ends in the league after finishing last year ninth in fantasy points (143.2) despite only playing 12 games. Woods now has the opportunity to develop under Steichen’s system, but has a lot of work to do in order to thrive in it.

Tight end is the scarcest position in fantasy football. With an ADP hovering around TE33, Woods isn’t likely to hear his name called on a fantasy draft day. He is towards the bottom among the 32 starting tight ends in the league, but since he has Steichen there is a possibility for a surprise and he floats off of the waiver wire during the season.

Draft Buddy - Fantasy Football excel draft spreadsheet