Colts Fantasy News
No setbacks so far for Colts WR Reggie Wayne... "Like I've been saying, so far, so good," Wayne said after Thursday morning's walkthrough at Anderson University. "I haven't had any problems, nothing out of the norm. "I haven't had any pain. Nothing has set me back." The Reggie Wayne running routes and effortlessly snatching passes out of the air from Andrew Luck at training camp looks incredibly similar to the Reggie Wayne who did the same thing before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Oct. 20 against Denver. "That's the way it looked to me," HC Chuck Pagano offered last week after watching Wayne go through his first full-squad work since having his knee repaired. "When you go back, you watch it live and then you go back and watch it on film. It's really incredible."
Wayne was the #19 WR in standard formats and the #17 WR in PPR through the first seven weeks prior to tearing his ACL. He's 35 and coming off of a major knee injury. He’s expected to play Week 1, but it's hard to envision him returning to his usual form in time for the 2014 season, though it sounds like he's off to a good start. The Colts signed Hakeem Nicks as insurance.
Tom Gower of Total Titans discusses WR Kendall Wright: There are a couple specific areas of Wright’s game to pay attention to in 2014. First, can Jake Locker find him downfield? As I noted in the comments section of Rivers’ column, Locker has gone just 4-for-23 when targeting Wright more than 10 yards downfield. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Hasselbeck have had more success finding Wright down the field, though even so he hasn’t been the vertical seam threat we saw at Baylor and expected him to be in the NFL. The second thing to watch for Wright is his continued work on reshaping his body. He dropped 14 pounds last offseason to get to 187, which seemed to lead to better movement on the field. He noted earlier this week (video link) the new coaching staff had asked him to drop a little additional weight to improve his speed and his endurance and ability to stay on the field. He noted he’s now at 184 pounds and his belly is gone. The other thing to come from that interview, beyond his weight, is his role in the offense is likely to change. He noted he’s learning every wide receiver position, which is something Dowell Loggains talked about about every receiver doing last season. More importantly, though, he noted the new coaching staff (though position coach Shawn Jefferson is a holdover) is asking him to be more disciplined in his routes instead of giving him the opportunity to freelance and adjust his route like he had from the old regime last year. It’s interesting to get confirmation of that, which I wondered about at times watching them, and will be interesting to see if Wright can be as productive in a more disciplined system. I’m confident that unless he gets hurt Wright will play a lot and catch a lot of balls in 2014. I don’t know if that will end up meaning 70 catches (the low end) or over 100 (the higher end). My guess is that however many catches he ends up with he’s more likely to be closer to 12.0 yards per catch than the 15.4 in Jim Wyatt’s projections.
Wright's downfield numbers with Locker are worrisome, but with Ken Whisenhunt running the offense, we have confidence that the unit will be improved and that he'll put Locker and Wright in the best position to make plays. As for Wright's lack of involvement in the red zone, don't be surprised if Whisenhunt dials up WR screens around the 10-yard line with regularity -- he coaxed eight touchdowns out of slot receiver Eddie Royal last season.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:16pm
It seemed the Colts' fourth receiver spot would come down to DaRick Rogers and Griff Whalen at the start of training camp because they’re familiar with the system. Not so fast. Rookie Donte Moncrief is doing his best to stay in the mix. The Colts’ third-round pick had one of his best training camp practices Wednesday when he made three nice catches, including one for a touchdown. Moncrief’s best catch came when he jumped and came down with the ball with both feet inbounds while being closely defended on the play. With Hilton and Reggie Wayne (precaution) sitting out the end of practice, Moncrief was able to get some snaps with the first team.
There was a welcomed sight on the practice field for the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday. Running back Trent Richardson returned to practice after sitting out the previous three practices with a hamstring problem. Richardson, the likely starter in Week 1, took snaps with the second unit behind Ahmad Bradshaw.
Richardson averaged a woeful 2.9 YPC after joining the Colts, but he blames the learning curve he faced after joining a new offense midseason. Since they gave up a first round pick for him, he’ll have the backing of this Colts regime, but OC Pep Hamilton wasn’t afraid to give more work to Donald Brown given the disparity in the quality of play between the two backs. The offseason has gone pretty well for T-Rich — Brown is now out of the way, but the Colts did re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw while Vick Ballard is back from a knee injury. As the #20 RB off the board in the 5th round, it appears that fantasy owners are expecting Richardson to post RB2 numbers. Even that may be a stretch given his career output. Meanwhile, Bradshaw is one of our favorite late round targets. With Vick Ballard out for the season, he is a T-Rich injury/poor performance away from being the lead back for the Colts.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 4:30pm
The Colts signed RB Phillip Tanner, 5-10, 208 pounds, who spent the last three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys (2011-13), where he recorded 56 carries for 149 yards and two touchdowns, as well as nine receptions for 93 yards.
He also made 21 special teams tackles. In 2013, he tied a career-high with nine special teams stops, while adding nine rushing attempts for 12 yards and a touchdown. Tanner was originally signed by the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent on July 28, 2011. He finished his collegiate career at Middle Tennessee State University with 430 carries for 2,024 yards (4.7 avg.) and 33 touchdowns.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 6:14pm
The Panthers didn’t really need sixth-round running back Tyler Gaffney this year anyway, so when he was injured recently, stashing him on IR made sense.
But the Patriots had other ideas.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Patriots claimed Gaffney off waivers, even though he needs season-ending knee surgery.
It’s similar to their 2012 claim of injured Giants tight end Jake Ballard, meaning one of these days those unwritten rules are going to have to be written down.
This time a year, if a player is placed on IR he must first clear waivers before heading to IR. It's an unwritten rule, but perfectly in a team's right to make a claim on an injured player. It's likely why the Colts have yet to place Vick Ballard on IR. The Panthers tried to sneak Gaffney through waivers to sign another player, which turned out to be Fozzy Whittaker...
Monday, July 28, 2014, 9:53am
For the second time in his brief NFL career, running back Chris Rainey has been cut for off-field reasons.
Rainey was cut by the Colts today for violating team rules, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star adds that the release is conduct related and that head coach Chuck Pagano plans to provide more details.
What’s clear is that the decision was not about Rainey’s performance on the football field at training camp, which is consistent with what Pagano has been saying about Rainey: Pagano raved over the weekend about how much he likes Rainey, and when running back Vick Ballard was lost for the season with a knee injury, it appeared that Rainey would play an important role on the team as a backup running back as well as a kick returner.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 8:57am
Despite the recent loss of Vick Ballard and other questions in the backfield, the Indianapolis Colts announced they waived running back Chris Rainey on Monday. The team gave no reason for cutting the running back, whom coach Chuck Pagano recently raved about at Colts training camp. The coach said he looked like the "old Chris Rainey" from his time in high school and at Florida.
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 7:02pm
Colts TE Dwayne Allen is the total package, and observers are about to find out just how OC Pep Hamilton plans to take advantage of that fact. One of the biggest differences you'll notice in the Colts' offense with Allen onboard is the increased use of two-tight end formations. Whereas the Colts used the fullback extensively last season in power-running situations, look for that to be curtailed.
The story calls Allen a matchup nightmare and the team likes the flexibility he brings in two TE sets, both in the running and passing game. We rank him 21st because we think Coby Fleener will take away some of his production, so we think he caps out as a TE2.
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 5:42pm
The Colts first full padded practice of 2014 brought Reggie Wayne back onto the playing field, after the 14-year vet was held out of Saturday’s session. Wayne looked like his old self on Sunday as he continued to be someone QB Andrew Luck turned to at critical times. The Colts got in some red zone work during Sunday’s two-hour practice and there was Wayne finding gaps in the defense for touchdowns.
Wayne would make a great comeback story in 2014, but at 35 and coming off a major injury, it's fair to question how far back he'll come. He's ranked just 39th on our list, but he's getting drafted in the 9th round according to ADP, which is about two rounds before WRs ranked around him.
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 1:57pm
Colts HC Chuck Pagano said Saturday Ahmad Bradshaw has looked “fantastic” and looks like he “found the fountain of youth.” He’s gotten extra reps with the 1s as well, with Vick Ballard’s season-ending Achilles injury and Trent Richardson’s being held out as a precaution Friday and Saturday. Bradshaw hopes his foot injuries are in the past in his age 28 season.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 9:08pm
Giants WR Rueben Randle matched the defense’s physicality in practice with his own. The 6-2, 208-pound wide receiver created enough separation for himself to give Eli Manning enough of a window to connect on two outstanding plays. The first was a great twisting catch from Randle down the right sideline, which was followed up by Manning squeezing one through traffic to his third-year target later in practice. Just yesterday Randle was talking about the necessity to create space in the Giants’ new offense, which emphasizes yards after the catch.
Hakeem Nicks is gone, but the Giants drafted Odell Beckham in the 1st round. New OC Ben McAdoo utilizes a lot of three-WR sets (a la the Packers), so Randle should see starter’s snaps. He has been productive in his first two seasons on a per target basis, so he should produce starter-caliber numbers in significant playing time. He has been having a great offseason.
Running back Trent Richardson, rookie offensive lineman Jack Mewhort, safety LaRon Landry and cornerback Vontae Davis did not practice Friday. Richardson and Mewhort didn't practice for precautionary reasons, according to coach Chuck Pagano.
Vick Ballard reportedly tore his Achilles, which is terrible news for him, but represents one less obstacle that Richardson will have to overcome en route to workhorse RB1 duties for the Colts.
Colts RB Vick Ballard tore his Achilles, sources say. He was carted off the field earlier.
Ballard was set to compete with Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw for carries out of the Colts backfield, but if the reports are true, he's going to be on the shelf for another year. He tore his ACL early last season.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 1:41pm
Colts WR Reggie Wayne (ACL) on his return to practice: "When you're out here and you're thinking and worrying — what if this and what if that? — that's when you get hurt," he said. "If you just come out here and do the things you've been doing ... everything's normal. That's how I felt today. "Not one thing bothered me today. Not one time I went out there and I worried about my knee."
Wayne was the #19 WR in standard formats and the #17 WR in PPR through the first seven weeks prior to tearing his ACL. He's 35 and coming off of a major knee injury. He’s expected to play Week 1, but it's hard to envision him returning to his usual form in time for the 2014 season. The Colts signed Hakeem Nicks as insurance.
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