Colts Fantasy News

Jason Witten re-emerges in passing game

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 1:09pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Sunday's win against the Indianapolis Colts served as a reminder that tight end Jason Witten remains a threat in the passing game.

As the Dallas Cowboys racked up rushing yards during the season, most of Witten's praise has been for his blocking. He has played a big part in DeMarco Murray becoming the NFL's leading rusher.

"When you know your team is going a different direction and the thought is that it's going to be better for the football team, it's easy to buy into that but as the season unfolds there's tough times in there," Witten said. "You don't have as many opportunities. You take on a different role. You embrace that and buy into that. You still play a critical role in doing things, setting the edge in the run game, and being a complete tight end but at different times, it is hard."

Fantasy Impact:

In the last two weeks Witten has been a focal point through the air. He has caught 14 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown. He had a season-high 90 yards on seven catches against the Colts that included a 25-yard touchdown. On the opposite end of that, Witten has five games with two or fewer catches this season. The last time he had that many came in 2005, his third year in the league. His 14-catch run in the last two games is his best two-game total since Week 12-13 in 2012 when he caught 15 passes for 182 yards against the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.

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Colts say they will play starters Week 17

Monday, December 22, 2014, 6:53pm

Stephen Holder on Twitter - [Full Article]

Colts are going to, generally speaking, play to win vs. Tennessee despite having nothing to gain.

Fantasy Impact:

The tweet added they need to build some 'steam' after a not-so-great performance against the Cowboys. Holder also added in another tweet the team is expecting to get WR T.Y. Hilton back for Week 17. In an article from Dec. 15, Holder quoted Pagano as saying the team is going to play 16 games, and he may rest starters who have been banged up, but indicated everyone else would play. All that said, it doesn't necessarily mean the starters will play the entire game in Week 17, but it could mean Colts offensive players can be considered fantasy options if your league has playoffs into Week 17.

T.Y. Hilton inactive for Colts

Sunday, December 21, 2014, 3:06pm

Colts Inactives
Jalil Brown DB
Gosder Cherilus T
T.Y. Hilton WR
Montori Hughes DT
Sheldon Price CB
Joe Reitz G
Hugh Thornton G

Fantasy Impact:

With Hilton inactive, Donte Moncrief draws the start and is a fantasy WR2 start with Reggie Wayne (PPR) and Hakeem Nicks having Sneaky Start appeal. Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen also get a bump. Andrew Luck's ranking takes a slight hit with Hilton out, but he has enough weapons and should be able to manufacture plenty of fantasy points against Dallas.

Pagano: 'Don't count T.Y. Hilton out'

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 11:27am

Indianapolis Star - [Full Article]

It was pointed out to Colts HC Chuck Pagano that players who don't practice at all during a game week almost never play on Sunday. But Pagano was adamant he's not ruling T.Y. Hilton out.

"For some," Pagano responded. "This guy is pretty special. Don't count him out."

Fantasy Impact:

As we reported yesterday, those around the team consider him doubtful even though his official status is questionable. If he’s out, Donte Moncrief becomes a fantasy WR2 with Reggie Wayne (PPR) and Hakeem Nicks having Sneaky Start appeal. Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen would also get a bump. Andrew Luck’s ranking takes a slight hit with Hilton out, but he has enough weapons and should be able to manufacture plenty of fantasy points against Dallas.

Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray is 'determined to play'

Friday, December 19, 2014, 6:57pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Officially listed as questionable, unofficially Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray is determined to play on Sunday against the Colts.

Murray, per a source with knowledge of the situation, declared even before having surgery to repair a broken bone in his hand on Monday that he will play in Week 16. At this point, it’s believed to be primarily a matter of pain tolerance and management.

Fantasy Impact:

His workload may be limited somewhat to avoid hits on that left hand, but he should be out there for fantasy owners. Murray is averaging 28.9 touches per game this season. We currently project him for 19.1 touches (including 16.3 carries) with Randle getting 9.4 carries in a larger-than-usual backup role. If Murray is active, he's pretty much a must-start given his production this season and the favorable matchup against Indianapolis (#21 in RB aFPA).

Friday, December 19, 2014, 6:02pm

Colts WR Josh Cribbs (not injury related, probable) took full practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 16.

Friday, December 19, 2014, 6:02pm

Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring, questionable) missed practice all week and is questionable for Week 16. The beat writers are describing Hilton as doubtful, though he’s officially questionable. We currently do not expect him to play, since Indianapolis doesn’t have a whole lot to play for. If he’s out, Donte Moncrief becomes a fantasy WR2 with Reggie Wayne (PPR) and Hakeem Nicks having Sneaky Start appeal. Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen would also get a bump. Andrew Luck’s ranking takes a slight hit with Hilton out, but he has enough weapons and should be able to manufacture plenty of fantasy points against Dallas.

Friday, December 19, 2014, 6:02pm

Colts WR Reggie Wayne (not injury related, probable) missed practice Friday and is probable for Week 16. Wayne is probably just getting some rest. He is a sneaky PPR play if T.Y. Hilton is ruled out.

Thursday, December 18, 2014, 6:14pm

Colts WR Josh Cribbs (not injury related) returned to full practice reps Thursday after missing Wednesday.

Thursday, December 18, 2014, 6:14pm

Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) missed practice again Thursday. Hilton was expected to return today. If he’s out, Donte Moncrief, Hakeem Nicks and Reggie Wayne would all see a significant bump in a nice matchup against Dallas. His absence would hurt Andrew Luck, but he’d still be a must-start given the matchup.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 5:57pm

Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. Hilton expects to practice on Thursday, but we’ll monitor his progress this week.

Cowboys Beat: Team won't get away from run game without DeMarco Murray

Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 9:06pm

Dallas Morning News - [Full Article]

Beat writer Brandon George answered a question about the Cowboys offense passing more if DeMarco Muarry doesn't play:

George: I think you'd see more of Tony Romo without Murray. But I don't think they'd get totally away from the run game. Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar are good enough to do well behind this offensive line. Randle has had several big runs of late and would be fine against a Colts team that struggles against the run.

Fantasy Impact:

If anything, the Colts may be able to play a bit more balanced and do more to prevent WR Dez Bryant from hurting them without Murray in the lineup. George added in his Q & A that he "would doubt [Murray will] practice fully at any point this week. Other running backs have come right back and played with this injury. No reason to think Murray couldn't do the same."

Texans think Andre Johnson plays Week 16

Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 10:19am

HoustonTexans.com - [Full Article]

WR Andre Johnson will likely return to the starting lineup for the Texans against Baltimore.

“I think he feels better today,” head coach Bill O’Brien said Monday. “Looks like we would have Andre Johnson back for Sunday.”

Fantasy Impact:

On December 7, Johnson suffered a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit in Jacksonville. After failing to clear the league’s concussion protocol, Johnson was inactive in Sunday’s 17-10 loss to the Colts. Week 16's matchup actually isn't a bad one as the Ravens are 28th in allowing fantasy points to WRs. But the Texans QB situation is very much up in the air right now and will likely limit Johnson's value this week.

Cowboys Beat: Early indication DeMarco Murray plays Week 16

Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 10:16am

Bryan Broaddus on Twitter - [Full Article]

Early thinking is yes, [DeMarco Murray] plays in Week 16].

Fantasy Impact:

It's not an official word from the team but Broaddus does cover the Cowboys. He was asked in a tweet what the early indications are around Cowboys camp regarding Murray playing vs. the Colts. Right now Dallas is just playing wait-and-see with Murray and unfortunately owners must do the same. Injury Expert Russell Manalastas said Monday, "I'm not sure it's realistic to assume Murray will be back from hand surgery this Sunday, but stranger things have happened. The severity of the fracture and what type of procedure they perform will ultimately determine his availability this week and moving forward."

Colts Beat: Team shouldn't bench Trent Richardson

Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 9:57am

Indianapolis Star - [Full Article]

The first, and most obvious, is the Colts' considerable lack of depth at running back. Trent Richardson and Dan Herron are joined only by undrafted rookie Zurlon Tipton from Central Michigan, currently the third running back. The Colts, like most teams in today's NFL, prefer to play a rotation of running backs. With Ahmad Bradshaw on injured reserve, there aren't a lot of options.

Arguing for more carries for Herron is one thing – he's been more productive – but to suggest that he alone handle all the carries, when he has no history of being an every-down running back, is a stretch.

But there's a much bigger reason behind the Colts' rationale to stick with Richardson. And it has little to do with running the football. Richardson is the best pass-blocking running back the Colts have, a distinction that greatly increases his worth to the coaching staff.

You might not value this quality in your favorite team's running back, but quarterbacks do not share your opinion.

Fantasy Impact:

While it's just one opinion, it makes a lot of sense. Protecting one of the top QBs in the league is key to the Colts success and playoff future, and if Richardson has the best ability to keep Luck upright, he's going to be on the field. That could mean on the field in key third down situations, which obviously would limit Herron's pass-catching numbers. Both Herron and Richardson had two receptions last week.