The Colts have talent at their skill positions, but they also have depth concerns.
“We have three guys at wide receiver [who] we know about and then we have a bunch of guys [who] have talent, can run, have height, weight and speed and can catch and do all those things, but they have to go do it now,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “Those guys are all going to compete for that spot, and that’s what training camp is all about. We’ve got talent, we’ve got guys that are capable, they are just unproven.”
There's no clear-cut favorite on who Frank Gore's backup is even though the team is high on undrafted free agent Josh Ferguson out of Illinois. Gore had 227 more carries than his next closest teammate last season.
The Colts are just fine with their starting skill spots, but any kind of injury the team will need to sort out who is up next. Whomever wins the jobs could certainly have fantasy potential if there is an injury at some point. The story also mentioned TE, where it's just Jack Doyle and Chase Coffman behind Dwayne Allen.
RB James White
RB Jonas Gray
OL Jordan Devey
OL Cameron Fleming
WR Josh Boyce
TE Steve Maneri
DE Zach Moore
Jonas Gray is a surprise inactive. It's an indicator that the Patriots are likely to go pass-heavy and use LeGarrette Blount as their primary between-the-tackles running back. Baltimore is a bad matchup, so Blount is not an especially attractive play in daily formats, though his 12-14 carry workload should be safe.
For years, we have seen the headaches of what should be a dream job: catching passes from Tom Brady. How many times have you heard someone say something like this about Brady:
"He expects you to be exactly where he wants you to be every route. Not a yard off, not a yard too deep, not a yard too short. He expects you to be exactly where he wants you to be because he's going to put the ball placement exactly right."
That quote comes from wide receiver Brandon LaFell, but it could easily have come from any receiver to walk through the halls of Gillette Stadium. Learning the Patriots offense can be difficult for receivers because of the heavy verbiage, the importance of understanding coverages, and the range of factors that can determine a receiver's assignment on a given play.
"First things first, you've got to learn formations," said LaFell. "Man, we've got a million formations, and we've got a million personnel groups. I was just trying to get all that down pat, because at least if I know where I'm lined up, I can kind of figure out what everybody else is doing based on the concept of the play. And second, learning the terms of the plays that we use and different code words we use, because one play I can be the X receiver and if we go to a hurry-up offense, depending on where the ball is spotted, I can be the Z receiver the next play. I have to know the whole play, but first, learning the formations, personnel groups, second, learning the plays and the concepts and just go from there with it."
It could be why predicting success in terms of fantasy is often difficult with the Pats offense in general. The story went on to say that receivers can be asked to carry out multiple assignments based on alignment, coverage, personnel groupings, where the ball is spotted, and myriad other factors. That's why last year was such a struggle for then-rookies Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins, and Josh Boyce. You can even throw in Danny Amendola into that mix, who was a free agent but then got hurt early in the season. Knowing all of this should increase the fantasy value of any of these WRs, but now it's waiting to see who gets how many snaps. It also could mean a bigger year for Brady.
Watching Patriots QB Tom Brady and his receivers operate against the Panthers on Friday night, they had a flow and a feel that wasn’t always there last year, a sense of comfort and security.
When Brady dropped back to throw, he seemed much more at ease, much more confident in what his players were going to do and where they were going to be. Last year, it was a bit of a mystery wondering if the proper routes were going to be run.
That was one of the biggest issues, as rookies Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce, as well as veteran Danny Amendola, learned the system and tried to get in sync with the quarterback.
A year later, there doesn’t seem to be as much angst with every pass play. Brady doesn’t have that disgusted quarterback look. There’s now a comfort level and trust across the board between him and his primary targets that wasn’t there at any time during the 2013 season. Even the drops don’t have the same impact on No. 12.
The rookies, in particular, didn’t always get the routes down right or get to the exact spots Brady desired. It was the same deal with newcomer Amendola, who on occasion wasn’t certain where he was supposed to be. While there still are mistakes this year, the article noted that Brady doesn't write off anyone and continues to go back to them as targets. Brady comes in ranked 8th among our QBs, and while it seems weird to call him a sleeper, he certainly has the potential to finish a little higher than his ranking - like the days of old. With an ADP of the 9th round, he makes for a nice target at that point in drafts.