2016 Fantasy Players Difficult to Predict

2016 Fantasy Players Difficult to Predict by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Samantha Holt

It’s time to take that leap of faith. You decide, he’s the guy for you. Is there the likelihood that he will completely let you down and break your heart? Yes! But the hopeless romantic in you takes the risk. What if he’s completely wonderful and surprises you week after week? You look at him and think, hey he’s got potential. He could be the one. So you take the plunge, and draft him.

OK maybe for you fantasy football is nothing like dating, but to me I see some similarities. Similar in the way that some of these players may end up being total disappointments. Don’t worry this article won’t be depressing. Then again, if some of you had a terrible season last year as a direct result from one of them, this might be a sore spot. So either get over it or if he seems sincere and apologizes for his previous mistakes, you may consider taking him back this year. It’s up to you.

The following are a list of 10 players who were difficult to predict last season and in some cases even harder to predict for the upcoming season. Let’s also pretend this list is random, because it’s just too difficult to rank 1-10.

Frank Gore – He’s a guy who on paper looks pretty darn good. He’s got opportunity and health on his side. However if you look at a chart of his points last season, it looks like the heart rate monitor of someone who’s been drinking red bull vodkas all night… Mess. Am I placing him in my RB1 spot? No… but if I’m picking him up, it’ll be as an RB 2 to someone with a far greater consistency rate. STEADY BOYFRIEND

Jamaal Charles – Ok guys, if he broke your heart last season don’t hold that against him, he wasn’t trying to get hurt. And if you didn’t handcuff this injury prone player that’s on you. Now if you handcuffed him with Knile Davis, I can empathize a little. As for this upcoming season, he is still a risk. Charles is clearly great when HEALTHY, but I’m nervous to take him as my first pick. If I do, I’m definitely picking up Charc-nado to handcuff. Or Ware.. Uhgg, madness. MY EX

Carlos Hyde – After a semi decent start it looked like Hyde was ready to go, but alas another injured RB. If I had to rank RBs right now, I would put him out of the top 15. He is the only 49er worth drafting and if he stays healthy, he could be great. Keep in mind he’s got a heavy workload with a tough schedule. SUMMER ROMANCE

Thomas Rawls – With Lynch’s retirement my first thought was Rawls is a must own. But with so many offensive options he could be on a short leash with Pete Carroll if he makes any mistakes. “Get back on the bench and keep Graham company!” STEADY BOYFRIEND

Rashad Jennings – The underwhelming starter had a measly 3 TDs this past season. He did have more rushing yards in 2015, than in seasons past, but that doesn’t win you games. And what’s the golden rule in fantasy? “You play to win the game!” thanks Herm Edwards. So don’t add Jennings, instead talk him up to the drunk guy at the draft to take him. BAD BLIND DATE

Vincent Jackson – I think Vincent Jackson hates me. Whenever I have played him, he’s been awful/ ineffective. Whenever I’ve benched him he’s had a big day. You sir, are frustrating. With the many options in Tampa, and one year older, it’s safe to say Jackson will be getting less targets this season. STOOD UP

Demaryius Thomas – Was and will remain unpredictable. This offense is dependent on who will be throwing the ball. I doubt Butt-Fumble will get the starting job, so preseason will be interesting who gets the job. Once that’s decided there’s still a bunch of available targets besides Thomas. So who knows….BOOTY CALL

Markus Wheaton – Mentioning him for two reasons; 1. With Bryant suspended he could be a legit WR2 in Pittsburgh, 2. I’m a Steelers fan, so yeah. Ben’s versatile and when he’s not passing to Brown, he’s creating volume in plays. Wheaton will be seeing targets, his floor is raised, and his ceiling?.. TBD…STEADY BOYFRIEND

Back field of San Diego – Yeah, just all of them. Melvin Gordon, a depressing bust last season, is coming back from a knee injury and will be eased back very slowly. Woodhead suffered an ankle injury in minicamp this week, was seen walking off the field, so hopefully nothing serious. Branden Oliver is coming back from a toe injury… Yeah not much confidence in this group. They also added Derek Watt, and though I’m biased because I’ve JJ in my IDP league, I’m sure anything Derek does has the potential to be awesome. CHEATER

Tyler Eifert – Some big games last season, amongst some sparse showings due to SO many targets in Cincinnati. What makes him most unpredictable is the time table for recovery from his ankle surgery. Estimated 3 months till he’s back to playing. However if I’ve learned anything from fantasy sports is never trust ankle injuries. Though the surgery is listed as “minimal”, anything that can weaken stability in the ankle is a bad sign. Plus they never rush a player back from that (and shouldn’t), because they can easily aggravate it. All that said, if he’s healthy in September, he’s a big-time playmaker. POSSIBLE HUSBAND MATERIAL

There you have it. I know there are many more unpredictables out there but I like to keep things simple. So draft at your own risk this season, and I’ll date at my own risk. Though with 4 leagues to manage and the Sunday Ticket, I’ll have no time for that nonsense.
Happy offseason to all!

Sam Holt

Follow Sam’s 2016 quest for another Dynasty Fantasy Football championships on twitter @SamanthaRHolt

Also by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Samantha Holt…”This is How We Dynasty Football”

and Fantasy Stock Drops From 2016 Draft by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Samantha Holt

Indianapolis Colts Team Profile 2016

Indianapolis Colts Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

The Indianapolis Colts’ seasons turned around when they drafted QB Andrew Luck first overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Colts won the AFC South Division in 2013 and 2014. The Indianapolis Colts’ season also turned around when QB Andrew Luck was injured for most of last year. The Houston Texans won the AFC South Division in 2015.

2016 Team Outlook–
If QB Andrew Luck comes back 100%, the Colts should be the team to beat in the AFC South in 2016. Houston will have major concerns heading into 2016 at the quarterback position and Tennessee is still evolving with their young #2 overall draft pick from the 2015 NFL Draft….QB Marcus Mariota. Jacksonville is an interesting sleeper team in 2016- talented QB Blake Bortles was the #3 quarterback in 2015, and has an outstanding wide receiver duo to throw to.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook-

QB– The Colts were probably lucky to squeak out  an 8-8 season in 2015, with grampa Hasselbeck playing under center for the Colts for half of the season. Luck battled an assortment of 2015 injuries, the most serious of which was a lacerated kidney. Luck is expected to be fully recovered and ready for the upcoming season. He is in the last year of his rookie deal, and a huge contract extension is coming. Fantasy football owners who drafted Luck ( and GB Aaron Rodgers) early in 2015, may want to wait in fantasy drafts for their quarterback, which I always preach.

RBs– RB Frank Gore was an Utter-Fantasy running back “sleeper” for 2015, but with QB Luck’s injuries, it’s hard to say if the prognostication was a bad one. Defenses were not afraid of Hasselbeck beating them through the air, so boxes were stacked against Gore. He still managed to rank as the #11 running back in the NFL last season, with almost 1000 yards rushing ( 6 rushing TDs.) Gore should return as the starter in 2016, and hopefully the Colts get a better O-Line to help him ( and Luck ) out. UPDATE: Robert Turbin signed a 1-year w/ IND and Jordan Todman signed 1-year deal.

One of the biggest “head-scratcher” of the 2015 NFL Draft was the Colts selection of 5’10” wide receiver Phillip Dorsett! For starters….Indianapolis had bigger needs for the rest of team, rather than spending their 1st round pick on a T.Y. Hilton clone at wide receiver. The Colts really needed run-stoppers, O-Line help, and a safety- 2015 IND Colt Team Profile….so what were they thinking? Even with QB Luck out half the seson in 2015, WR Hilton still racked up 1124 receiving yards with 5 touchdowns. ( down from 1345 and 7 TDs in 2015.) The WR Andre Johnson acquisition was not a successful one, and he’ll likely be released. Colts will roll with Hilton, Moncrief and Phillips in 2016.

Both tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen are free agents this year, but Indy is expected to re-sign at least one of them. Allen is the more well-rounded tight end, but Fleener had a better year in 2015, and was a lot healthier. ( Fleener also played with QB Luck at Stanford, and he was drafted the same year as Luck- 2012.)2016 FREE AGENTS-  Update: Colts re-signed TE Dwayne Allen to a four-year, $29.4 million contract. Coby Fleener signed with New Orleans.

Although a free agent in 2015, the Colts are likely to re-sign place kicker Adam Vinatieri, who at 43 years old, still remains one of the league’s best kickers. Vinatieri ended 2015 as the #17 kicker in the NFL, nailing 25 of his 27 field goal attempts.

At least the Colts are consistent! In 2014, they were the #13 ranked defense in the NFL, and in 2015, they were the #13 ranked defense in the NFL. Hopefully the Colts do not spend their 1st round- 18th overall pick in 2016, on another 5’10 wide receiver. They need to get an edge rusher or corner early. Indianapolis will really be in trouble if they lose ILB Jerrell Freeman to free agency.

2015 Indianapolis Fantasy Surprises–
When an offense ranks #30, like the Colts offense did in 2015, the fantasy surprises are usually bad fantasy surprises. WR Hilton probably had a better season than expected after QB Luck went out, ending as the 24th wide receiver for 2015.

2016 Free Agents that Indianapolis Needs to Address–
  TE Dwayne Allen (Re-signed), TE Coby Fleener, QB Matt Hasselbeck, RB Dan Herron, K Adam Vinatieri, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, ICB Greg Toler, SS Dwight Lowery, DE Billy Winn, S Colt Anderson, OG Lance Louis, LB Jerrell Freeman

2016 NFL Draft–
The immediate need of Indianapolis are shoring up their weak O-Line, that must keep QB Andrew Luck healthy in 2016, and provide some holes for RB Frank Gore. The Colts can improve their defense by drafting an outside linebacker, cornerbacks, and a free safety. They do not need a 1st round wide receiver- INDIANAPOLIS’ 2015 DRAFT

Did You Know– Johnny Unitas played the role of the head coach of one of the opposing football teams in the 1999 Oliver Stone film, ‘Any Given Sunday’.

All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS

Team Home Page: www.colts.com

Team Profiles – Indianapolis Colts

Team Profiles- Indianapolis Colts by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Team Profiles – Indianapolis Colts. Chuck Pagano is the current head coach for the Indianapolis Colts, and although he’s been coaching in the NFL since 2001, this is his first head coaching position. Pagano has coached for the Cleveland Browns, the Oakland Raiders, and the Baltimore Ravens prior to joining the Colts. Consistency is the best term to use when describing Pagano’s coaching recording in Indianapolis, because in 3 years as the head coach, he has recorded 11-5 seasons in each. The Colts will have at least 11 wins in 2015.

2015 Team Outlook–
Indianapolis has won the AFC South 4 out of the past 6 years (Houston won it in 2010 & 2011.) The Colts have all the pieces in place to easily lead the AFC South in wins again in 2015. The Colts however need a stronger defense, need to figure out their running game and replenish their receiving corps. The Colts will be champs of the AFC South in 2015, with Houston in 2nd place, and Jacksonville and Tennessee well under .500.

QB– How’s this for stability at the quarterback position…since 1990, the Indianapolis Colts have only needed 4 different quarterbacks to be the starting QB the franchise (excluding the 2011). Jeff George (’90-’93), Jim Harbaugh (’94-’97), Peyton Manning (’99-’10) and Andrew Luck (’12-’14). Peyton Manning was selected first overall in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Colts, and Luck was selected first overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. Having only 2 quarterbacks play for a franchise over a span of 16+ years is a luxury only very few teams can boast of having. Luck was the #1 QB in the NFL in 2014 with 4761 yards passing – 43 total TDs. If he stays injury-free, he should be battling QB Aaron Rodgers as the #1 QB again in 2015.

RBs– Only the Colts know why on September 18, 2013 they traded Cleveland for RB Trent Richardson in exchange for a 2014 first-round draft pick. Granted, The Colts were looking for a running back after a season-ending injury to Vick Ballard. Other running backs were available however, and Richardson had shown nothing in Cleveland despite being a third overall by the Browns in 2012. Their willingness to trade him should have told the Colts something about the running back. Right now, the Colts are trying to find grounds to void the $3.184 million left on his contract. This could get messy. The running back that did show promise in 2014 was 3rd year player Dan Herron. Herron became the featured back for Indianapolis from Week 12 on. Although RB Herron handled himself very well in 2014, the Colts seem to consider him “more of a backup than starter”. Look for Indianapolis to grab 1 or 2 RBs in April’s NFL Draft or in free agency. UPDATE: Colts waive RB Richardson and Michael Hill. Colts sign former 49er RB Frank Gore to a 3 year deal. He is one of my favorite sleepers for 2015!

Few Colts are as revered in Indianapolis as WR Reggie Wayne is. Johnny Unitas (a Baltimore Colt), Peyton Manning, and Edgerrin James are a few others. On December 14th WR Reggie Wayne broke the Colt’s franchise record of 209 for games played. Wayne has played for the Colts his entire career, since being drafted in 2001. Some great things must come to end however, and although a sensational player, Wayne was a negative impact on Indianapolis’ offense. At 36 years old, Wayne can no longer be the player he was, and had only 791 yards and 2 TDs in 2014. If the Colts are going to keep up with the Pats, the Steelers and the Broncos in the AFC, they need young play-makers. The Colts have a special one in WR TY Hilton and perhaps another in WR Donte Moncrief. (Moncrief was one of the talented young wide receivers drafted in 2014.) WR TY Hilton ended the 2014 as the #10 WR in the NFL. Indianapolis also had veteran Hakeem Nicks playing for them in 2014, but the Colts seriously need to move on from that guy. UPDATE: Colts sign former Texan WR Andre Johnson and former Charger/Raider Vincent Brown. The Colts selected 5’10” WR Phillip Dorsett with their 1st pick, which was odd to say the least! The Colts defense is atrocious, yet they felt they needed another WR for QB Luck, who already has more than he can make happy.

In 2014, Indianapolis had not one, but two tight ends that ended the season ranked in the top 15 of NFL TEs. Coby Fleener ranked #6 with 774 and 8 TDs, and Dwayne Allen ranked #14 with 395 and 8 TDs. The Colts have always had tight ends play a big role in their offense, and 2015 will be more of the same.

In 2014, Adam Vinatieri made a career-high 35 field goals last, going 19-of-23 from 40-plus yards out. He is the first kicker ever to win four Super Bowl rings. As of the 2014 season, Vinatieri, 42, is the oldest active player in the NFL. The Colts think he has a ton of leg left, re-signing Vinatieri to a two-year, $5 million contract.

The Seahawks and the Patriots went to the Super Bowl in 2014, and the biggest thing they have, that the Colts don’t have, is a championship defense. The Colts made it to the playoffs, but they play in a weak division and their defense was badly exposed in the AFC Championship vs the Patriots. They got their butts kicked…45-7. The Colts need to put a priority on getting some serious run-stopping play-makers for their defense because teams ran all over them last season. There really isn’t any area of the Indy defensive that doesn’t need help. UPDATE: Colts sign CB Deveron Carr, ILB Nate Irving and S Dwight Lowery.

2014 Indianapolis Fantasy Surprises–
This one’s an easy one. Even into week 17, the Colts never gave up on RB Trent Richardson, WR Reggie Wayne or WR Hakeem Nicks, when it was apparent to everyone except the Colts, that other players should be on the field. Indianapolis has other talent that should have been getting playing time and experience earlier in the season. RB Richardson averaged 3 yards carry and had only 3 TDs. WR Wayne and WR Nicks didn’t even end the 2014 season in the top 50 among wide receivers (and that’s with Andrew Luck as the quarterback!)

2015 Free Agents that Indianapolis Needs to Address–
RB Ahmad Bradshaw- WR Josh Cribbs- WR Hakeem Nicks- WR Reggie Wayne- DE Corey Redding (signed w/ Arizona)- DT Ricky Jean Francois- CB Josh Gordy- CB Darius Butler (re-signed)- S Sergio Brown (signed w/ the Jags)- S LaRon Landry-(released)

2015 NFL Draft–
The immediate needs of Indianapolis are at running back, run-stoppers, O-Line help, and at safety. The Colts first need to dump RB Richardson, but hopefully they use their 1st round selection on a defensive player and address the running back position later (RB), right tackle remains the most glaring weakness on Indianapolis’ O- line (OL) and the Colts gave up too many points last year (S). UPDATE: Indianapolis’entire 2015 NFL Draft can be seen at this link- INDIANAPOLIS’ DRAFT

Did You Know– The Indianapolis Colts have had only had one losing season in past 13 years, and that all 12 winning seasons since 2001 have had double digit wins? From 2002-2014, the Colts record is 144 wins and only 64 loses. Only in the 2011 season under HC Jim Caldwell, did the team have less than 10 wins.

All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS

Team Home Page: www.colts.com