Indianapolis Colts Preview
The Colts 2007 campaign can be summed up in one word…injuries. They lost a key member on both sides of the ball (Marvin Harrison and Dwight Freeney), yet they were still one of the league’s elite teams. I see no reason that changes this year.
On Offense you know the cast of characters. Peyton Manning is their brilliant QB who may start a little slow as he recovers from knee surgery, but he’s still put up his usual 4000 yards and 28+ TDs. He’s got weapons galore with Reggie Wayne emerging as one of the top WRs in the NFL. He also has old pal Marvin Harrison back and second-year wideout Anthony Gonzalez. Their running attack is led by Joseph Addai, who like Manning and Wayne is one of the best at his position. He had over 1400 total yards and 15 TDs last year. Dominic Rhodes is back to help share the load, as is Rookie Mike Hart out of Michigan. The is a question mark for the Colts at the Center position. Jeff Saturday could miss the bulk of the season with a knee injury. Although he’s one of the leaders of their Offensive Line, Manning is savvy enough to make the necessary adjustments to keep the offense running like a well-oiled machine.
On Defense, it will be interesting to see if Dwight Freeney can regain his burst. His return will take some pressure off Robert Mathis allowing him to do his thing. The heart of the Defense is Bob Sanders. If his body can hold up, he’ll anchor that secondary and provide run support. The Defense is instantly improved when he’s on the field. Gary Brackett was their leading tackler (116) at Linebacker. He added four INTs. Their Cornerbacks Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden had 87 and 83 tackles last year respectively. Their other Safety, Antoine Bethea, picked off 4 passes. This unit can be solid if they can stay healthy. If they can’t the Offense will just have to score more.
The Jaguars will challenge them, but the Colts will win the AFC South once again. They’ll win 12 or 13 games and have a legitimate chance to win another Super Bowl. Personally I think New England or San Diego will dispose of them in the playoffs, but you can never count Peyton out.
Fantasy-wise you know the drill. Take Addai and Wayne in the first round. Peyton in the second. Later grab Marvin, Dallas, and Anthony Gonzalez. Late rounds you can grab Rhodes as a handcuff, Indy D, and Adam Vinatieri. Just be cautious because you may not get top production in your Fantasy Super Bowl.