Indianapolis Colts Depth Chart and Fantasy Preview: Michael Pittman Jr., Jonathan Taylor, Anthony Richardson

What does a healthy Anthony Richardson mean for Michael Pittman Jr.? Find out this and more in our Indianapolis Colts fantasy preview.

In fantasy football, we want good players on good offenses. The Indianapolis Colts should have at least three of them.

Anthony Richardson, Jonathan Taylor, and Michael Pittman Jr. all project to be strong fantasy assets. Just how strong? Let’s get to our Indianapolis Colts fantasy preview.

Indianapolis Colts Fantasy Depth Chart

QB
Anthony Richardson, Joe Flacco, Sam Ehlinger

RB
Jonathan Taylor, Evan Hull, Tyler Goodson, Trey Sermon

WR1
Michael Pittman Jr., Ashton Dulin, D.J. Montgomery

WR2
Josh Downs, Juwann Winfree, Tyrie Cleveland

WR3
Adonai Mitchell, Alec Pierce, Anthony Gould

TE
Jelani Woods, Kylen Granson, Mo Alie-Cox

Anthony Richardson’s Fantasy Outlook

In his rookie year, we only got a small sample of what Richardson can do. He started just four games and only finished two of them. A concussion cost him Week 3, and then a shoulder injury sustained in Week 5 ended his season.

It’s always risky to extrapolate based on such a limited sample, especially for a rookie. But what we saw from Richardson was very encouraging.

Richardson posted games of 21.9, 17.7, and 29.6 fantasy points in his first three starts. He ran for 40, 35, and 56 yards, respectively, in those games. If Richardson can sustain that over a full season, we’re looking at a top-five fantasy quarterback.

The primary key to Richardson’s fantasy value is his rushing. The issue for fantasy managers is not whether the production will be there. I think it’s safe to say that’s a given. The issue is whether Richardson can run at the level he needs to while also protecting himself.

Richardson is already being valued like a borderline elite fantasy QB. While injuries are always a concern, drafting scared is not how fantasy titles are won. There’s a very real chance that had Richardson played a full season, he’d have been the QB3 behind Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts.

Do not shy away from Richardson purely due to injury worries.

Jonathan Taylor’s Fantasy Outlook

After a dismal 2022 season, Taylor rebounded a bit in 2023, averaging 15.6 fantasy points per game. However, he once again was limited due to injury.

Taylor played in 32 of a possible 33 games to start his career. Since then, he’s missed 13 of his next 34 games.

In 2022, Taylor was clearly hampered by an ankle injury that just never fully recovered. Last season, Taylor looked healthy when on the field.

However, that lingering ankle injury cost him the first month of the season. Then, a thumb injury cost him three weeks in the second half of the season.

It’s difficult to gauge Taylor’s 2023 performance on raw numbers. When he made his debut in Week 5, there was a slow ramp-up period. He didn’t take over as the clear workhorse until Week 9. Then, he got just two games in before the thumb injury knocked him out another three weeks.

Taylor did close the season by reminding everyone just what he can do at his peak, ripping off 196 total yards and a touchdown, scoring 27.6 fantasy points in the final week of the season that doesn’t count for fantasy.

Here’s the primary concern with Taylor, though. We know he’s one of the best runners in the league. But he only commanded a 7.6% target share with Gardner Minshew as his quarterback. Richardson is going to run a lot more. That means less overall target volume.

Taylor is not going to supplement his production with much in the way of receiving work. That means he will need to be efficient on the ground and, more importantly, score touchdowns.

Taylor will remain the primary goalline back. However, this is a guy who needed 20 touchdowns to average 22 fantasy points per game in his 2021 season, where he was one of the weakest overall RB1s in recent history.

Even if the Colts make it a point to protect Richardson, the QB is still going to steal a handful of touchdowns, at minimum.

I like Taylor. He’s an excellent player. But I’m not sure I see the fantasy upside to justify taking him near the first round.

Michael Pittman Jr.’s Fantasy Outlook

Now for someone I couldn’t be more in on in fantasy this season, we have Michael Pittman Jr.

Back in 2022, Pittman was my guy. He was my No. 1 target at WR. I wanted him everywhere.

While the logic was sound, and Pittman saw the elite volume I expected, the quarterback play was so bad that Pittman wound up as a middling WR2. Regrettably, I shied away from him in 2023. That was a grievous error.

Last season, Pittman saw even greater volume, and the combination of Richardson and Minshew was a significant upgrade on the disastrous band of misfits throwing passes for the Colts the previous year.

Pittman saw a 30.5% target share and was targeted on 28.1% of his routes run. He wound up averaging 15.6 fantasy points per game, finishing as the overall WR14.

You will probably encounter analysis this season questioning whether Pittman’s production is sustainable. After all, there’s no chance Richardson, who is going to run the ball 8-10 times a game, throws as many passes as Minshew.

While this is true, there are two main reasons to be bullish on Pittman not only sustaining, but increasing his production.

First, Richardson is a better quarterback than Minshew. Pittman averaged a mere 7.4 yards per target last year. That should improve with Richardson.

Second, Pittman is going to score more touchdowns. He just has to. Pittman scored a mere four times last season despite catching 109 balls for 1,152 yards. He should’ve scored around seven times. If nothing else changes but that, we’re looking at a top-12 fantasy WR.

Pittman is being undervalued in 2024 fantasy drafts.

Josh Downs’ Fantasy Outlook

Josh Downs’ rookie season was far better in real life than it was in fantasy, as his 68 catches for 771 yards and two touchdowns is a very respectable year for a rookie. It just didn’t matter much for fantasy that he gave managers 9.2 fantasy points per game.

With a healthy Richardson and another year of experience, Downs should be better this season. He’s certainly going to be worth drafting.

However, I’m not sure Richardson can support anyone beyond Pittman.

Downs saw a 17.9% target share last season. He had a solid stretch from Weeks 5-8 of 15.7, 13.1, 23.5, and 14.2 fantasy points. Outside of that run, he had just one other game with double-digit fantasy points.

How much will Downs be able to improve upon that this year? The answer, unfortunately, is probably not much.

Between Richardson’s mobility resulting in a smaller overall target pie, Pittman’s massive share, and the addition of Adonai Mitchell, Downs looks like a low upside WR4 this season.

Adonai Mitchell’s Fantasy Outlook

In the interest of full disclosure, I debated whether the rookie was even worth having his own section. He’s the WR3 on a low-volume passing offense. That alone makes him unlikely to be an impactful fantasy asset. More importantly, I just don’t believe in the talent.

Mitchell was inefficient in college, never reaching 2.0 yards per route run. While he’s undeniably fast, his best season college target share was 19.4%, and he didn’t produce at all until his junior year after transferring away from Georgia to Texas.

Sadly, Mitchell looks a lot like Alec Pierce. He will have his moments. There will be splash plays. But he would have to end up being a lot better than his profile suggests even to have a chance.

If that happens, he still needs to overtake Downs as the WR2. And even then, his ceiling is probably low WR3 in this offense.

I hope he proves me wrong, but I’m out for 2024.

Colts Fantasy Sleepers

Not every team is going to have exciting sleepers. The Colts are one of those teams.

Mitchell probably qualifies more as a sleeper than a guy worthy of his own section. At this point, Pierce has been too unproductive and is now too far down the depth chart for there to be much excitement.

Perhaps Jelani Woods has a breakout in him. However, after an uninspiring rookie year and missing his entire sophomore season, there just isn’t any evidence justifying even throwing a late-round dart at the tight end. At best, fantasy managers can keep an eye on him early in the season to see if there are signs of him emerging.

There aren’t even any running backs worth taking a stab at late in drafts. With Zack Moss gone, there is no clear Taylor handcuff.

Ultimately, this is a roster where there are three key fantasy pieces — Richardson, Taylor, and Pittman — and not much to get excited about beyond them.

As we look ahead to the 2024 fantasy football season, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

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