The Colts made it within one game of the Super Bowl last year, thanks in large part to quarterback Andrew Luck and a potent offense. However, the defense wasn’t exactly chopped liver either, ranking – surprise – 11th in the league.
It’s not exactly a rarity for three-man fronts to be short on IDP-relevant talent. Well, that’s very much the case in Indianapolis, where not a single defensive lineman finished among the top 75 in IDP scoring last year. There just isn’t anything to see here folks – move along.
The Indy linebackers made a much bigger dent in IDP leagues last season, beginning with free-agent acquisition D’Qwell Jackson, who paced the team with 138 tackles after coming over from Cleveland. Those stops (and the four sacks that came with them) were enough to slot Jackson inside the top-five at the position. Expecting another finish like that from the 31-year-old may be pushing it, but Jackson’s a solid choice as an IDP LB2.
After topping 125 total tackles in each of his first two NFL seasons, injuries caused a drop in play from CFL transplant Jerrell Freeman in 2014. However, the 29-year-old told Albert Alvarado of the Killeen Daily-Herald that he’s ready to put last year’s slide where it belongs – in the past. “As a professional,” Freeman said, “you forget about it real fast. You move on and try to build on what you were last year, how you ended the season, try to build on it and get better.”
That backslide has also caused Freeman’s ADP to slide at My Fantasy League out of the top 50 at his position. For a player who as recently as 2013 was a top-10 fantasy linebacker, that’s a price that’s worth paying – and then some.
That same season, outside linebacker Robert Mathis joined Freeman in the top 10, propelled to those heights by an eye-popping 19.5 sacks. The 2014 season, however, was a disaster, with a four-game suspension followed by an Achilles tear that wiped out the entire year. There’s been no concrete word on when Mathis might be ready to return to action, leaving both Mathis and free agent-pickup Trent Cole little more than late fliers in IDP formats that award highly for sacks.
After 11 mostly nondescript years in the NFL, strong safety Mike Adams posted career numbers in 2014, racking up 87 stops, picking off five passes and finishing eighth among defensive backs in fantasy points. Adams told Stephen Holder of The Indy Star that he’s eager to show last year was no flash in the pan.
“I’m not trying to (match last season),” he said. “The only thing I’m trying to do is, when a play comes my way, make that play. If somebody runs my way, make that tackle. Do whatever I have to do within the (confines) of the defense. I think that’s all I did last year.”
“I didn’t do anything out of character,” he said of last season. “I didn’t go jump over somebody and make a crazy play. There was no Ed Reed play, where I jumped over somebody and made an interception. I didn’t do any of that. I just played within the defense.”
Fantasy owners appear skeptical, with Adams falling outside the top 30 safeties in drafts. Granted, it’s risky to chase after a player following a career season, but at that modest asking price, what do you have to lose?