INDIANAPOLIS --- Colts fans at their fantasy drafts this year did one of two things. They either took one of their favorite Colts players earlier than most in their draft or poked fun at the person in their league for being a "homer" and taking a Colt "too early".
Hopefully, you were the former and not the latter, because the Colts have been fantasy gold this year:
Andrew Luck #1 QB
Ahmad Bradshaw #6 RB
Trent Richardson #18 RB
T.Y. Hilton #8 WR
Dwayne Allen #7 TE
Adam Vinatieri #3 K
Colts Defense/Special Teams #5 (despite weeks 1 and 2...incredible)
So who has been the Colts Fantasy MVP through the first half of the fantasy regular season? And the winner is…
A case can obviously be made for Andrew Luck, but considering he cost a third or fourth round pick to get on your roster, you have to go with Bradshaw. He has been the Knowshon Moreno of 2014 in fantasy football. A player that went in the last couple rounds or undrafted altogether but is giving his owners RB1 production.
Most importantly, he's provided weekly consistency. Double-digit fantasy production in five of seven weeks (a respectable 8 points and 5 points the other two weeks didn't cripple you either). He has six receiving touchdowns, only three away from the NFL record of nine receiving touchdowns for running backs. He's been a huge weapon in the red zone for Andrew Luck and the Colts, and overall, Bradshaw is averaging 4.8 yards per carry, the best clip he's run at since 2009.
It's not a knock on Trent Richardson who has also returned RB2 production for fantasy investors, but Bradshaw has proven 13.4 touches per game are more than enough for him. Bradshaw is the kind of late round lottery ticket that could potentially win managers across this great land a fantasy championship in 2014.
Week 8 Start 'Em
Kevin Bowen and Jim Sorgi have the week off from lineup picks. Here's who I'm looking to get into my lineups this week.
Ahmad Bradshaw (@ PIT) - Are you sensing a theme here? Against teams that acutally have reliable running backs (Cleveland, Baltimore, Houston), the Steelers have surrendered about 150 yards per game on the ground and five touchdowns in four games. Regardless of Trent Richardson's status, it's time to stop thinking about whether to start Bradshaw or not.
Jerick McKinnon (MIN RB @ TB) - Last week I said to bench McKinnon vs. the Bills top-3 defense against fantasy running backs...a spectacular mistake. 19 carries for 103 yards later and a match-up this week against a bottom five defense against opposing running backs...start away! Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Joique Bell (DET RB vs. ATL in London) - Top of the morning to you, with this 9:30 A.M. kickoff. Oh, that's an Irish thing and not British? My bad. Reggie Bush is trending in the wrong direction this week with an ankle injury. If he's out, it's probably another 20 touches for Joique Bell against the defense that is DEAD LAST against fantasy running backs. Even if Bush plays, start Bell. He's scored each of the last two weeks and added a little value through the air as well. Blimey! Have some fish and chips in your flat with some mates and enjoy Bell's day. Cheerio.
Week 8 Sit 'Em
Week 8 Waiver Wire RBs - Unless you're desperate, I can't recommend starting Rams RB Tre Mason at KC (6th vs. RBs), Bills RBs Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown at NYJ (10th vs. RB...plus, unclear what split in touches will be), or Jaguars RB Denard Robinson vs. MIA (good match-up, but I want to see him do it again).
Jay Cutler (CHI QB @ NE) --- After posting just 7 points vs. Miami, I'm scared to death to start Cutler at New England against the #3 defense vs. opposing signal callers. The Patriots have allowed just one quarterback to score over 20 fantasy points. We all know Cutler's interception history, but he hasn't thrown down field effectively in 2014. His running back Matt Forte leads the NFL in receptions (good for him, not great for Cutler yardage totals). Last year, Brandon Marshall caught 61% of his targets. This year that number is down to 55%. Last year, Alshon Jeffery was targeted 150 times. This year, he's on pace for only 121 targets. The Bears offense is just off right now. In my league of record, I'm considering starting Ryan Tannehill (20, 17, 23 fantasy points last 3 weeks) vs. the Jaguars over Cutler. Am I overthinking this? Maybe, but Cutler still frightens me this week.
Washington WRs (@ DAL) - Remember when everyone was forecasting the Cowboys defense to be one of the worst of all-time in training camp? You have to respect Big D's defense at this point. Dallas is top-5 against opposing WRs, and sorry if I'm not drinking the Colt McCoy Kool-Aid just yet.