INDIANAPOLIS --- With the signing of Frank Gore, the Colts have added the most reliable running back in the NFL over the past four years. Other than Chris Johnson, he's the only running back to play in all 16 games each season since 2011, and Gore has been more productive.
And reliability is everything in fantasy football, when you only have 13 regular season weeks and a one-and-done playoff scenario.
NFL.com's Michael Fabiano recently wrote about the top-20 running backs from 2014 in terms of fantasy points per touch. As we know, volume is also a crucial part of the evaluating fantasy running backs, but volume is nothing without per touch production. That's why the #1 player in points per touch last season (Jamaal Charles) finished outside the top-5 highest scoring RBs in 2014.
In his age 31 season, Gore averaged 0.56 fantasy points per touch in San Francisco. Do the math, and that comes out to Gore needing about 18 touches on average to crack double-digit fantasy points in standard leagues. He's been a solid fantasy RB2 or FLEX over the past few seasons.
What's exciting though is what Fabiano notes about Gore coming into the Colts offense, where Ahmad Bradshaw last year averaged an absurd 0.91 fantasy points per touch. For perspective, that would have been better than the leader in fantasy points per touch among running backs in 2014, Jamaal Charles (0.86), if Bradshaw had stayed healthy. However, health has not been an issue with Gore.
Even more impressive is Bradshaw still finished as the #23 running back in standard scoring despite splitting carries with Trent Richardson and missing the final six games. At the point Bradshaw went on IR, he was a top-10 RB in fantasy football in 2014.
All of this leads me to conclude Frank Gore has a high-ceiling in the Colts offense in 2015, even if he winds up splitting reps (which I believe is likely). Don't forget about the potential for added value in the passing game though with Gore's arrival in Indy, after he averaged 51 catches for 430 receiving yards and close to 2 receiving touchdowns per year from 2006-2010. In this offense, Bradshaw had 38 receptions for 300 yards and 6 touchdowns in 10 games last season.
Gore could be a fantastic middle round RB2 pick in fantasy drafts for 2015.