INDIANAPOLIS --- There's no offseason in fantasy football! Okay, there is, but I don't have to like it. Thankfully though, fantasy experts and editors around the country have begun to release their initial 2015 fantasy football draft rankings to fill the void in my soul.
One of the more intriguing questions this draft season will be where to draft players on the Colts, considering the incredible amount of weapons on this offense. Below we compiled where some of the best experts in the game have initially ranked them:
Andrew Luck (current average draft position: 26th overall)
NFL.com's Michael Fabiano - QB2, 29th overall
ESPN Fantasy Staff - QB2, 26th overall
Yahoo Fantasy Staff - QB2, 8th overall
CBSSports.com's Dave Richard - QB1, 22nd overall
4for4.com's John Paulsen (#1 most accurate ranker in 2014) - QB1
My Opinion: There is no doubt in my mind Luck should be the first quarterback drafted in fantasy football in 2015 over Aaron Rodgers. No team threw the ball more than the Colts last year, and they only added more weapons. Green Bay was actually 20th in pass attempts last season. The Packers have Eddie Lacy at running back and will want to be more balanced. Luck only finished 6 points behind Rodgers last year in standard scoring, despite 22 turnovers. It's easy to see a season where that number goes down. It's not crazy to think he could throw more than 40 touchdowns this year too, with even more weapons. In terms of fantasy drafts, I'd have no qualms with a draft strategy that takes him in the 2nd round. As I'm fond of saying, you can't win your league early in the draft, but you sure can lose it. Luck is a high-floor, high-ceiling type of pick.
Frank Gore (current average draft position: 41st overall)
NFL.com's Michael Fabiano - RB19, 38th overall
ESPN Fantasy Staff - RB19, 43rd overall
Yahoo Fantasy Staff - RB25, 67th overall
CBSSports.com's Dave Richard - RB21, 41st overall
4for4.com's John Paulsen - RB12
My Opinion: I find it very interesting that the more well known rankings have Gore as a low RB2, and Paulsen has him as a borderline RB1. Paulsen has been top-5 in accuracy four of the past five years. Gore could turn out to be a huge value in 2015, if he stays healthy, and he hasn't missed a game in years. I also wouldn't be surprised if he catches at least 40 passes this season, making him even more valuable in PPR leagues. Gore only averaged 18 receptions per year over the past four seasons but 51 receptions per year from 2006-2010. He told me this week it wasn't because the coaches stopped asking that of him or because he wasn't as good catching balls out of the backfield anymore.
"I wouldn't say they didn't ask me to do that. It's just what the quarterback was seeing," said Gore, who saw a new quarterback under center from 2011-2014, with Colin Kaepernick taking over. "Being with Kaep, he really liked going downfield. He was going downfield more than checking it down. It's about what the quarterback sees."
So what will Luck see? Don't forget he completed 86 passes to Ahmad Bradshaw, Trent Richardson, and Daniel Herron last year. If Gore's ADP stays in the 4th round, I'd be very tempted to draft two stud, low-risk WRs with my first two picks (or Luck), then take Gore.
T.Y. Hilton (current average draft position: 27th overall)
NFL.com's Michael Fabiano - WR13, 31st overall
ESPN Fantasy Staff - WR11, 23rd overall
Yahoo Fantasy Staff - WR11, 26th overall
CBSSports.com's Dave Richard - WR14, 31st overall
4for4.com's John Paulsen - WR13
My Opinion: I didn't see much change in Hilton's ranking from standard rankings to PPR rankings, with him hovering around low WR1 and high WR2 status. It appears the experts aren't too concerned with Hilton losing production with all the other weapons on this offense.
Andre Johnson (current average draft position: 57th overall)
NFL.com - WR24 (outside the top-50 overall)
ESPN Fantasy Staff - WR25, 60th overall
Yahoo Fantasy Staff - WR43, 104th overall
CBSSports.com's Dave Richard - WR24, 57th overall
4for4.com's John Paulsen - WR20
My Opinon: With all due respect to Yahoo and their great staff of fantasy football writers, I think they are bonkers on this one. Andre Johnson is motivated and playing with the best quarterback of his career. TO rank him outside the top-40 WRs is crazy to me. There are plenty of examples of other receivers on the all-time lists that Johnson is climbing that put up 1,000 yard seasons in their age 34 season. I will take Johnson over Keenan Allen, Eric Decker, Victor Cruz, Brandon LaFell, Michael Floyd, Vincent Jackson, Mike Wallace, Allen Robinson, Doug Baldwin, or any rookie WR (some of the WRs Yahoo ranked ahead of Johnson). Just my honest fantasy opinion.
Dwayne Allen (current average draft position: 123rd overall)
NFL.com - TE8
ESPN Fantasy Staff - TE10
Yahoo Fantasy Staff - TE10
CBSSports.com's Dave Richard - TE8
4for4.com's John Paulsen - TE14
Coby Fleener (current average draft position: 137th overall)
NFL.com - TE9
ESPN Fantasy Staff - TE21
Yahoo Fantasy Staff - TE9
CBSSports.com's Dave Richard - TE9
4for4.com's John Paulsen - TE20
My Opinion: Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener were the first TE teammates to score 8 touchdowns in the same season in NFL history. Will it happen again? I think it's unlikely, with the addition of so many new weapons. They will still be productive, but in terms of fantasy football, I think this is where we could see a drop off in points. With that being said, the TE position is a crap shoot in 2015 outside the top 3 fantasy tight ends of Gronkowski, Graham, and Olsen. If you draft a TE late, you could do worse than a Colts TE that has a chance to score a touchdown for you on any given week.
NFL.com - K2
ESPN Fantasy Staff - K2
Yahoo Fantasy Staff - (not ranked yet)
CBSSports.com's Dave Richard - (not ranked yet)
4for4.com's John Paulsen - K1
My Opinion: You still shouldn't draft a kicker until the last two rounds of your draft, but I'd take Vinatieri as the first kicker off the board for a couple reasons. First, the Colts play 10 dome games this year and are in the state Florida for the fantasy playoffs. With extra points moving back to the 15-yard line, I'll take those conditions. Secondly, Vinatieri is potentially on the best offense in the NFL. Give me consistency at the kicker spot. Thirdly, he was an all-pro last year at age 41. He missed one field goal all season in week 17, and if you held your fantasy championship in week 17, then we need to have a whole other conversation.