INDIANAPOLIS — Age was a big discussion starter for Frank Gore in 2016, as he had the odds stacked against him from the start of the season.
From 1985 through 2015, no running back age 33 or older had rushed for 1,000 yards in a single season. And while Gore came close in 2015 to that milestone — falling just 33 yards short — the definite trend for those at his position indicated he should've seen a major decline in production the following year.
Well … he didn't. He was not only able to increase his yards-per-carry average from 3.7 to 3.9 and eclipse that 1,000-yard mark (with 1,025 rushing yards) in 2016, but he also put in perhaps the best receiving performance of his entire career, catching 38 passes for 277 yards and four scores through the air.
So, going into the 2017 season, it seems as though the whole "age" factor is much less of a conversation so far for Gore and the Colts' offense, which will once again be expected to utilize the now-34-year-old as its No. 1, workhorse back.
And, for fantasy football enthusiasts, Gore appears to remain a solid option for a spot-start or on your bench.
Michael Fabiano, senior fantasy analyst for NFL.com, recently released his "2017 fantasy sleepers, bargains, breakouts and more," and lists Gore as his No. 4 bargain heading into the 2017 season. Fabiano writes:
4. Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Despite his extended age, Gore ranked 12th in fantasy points at the position last season and has now rushed for 1,000-plus yards five times since 2011.
Gore remains not only a solid fantasy option in 2017, but he gives those who comes to his games a chance to continue to see history in the making. In 2016 alone, he passed the likes of Thurman Thomas, Franco Harris, Marcus Allen, Edgerrin James, Marshall Faulk, Jim Brown and Tony Dorsett to move into eighth-place on the league's all-time rushing list (13,065 yards), and with another solid effort in 2017, he could easily find himself in the Top 5 all-time in rushing.
And, with another 1,000-yard season, Gore would find himself knocking on the door of No. 4 all-time rusher Curtis Martin, who racked up 14,101 rushing yards.
So, with a clean bill of health, Gore should be a positive for the Colts, as well as fantasy team owners, in 2017, while he continues to pad his résumé for Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.