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2023 NFL Team Offseason Roundup: Indianapolis Colts

NFL Fantasy



It’s time to look ahead to the 2023 NFL season! Follow along with all our fantasy football team offseason roundups here.

It’s been a very busy NFL offseason, with free agent signings, coaching changes and several new players entering the league via the NFL Draft. As we prepare for the 2023 fantasy football season, it’s critical to have a full understanding of each team’s offseason moves. Our NFL team roundup series today covers the Indianapolis Colts. 


2023 NFL Team Roundup: Indianapolis Colts

2022 Results

Record: 4-12-1, 3rd in the AFC South
Season End: Missed the playoffs

Indianapolis Colts Offseason Summary


1.4: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
2.44: Julius Brents, CB, Kansas St.
3.79: Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
4.106: Blake Freeland, T, BYU
4.110: Adetomiwa Adebawore, DT, Northwestern
5.138: Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina
5.158: Daniel Scott, S, California
5.162: Will Mallory, TE, Miami (FL)
5.176: Evan Hull, RB, Northwestern
6.211: Titus Leo, EDGE, Wagner
7.221: Jaylon Jones, CB, Texas A&M
7.236: Jake Witt, T, Northern Michigan

Anthony Richardson, QB (1.4)

Richardson was the most polarizing quarterback prospect in his class. His 4.43-second 40 time, 40.5-inch vertical jump, and 10-foot-9-inch broad jump make a compelling case that he’s the most athletic prospect in the history of the position. But Richardson also completed an uninspiring 53.8% of his 2022 passes at Florida and has just one year of college starting experience. He’s an undoubted high ceiling/low floor draft pick. But Richardson was also a steal as the No. 4 draft pick since the top two picks, Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud, have their own major concerns in their respective small stature and offensive scheme that has failed to produce standout pro passers in a handful of recent top quarterback picks.

Julius Brents, CB (2.44)

Stephon Gilmore will play for his fourth team in four seasons in 2023, and that latter-career journeyman status suggests the former Defensive Player of the Year has faded dramatically from that award standard. But that isn’t the case. Gilmore rebounded from the quad injury that spurred his initial trade from the Patriots to allow decent 6.4 and 6.5 yards per target the last two seasons. Without Gilmore — and possibly soon without Isaiah Rodgers — the Colts had a real hole at cornerback. And they hope that the second-round rookie Brents can fill it. The Kansas State product lacks elite top-end speed with a 4.53 speed. But he has ideal size at 6-foot-3 and 198 pounds and seems like a strong fit for a Gus Bradley defense that shies from blitzes and plays a lot of zone coverage.

Josh Downs, WR (3.79)

At just 5-foot-9 and 171 pounds, Downs looks like a slot-only receiver and was unlikely to ever join his bigger contemporaries Quentin Johnston and Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the first round. But the quick North Carolina product had some high-profile fans — most notably Colts legend Reggie Wayne, who called Downs the best receiver at the combine — and was a shock to slip to the third round. That fall may not help Downs’ fantasy prospects as it pairs him with a dual-threat franchise quarterback in Anthony Richardson with poor short accuracy. But it does round out the Colts receiver room skills incredibly well. Incumbent outside receivers Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce are both tall at 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-3.


Free agent signings: EDGE Samson Ebukam, K Matt Gay, QB Gardner Minshew, DT Taven Bryan, WR Isaiah McKenzie, WR Breshad Perriman, TE Pharaoh Brown, LB Genard Avery, G Dakoda Shepley

Samson Ebukam, EDGE

Other teams may have questioned how many of his 30-plus pass pressures in his best Rams seasons were a direct result of Aaron Donald double-teams. But Ebukam silenced those doubters with another pair of 30-pressure seasons in 2021 and 2022 in San Francisco and earned a $24 million contract to lead the Colts’ pass rush opposite former first-round pick Kwity Paye.

Gardner Minshew, QB

Gardner Minshew Indianapolis Colts 2023 Fantasy Football Offseason Roundup

The former sixth-round surprise Jaguars starter and cult hero Minshew has spent the last two seasons backing up Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia. And his $3.5 million Colts contract suggests he will back up rookie Anthony Richardson in Indianapolis. But Richardson may also need some mechanical tweaks with his throwing motion. So Minshew may have a chance to start a month or two for his new team and build on his shocking excellent 44-15 career touchdown-interception ratio.

Isaiah McKenzie, WR

McKenzie may have been less thrilled for the Josh Downs draft pick than the Colts front office. But while the former Bills wideout played the bulk of his snaps for his former team from the slot, he brings a different skill set to the position than the twitchier rookie and may have more outside versatility with his 4.42-second speed than he had a chance to show in Buffalo.


QB Matt Ryan, LB Bobby Okereke, EDGE Yannick Ngakoue, CB Stephon Gilmore, QB Nick Foles, EDGE Ben Banogu, WR Parris Campbell, CB Brandon Facyson, S Rodney McLeod, S Armani Watts, K Chase McLaughlin, T Matt Pryor, T Dennis Kelly, P Matt Haack, WR Kristian Wilkerson, DT Chris Williams, DT Kameron Cline, TE Nikola Kalinic, DT Byron Cowart, RB D’Vonte Price

Matt Ryan, QB

The 6-foot-4 former No. 3 draft pick could make every throw in his heyday. It’s little wonder that 6-foot-4 former quarterback and former Colts head coach Frank Reich picked Ryan to replace a 6-foot-5 Carson Wentz. But while contemporary Tom Brady found a way to play into his mid-40s, Ryan suffered a more traditional, late-30s decline. As he lost arm strength and a willingness to take hits, Ryan slipped from the 8.0-plus-yard average depth of throw from his peak to 7.1- and 6.0-yard aDOTs the last two seasons. And while he may not have officially retired, Ryan signed on to call CBS games this season.

Bobby Okereke, LB

Okereke was a sure-tackler in his four-year Colts career and earned a $40 million Giants contract because of it. One assumes the Colts let the veteran walk because they already had a star linebacker in Shaquille Leonard — formerly Darius Leonard — under contract. And the team looks poised to pair Leonard with less heralded and less expensive linebackers in former Day 3 draft picks Zaire Franklin and E.J. Speed in 2023. It’s a reasonable plan, but it will require better injury fortune after Leonard missed the bulk of last season with a back injury and had two surgeries on his back in the offseason.

Stephon Gilmore, CB

Cornerbacks seem to enjoy shorter career peaks than their wide receiver foils. And the former Defensive Player of the Year Gilmore’s recent journeyman status implies a sudden and steep fall from his All-Pro standard. But the veteran quarterback recovered from the quad injury that precipitated his original trade from the Patriots and settled into a much more gradual decline into his early 30s than many realize. Gilmore’s 6.5 yards per target allowed from 2022 was top 40 among regular cornerbacks. And the Colts will miss him unless their second-round rookie corner Julius Brents can hit the ground running.


Indianapolis Colts Fantasy Outlook

The three most interesting Colts fantasy options:

Anthony Richardson, QB

Jonathan Taylor Indianapolis Colts 2023 Fantasy Football Offseason Roundup

Anthony Richardson is clearly the Colts’ most interesting player in the long run. But I think he’s their most interesting player for 2023, as well — even though he could easily start the season behind veteran Gardner Minshew. Richardson’s 53.8% senior completion percentage at Florida is distressing. But the rookie owes at least some of that low rate to receiver drops and an aggressiveness in pushing the ball down the field. And even if he needs extra time to work on his throwing mechanics, Richardson can flatten his professional learning curve with his legs. Jalen Hurts and Justin Fields provide recent blueprints of that trajectory of development. And both Hurts and Fields became top 10 fantasy quarterbacks more quickly than most expected.

Jonathan Taylor, RB

Jonathan Taylor suffered a steep rushing decline from 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2021 to 861 and four in 2022 and became one of the bigger No. 1 fantasy pick busts in recent memory. But even limited by an ankle injury, Taylor was more similar in 2021 and 2022 than the traditional statistics suggest. He broke a consistent 19.3% and 17.2% of his tackles the two seasons. But he suffered poor touchdown luck with 3.11 fewer scores than expected by his attempt locations. And he saw the offense crater around him with poor Matt Ryan quarterback play and a team fall from seventh to 23rd in run block win rate. Taylor is an excellent bounce-back candidate for 2023. But he’ll need the Colts’ passing offense to improve dramatically to recapture his crown as the best player in fantasy.

Alec Pierce, WR

Alec Pierce was a clear No. 2 Colts receiver behind Michael Pittman even before the team added Josh Downs in the draft. But his modest 593 yards and two touchdowns likely undersold his contributions because of poor Matt Ryan quarterback play. Pierce led all rookie receivers with 11 contested catches — that was two more than even human highlight real George Pickens. And that ball-winning skill should help Pierce find a role next to his possession receiver teammates and could make him a perfect fit for the aggressive rookie passer Anthony Richardson.

2023 Outlook

DraftKings Sportsbook Wins Over/Under: 6.5 (-135)

The Colts will need more than one offseason to make over their roster that produced just 4.7 Pythagorean wins, the fewest in football. But the team will likely enjoy better results in 2023 regardless, because of better circumstances. The team should enjoy positive regression from a league-worst minus-13 turnover differential. And they are poised to face the third-easiest schedule in football. Gardner Minshew and better offensive line and defensive health could likely lead this team to seven wins to beat the over/under. But rookie Anthony Richardson is the wild card. Some scouts believe he needs time on the bench to learn and improve his throwing mechanics. But other dual-threat quarterbacks have found early success with simpler progressions and scrambles. If history is any indication, Richardson will be the starter in the first few months of the season. And while that transition should energize the Colts fan base, it might cost the team their best chance to compete for a .500 record.

Previous 2023 NFL Team Offseason Roundup: Jacksonville Jaguars Next 2023 NFL Team Offseason Roundup: Houston Texans