Vick Ballard Out For The Year: What The Means For The Colts’ Running Game

 

With recent news that Vick Ballard is out for the season with an ACL injury, there will be some shifts in fantasy football production in the Colts offense.

First, lets take a look at the running game. Currently listed on the Colts depth chart we have Ahmad Bradshaw, Donald Brown, and rookie Kerwynn Williams. We all know Bradshaw. Tough player who can get you that first down when you need it, but injuries have hampered him throughout his career. Ballard and Bradshaw were suppose to work in tandem with each other, which shows that the Colts never expected Bradshaw to be an every down back or the main rusher in Indianapolis. In the first game of the season against the Raiders, Ballard ran the ball 13 times for 63 yards while Bradshaw had 7 carries for 26 yards. So if the Colts want to take a committee approach with Bradshaw, who would be next in line. That falls to Donald Brown, who has shockingly been in the NFL for five years. I think I drafted him when he was a rookie, but that only seemed like it was two or three years ago. The first pick by the Colts in 2009, Brown has never done anything to prove his high draft pick. He is a poor blocker(which the Colts are really working on protecting Andrew Luck now), he has below average receiving abilities, but he can occasionally break off a run that will make you think he should be a starting running back. He has average 4.1 yards a carry though out his career, and his most productive season was in 2011 when he rushed for 645 yards and scored 5 five times. He has only fumbled the ball once in his career which is promising, but before Ballard got hurt it just looked like he would be riding the bench all year. If you don’t know much about the rookie running back Kerwynn Williams, don’t feel bad. Williams started 18 games for Utah State and was drafted by the Colts in the 7th round. What the Colts appeared to like about him was that he caught 64 passes for 870 yards and five touchdowns and he was a solid kick off returner. He was actually named to The NFL Draft Report’s All-America Super Sleeper team, and he could end up getting a few touches if Brown struggles. At this point you are probably deciding whether or not to pick up Brown because handcuffs are considered very valuable in fantasy football. I only agree to with to a certain extent, and I think the idea of a handcuff is very overrated in general. Unless you are talking about Ben Tate or any running back who would be thrown into a starting role in New England, backup players who get their chance mostly disappoint. Just because Adrian Peterson goes down with an injury, it doesn’t mean that Toby Gerhart or Matt Asiata is going to duplicate his production. Sure they have a chance to go off and have some good games like Bryce Brown last year, but they are backups for a reason. If you are a stud and prove it even if you are rookie in the NFL, you are going to start. Sometimes you could have a situation like Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, but that is the exception than it would ever be the rule. If Bradshaw went down, I doubt that I would ever pick up Brown. He hasn’t done anything productive in five years, so what would really change about that? I try to follow beat writers on twitter who cover every single team in training camps and practices, and I did not hear any mention on anything about Brown. Let everyone else drop decent players to pick up Brown. Pay close attention to whoever picks up Brown in your league, because you might be able to get a pretty decent player that they dropped. So basically, I am not endorsing anything about Donald Brown and I don’t think you should pick him up. If anyone benefits from this, it most likely will be Ahmad Bradshaw if he can stay healthy.

While the running backs for the Colts may not help you to fantasy glory, this could be a great opportunity for the receivers. The Colts said they wanted to get T.Y. Hilton more involved, and with an injury to the running game, Andrew Luck could see a huge increase in his passing attempts. If the running game stalls and doesn’t get going, the Colts are just going to let Andrew Luck go crazy and chuck the ball down field as often as he likes. This benefits Wayne, Hilton, Heyward-bey, Hilton, and could help the emergence of Colby Fleener.

If you have a stud QB and Luck somehow ended up on your bench, get ready to put him on the trading block. I think the Colts are going to try to get a ground game going, but things are about to look a lot more vertical in Indianapolis.

Captain Jack

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