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The 2008 Indianapolis Colts finished 12-4, but lost in the wild card game to the 8-8 San Diego Chargers who just barely squeaked into the postseason.
Darren Sproles happened. Sproles had 328 all purpose yards and scored the game winning touchdown in overtime. This was against a defense that finished a very respectable 11th in total D.
The fantasy aspect of this tale benefits those drafting players wearing a horseshoe on their helmets. I look at it this way: if the defense has any hangover left from that game, the offense will have to put up big numbers to win.
Then again, they could come out pissed and destroy everyone they face. Either way, I have full confidence that Peyton and company will put up stupid amounts of points. They're just too good.
Fantasy Info Nuggets
QB Peyton Manning: He's not only the greatest football player/actor since Jim Brown, but he's also a three-time MVP. In the last three years, he's thrown for at least 4,000 yards and 27 TD's each year. He won't have his long-lost siamese twin Marvin Harrison, who I'm sure he had a telepathic link with, but Manning is a future Hall of Famer. He'll cope. He's a first-round pick all the way. If you manage to get him in the second, consider yourself lucky.
WR Reggie Wayne: He's caught 80 or more passes for 1,000 plus yards in five straight seasons. He's Manning's No. 1 option and should be yours as well (receiver, not pick).
WR Anthony Gonzalez: With two NFL seasons in the bag and Marvin Harrison no longer on the roster, this is Gonzalez's year to shine. Consider him the new Wes Welker but without the kick returning ability.
RB Joseph Addai: I miss Edge. In the past, if you were contemplating a Colts RB, you drafted James, started him every week and that was that. That's not so anymore.
Addai was hampered most of 2008 with injuries and is coming back from offseason knee surgery. If, and this is a big if, he stays healthy, Addai has a chance to return to his old form and help your fantasy team. I'm remaining wary of him at this point though, because whether you draft Addai or Brown in the mid to late rounds, they shouldn't be considered starters just yet.
TE Dallas Clark: Clark's another one of those players who's great on the field but gets bit by the injury bug like clockwork. He has yet to play a full NFL season. Nonetheless, he did have a good season in 2008, amassing 77 catches for 848 yards and six TD's. My verdict is this: don't reach for him. If you do snag him, he's a good pick, but have a decent back TE ready just in case.
WR Pierre Garcon: He's a virtual unknown, but the second year man out of Mt. Union has impressed the Colts coaching staff enough that he'll be starting alongside Wayne and Gonzalez (although in preseason so far, he's starting to dig himself a deep whole with his dropped passes; if he looks over his shoulder and sees another receiver on his heels, that would be Austin Collie).
Hence, you have to like his chances to put up some point's with Peyton throwing to him. He's either a big time sleeper pick or a total bust I'll deny ever mentioning.
RB Donald Brown: He's a rookie with tremendous potential coming out of UConn. I can't say I've seen much of him besides a few snaps in preseason, but he'll definitely get his reps with a gimpy Addai sure to miss time.
Whoever runs the ball for the Colts in '09 will face seven teams who finished 15th or better in run defense in 2008 (and will see JAX and TEN twice each).