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Colts 2021 NFL Preview: Indianapolis 2020 Recap, 2021 Outlook For Fantasy Football & Betting

Posted: May 18, 2021Last updated: Jul 26, 2021

Here’s The Game Day’s Indianapolis Colts 2021 NFL Preview: 2020 Recap, Team 2021 Outlook, 2021 Betting Tips and 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook.

Colts 2021 NFL Preview: Indianapolis 2020 Recap, 2021 Team Outlook For Fantasy Football & Betting

Indianapolis Colts 2020 Recap

  • Final record: 11-5 (6-2 Home/5-3 Away)
  • Division regular-season finish: 2nd in AFC South
  • Result: AFC Wild Card loss

The Indianapolis Colts brought in veteran quarterback Philip Rivers to lead the team. With inconsistent offensive play, the Colts finished the season with an 11-5 record. The season ended with a three-point loss to the Buffalo Bills during NFL Wild Card Weekend.


Indianapolis Colts 2020 Offseason Changes

Colts 2020 Offseason Departures

  • QB Philip Rivers
  • LT Anthony Castonzo
  • DT Denico Autry
  • QB Jacoby Brissett
  • LB Anthony Walker
  • S Tavon Wilson
  • CB Tremon Smith
  • TE Trey Burton
  • OT Le’Raven Clark
  • OT Chaz Green
  • S Malik Hooker
  • DE Justin Houston
  • Offensive Coordinator Nick Sirianni

Colts 2020 Free-Agency/Offseason Additions

  • QB Carson Wentz
  • DE Isaac Rochell
  • OT Sam Tevi
  • OT Julien Davenport
  • G Chris Reed
  • LB Malik Jefferson
  • DT Andrew Brown
  • OT Eric Fisher
  • Offensive Coordinator Marcus Brady

Indianapolis Colts 2021 NFL Draft Picks

  • EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan (Round 1, Pick 21)
  • DL Dayo Odeyingbo, Vanderbilt (Round 2, Pick 54)
  • TE Kylen Granson, SMU (Round 4, Pick 127)
  • S Shawn Davis, Florida (Round 5, Pick 165)
  • QB Sam Ehlinger, Texas (Round 6, Pick 218)
  • WR Mike Strachan, Charleston (Round 7, Pick 229)
  • OT Will Fries, Penn State (Round 7, Pick 248)
Carson Wentz goes from Eagles to Colts. Read Colts 2021 NFL Preview: Indianapolis 2020 Recap, 2021 Team Outlook For Fantasy Football & Betting

Carson Wentz, shown here in December 2020, was acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles by the Indianapolis Colts to start at quarterback. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)


Indianapolis Colts 2021 Preview & Outlook

New season, new quarterback. This has become a pattern for the Colts, who are again tasked with creating offensive chemistry in a hurry. The beginning: Acquiring Carson Wentz via trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. Much like last season with Philip Rivers, Wentz has familiarity within this offense, so he will be able to focus on developing chemistry and being the best version of himself.

While Wentz shouldn’t be much of an issue, there are still holes on this offense. A big one is on the left side of the offensive line, with Anthony Castonzo retiring.

The Colts opted not to draft a new starter, but they did sign veteran tackle Eric Fisher. There are reports that he could return from his injury in mid-August, though Indy will likely bring him along slowly. If he does not start Week 1, Sam Tevi is expected to start at that position, which shouldn’t make anyone feel comfortable. 

The other weakness is in the receiving corps. The Colts re-signed T.Y. Hilton. However, he is the only proven player, and he is getting up there in age. Michael Pittman Jr. showed flashes in his rookie season, but no consistency.

The same can be said for Parris Campbell, who continues to struggle with injuries. Indianapolis still has money to spend, and it could be beneficial to bring in a veteran like Golden Tate to improve this receiving corps for Wentz to succeed. Heading into training camp, the Colts are trusting their homegrown talent at receiver instead of adding someone via free agency. The health of Campbell goes far in determining how deep this room is. 

Where this team shines is on the defensive side of the ball. Darius Leonard is the heart and soul of this unit, bringing the energy and intensity. In 14 games, he racked up 132 yards. Ahead of him, DeForest Buckner is controlling the line of scrimmage. Behind him, Xavier Rhodes enjoyed a bounce-back season, and he re-signed for another in Indianapolis.

They have playmakers all over and, as shown above, they added to that lot during the NFL Draft.


Indianapolis Colts 2021 Fantasy Football Tips

Simply put, the Colts are a headache for fantasy football heading into the 2021 season. Everyone’s value relies on Carson Wentz, who is coming off his worst season as a pro. However, he has shown MVP upside in his career and he can rack up a few points on the ground. He should be viewed as a QB2 with upside, though he would have more upside if his team brings in another weapon. 

The backfield is complicated, since the Colts decided to re-sign Marlon Mack. He joins Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines. The role of Hines is clear, as a pass-catching, change-of-pace player for this offense. Because of his role as a receiver, he is more valuable in PPR leagues, where he can be valued as a low-end, volatile RB2 or a flex.

As for Taylor and Mack, the two will eat into each other. Taylor is clearly more talented and valuable. Given the possible workload inconsistencies, he should be valued as a mid-to-low RB1. Mack is only draftable in 16-team leagues, especially coming off an injury. Still, he should be viewed as a handcuff to Taylor and it’s possible he has flex value at some point during the season. 

The receivers are valued even lower, due to Wentz’s inconsistencies and because none of these players are true stars, at this point in their careers. Both Michael Pittman Jr. and T.Y. Hilton are in the WR4 range, though there is no confidence that either will be consistent from week to week. Parris Campbell has more upside than Zach Pascal, but neither need to be drafted. Wentz loves throwing to tight ends, but Jack Doyle is on top of the depth chart. He is a low end TE2. It’s possible Trey Burton is re-signed, but that has not happened yet.


Indianapolis Colts 2021 NFL Futures Bet Tips

Indianapolis Colts 2021 futures bets included in our Colts 2021 Preview and outlook, including Colts odds and lines, are provided courtesy of BetMGM. BetMGM offers new players a Risk-Free Bet of up to $600. Use promo code THEGAMEDAY or click here to sign up for a new account where sports betting is legal.

AFC South Division Finish Bet: 1st Colts/2nd Titans (+130) at BetMGM

The Colts and the Titans are the clear top two teams in the division. However, the Titans have seemed to take steps backwards this offseason, and their team’s success relies solely on Derrick Henry, who is a physical running playing the most hit position in football. There’s a good chance he gets banged up, which would be tough for the Titans to overcome. This gives the Colts the edge to win the AFC South Division. Pairing these two picks together gives bettors much better value. 

AFC South Division Exact Outcome: 1st Colts/2nd Titans/3rd Jaguars/4th Texans (+210) at BetMGM

This feels like the clearest division to project in the NFL. Building off of the bet above, the Jaguars have undergone many changes this offseason and are taking clear steps forward. The Texans, on the other hand, are taking clear steps backwards. There is a solid chance the Texans will be without Deshaun Watson, which means the offense will join the defense as one of the worst units in the league. 

Will the Colts Reach the Playoffs: Yes (-160) at BetMGM

While the Colts may not be contenders in the AFC, they look to be in the driver’s seat in the AFC South. As discussed above, they should win the division, which gives them a playoff spot. 

Indianapolis Colts OVER 9.5 Regular Season Wins (-160) at BetMGM

When we initially wrote this article, the win total prop was set at an even 10, with much nicer odds. While this bet is less profitable now that the prop line dropped to 9.5, we clearly still like the over.

The Colts were an 11-win team last season, and now the NFL added an extra game. While the non-divisional schedule doesn’t do them any favors, the AFC South is weak enough to get them to 10 wins. 

The Colts should get four or five wins from the AFC South alone. They also have a solid chance or greater to defeat the Patriots, Jets, Seahawks, Raiders and Dolphins. The Colts would need to find one or two wins during the matchups against the Rams, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Ravens, Bill and 49ers for this bet to hit.

Author

Zach Brunner

Zach Brunner has worked in the fantasy sports and sports betting industries for almost a decade now. He is the owner of FlurrySports and has experience working with FantasyPros, Awesemo, BetWay and other sites. Living in Wisconsin, when Zach isn't drinking beer or shoveling snow, he loves all things Wisconsin sports and UFC.

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