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Sleeper Spotlight: Indianapolis Colts

As part of the premium content package, we’re not only releasing exclusive team capsules (complete with commentary), but also focusing on one sleeper from all 32 teams in the NFL.

These sleepers all have varying levels of “sleeperness,” but all merit a little more talking about than we had room for in the dynasty capsules for each team. Some of these players are deep dynasty sleepers who could merit a spot on your bench in a deep league, while others are players who may contribute a little faster than the deep prospects, but deserve more attention than they may be getting. By definition, a sleeper could mean something a little different to everyone, but we’re simply doing the best job we can to unearth one player from each team who fits the category in some way, shape or form.

We’ll just never insult you with a comprehensive list of “sleepers” that includes such names as Demaryius Thomas, Ryan Mathews or even someone like Stevan Ridley. You’re all too good for that.

While many of these players will undoubtedly fizzle, we figure there’s value in looking more closely at these deeper prospects and players. We invite you to keep an open mind and even re-assess your value on those who may be rostered in your league. You may even consider adding a few of these deeper prospects we focus on this Summer who are free agents in your league – after all, some are destined to pan out, too.

Donnie Avery, WR

We’re going out on a limb here with Avery since it’s possible he may not even make the team, but hey, that’s what these are all about, right?

Avery’s career started out nicely in St. Louis as he recorded 53 catches for 674 yards and three scores in his rookie season back in 2008. His Sophomore campaign was very similar as he posted another 47 catches for 589 yards and five scores on an anemic St. Louis offense. As the 2010 season approached, Avery was a popular pick in dynasty leagues as a potential breakout player. Unfortunately, disaster struck as Avery tore his right ACL prior to the season.

After spending a year rehabbing, Avery was back to posting his sub-4.4 forty times (he was once clocked under 4.3) prior to the 2011 season as he prepped for a comeback with the Rams. After dealing with a nagging hamstring injury in the preseason, the Rams surprisingly let him go, feeling he simply wasn’t healthy enough to contribute.

After working out for the 49ers, Panthers and Cardinals, the Titans took a shot on him and signed him last season to help fill the void left by Kenny Britt’s injury. Avery had a hard time getting on the field and the Titans staff seemed to have a hard time finding a way to utilize his abilities as well. In fact, Avery didn’t record a single catch until week seventeen where he caught three passes for 45 yards and a score.

Avery has a new lease on life as he finds himself on a Colts team lacking talent on offense. Austin Collie and Reggie Wayne are the likely starters, but Avery has a chance at significant playing team if he can beat out the likes of TY Hilton and LaVon Brazill.

It’s hard to remember that Avery was actually the first receiver taken in the entire 2008 draft since he’s had such bad luck over the years. However, the Colts are going to be in desperate need of play makers and Avery can handle the job if he can get his body in order. He’s still just 28, so the book is still out on him. There are few players in the league faster than Avery and though he’s battled tons of injuries, he has a legitimate chance in Indianapolis.

There have already been reports that the Colts hope he can eventually replace the void left by Pierre Garcon and all the early camp news we’ve seen have shown Avery being a bright spot so far this off-season. Andrew Luck will surely need as much help as he can get and the positive news on Avery has our attention.

At this point, it’s tough to have Avery on a roster, even a deep league. However, he’s a player to keep your eye on once training camp starts because when healthy, he can really play.

Ken Kelly
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Ray Voeller
9 years ago

Avery should of made the burn list : )

Bowser
9 years ago

I drafted Avery in 2008 when he came out. I fended off offers, determined to be patient. He is still there, sitting on the end of the bench in an extremely deep league. I need to add my rookies and was SO close to hitting that drop button. You have perfect timing. I will be dropping Jernigan instead. Fingers-crossed that those speedy legs can fill a flex after I improved my RB corps this offseason and leaving myself vulnerable at WR.

Once again, thank you for these articles.

9 years ago

LaVon Brazill aka Antonio Brown 2.0

bbwayne
9 years ago

Me hopes that Avery becomes the next Lloyd or even Robinson. It’s a shame with hs injury history but the Colts is a great landing spot for him. Definitely one to watch.

alden bietz
9 years ago

Im curious if Dwayne Allen TE, would be a sleeper this year. And at what point do you draft him?

Thanks

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