Summer Sleeper: Indianapolis Colts

Brian Bulmer

sleeperserieswilliamsWith less than a month before all training camps have opened around the NFL, we begin our annual series focusing on a few sleepers from all 32 teams in the NFL.

These sleepers all have varying levels of “sleeperness,” but all merit a little more talking about here in the Premium Content section. 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 never insult you with a comprehensive list of “sleepers” that includes such names as Lamar Miller, Chris Ivory or Danny Amendola. You’re all too good for that.

While many of these players will undoubtedly fizzle, there’s more value in looking more closely at these deeper prospects and players. We invite you to keep an open mind and either or re-assess your value on those who may be rostered in your league or 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.

Feel free to add your own comments about our choice for the designated sleeper, or nominate one of your own!

The Indianapolis Colts had a surprising year in 2012. When many analysts had them finishing last in the division, the Colts went on to finish 11-5 and that yielded them a trip to the playoffs. New Colts GM Ryan Grigson made a splash in his first season as GM adding a very talented rookie group that included Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, T.Y. Hilton, Dwayne Allen, Vick Ballard, and LaVon Brazill. A large number of snaps were taken by rookies in 2012 and the Colts finished behind only the Cleveland Browns in total snaps taken by rookies. With a young core in place, Grigson is constantly trying to identify new talent that can add depth and a new weapon to the offense. Much like Ryan Grigson, I will try to identify that next diamond that you should try to grab late in your fantasy drafts.

Nathan Palmer WR, IND

Age: 24 (04/14/1989)

This Northern Illinois product is heading into his second NFL season. The Colts sniped Palmer off of the San Francisco practice squad last September. He was an undrafted free agent and the Colts signed him to a three year contract. Palmer played limited snaps in 2012 and only recorded one catch for -5 yards. How can we choose this guy to be a super sleeper?

The NFL offseason has been turbulent for many teams including the Indianapolis Colts. The four game suspension of Brazill for substance abuse (marijuana) opens the door up for Palmer. Brazill could easily make it on this list as well, but has already been in trouble in his young NFL career. Brazill could be a sleeper pick but he will be walking a very thin line when training camp rolls around. The Colts are expected to keep five wide receivers and the depth chart currently has Palmer listed as the fifth wide receiver on the roster (Reggie Wayne, Hilton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Brazill).

Standing at 5’11” and 195 pounds, Palmer was recently praised by GM Ryan Grigson as being “about as explosive a receiver we have on the roster” – that is very high praise for a roster that includes T.Y Hilton. At Palmer’s pro day in March of 2012 he had a recorded 4.34 forty yard dash. He also stood out during OTA’s last season with the San Francisco 49ers, but ended up on the practice squad due to the depth at the wide receiver position.

Grigson acted fast and added Palmer when the season and career of Austin Collie was in doubt. Grigson has an eye for talent and Palmer has had an entire offseason learning the Colts offense and has already received praise from the 2012 Executive of the Year.

The off-season slip up of Brazill may open the door for Palmer. The Colts transition to a West Coast offense will favor players like Palmer who are explosive and can run short quick routes. I believe Brazill carries more value if the Colts retain him and he can keep his nose clean. Palmer is a solid player to stash in an offense that will only get better with Luck under center.

Kerwynn Williams RB, IND

Age:22 (06/09/1991)

The Utah State product was drafted by the Colts with their first pick in the seventh round. The addition of Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard’s success behind an atrocious offensive line in 2012 make Williams a stash running back for fantasy owners. Currently it appears that Williams will be used primarily as a return specialist.

Williams had to make his way up the depth chart at Utah State. He played behind Robert Turbin (fourth round pick, Seattle) and Michael Smith (seventh round pick, Tampa Bay). Williams started his senior year and recorded 212 carries, 1,512 yards, and 15 touchdowns on the ground. Williams is also recorded 45 catches for 697 yards and five touchdowns through the air for the Aggies.

Williams primary asset is his speed. Williams recorded the third fastest forty yard dash time among all running backs. His compact size at 5’8” and 195 lbs and his game mirrors that of Darren Sproles. He may see some snaps in the passing game this season, but the majority of his touches will come on special teams. With the injury history of Ahmad Bradshaw, he may get some touches this season if Ballard or Bradshaw miss time with injury. Although he does not have the body type of a three down back, Williams is a true specialist that can be part of an effective passing attack but will need to work on his pass blocking to be a true third down back.

brian bulmer
Latest posts by Brian Bulmer (see all)