Summer Sleeper: Indianapolis Colts

Brian Bulmer


With fantasy season right around the corner, we’re continuing our annual series focusing on a few sleepers from all 32 teams in the NFL. You can find all of the Summer Sleeper articles here.

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” which include such such dynasty mainstay names as Toby Gerhart, Christine Michael or Cordarrelle Patterson. 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.

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Let’s do a Colts two-for-one!

Dan Herron, RB

Tough to consider a former sixth round pick a potential sleeper, but Dan “Boom” Herron has paid his dues on special teams and had a phenomenal first preseason game versus the Jets.  The former Bengal signed a four-year deal in 2012 but was cut the same year and signed to the Bengals practice squad. The Colts picked up Herron for added depth and now he is sneaking up the depth chart. With a season ending Achilles tear, Vick Ballard was placed on injured reserve and Herron became the third option on the Colts roster at the position.

Boom was suddenly in an ideal situation. The 5’10, 215 lb. Herron has the ideal size, but has few elite qualities to be an every down back in the NFL. The good news for Herron is he has two polarizing talents ahead of him on the depth chart. Trent Richardson did not appear to be comfortable in the Colts offense last season and appeared to be outplayed by former teammate Donald Brown. Richardson struggled finding the holes in the offensive line and mentioned that he was not comfortable with the playbook. Ahmad Bradshaw is second on the depth chart and has not played a 16-game season in his career. Herron could see snaps if Bradshaw or Richardson misses time at any point during the season.

Herron showed his versatility in the first preseason game by amassing 62 total yards in 18 snaps. He touched the ball on 13 of the 18 snaps and was able to rush for 26 yards on seven carries and caught all six of the passes in his direction for 36 yards. Boom put up solid stats against the second team defense and also scored a nice twelve yard touchdown off of a swing pass.

With uncertainty in the Colts backfield moving forward Herron might be a decent stash on the taxi squad or in deep roster leagues. The depth chart is in his favor and with limited reps he was a bright spot in the preseason opener for the Colts. Keep an eye on Boom as the preseason progresses and know that Rotoworld has already taken note.

Erik Swoope, TE

From “The U” to the Horseshoe, Swoope put up decent numbers for the Canes last season with 5.0 pts and 2.7 rebounds a game. You read that correctly, Swoope spent last season on the hardwood and like many others is using his transferrable athleticism and taking it to the Gridiron. Like many great tight ends before him, Swoope is hoping to be the “next” Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas, or Antonio Gates.

Swoope is showing progress in Colts training camp and is getting praise from head coach Chuck Pagano. Pagano has said “for a guy who never played the game, he’s picked it up extremely fast. You see the talent level out there on the football field, the athleticism, the catch radius, the hands. Going up and rebounding and doing all that stuff, obviously the ball skills are there and he’s been doing things like that. His biggest challenge is going to come in the run game. Getting stronger, getting bigger, adding weight and then being able to be a complete tight end.”

Erik Swoope stands at 6’5”, 225 lbs. He is still raw and is learning the game. He has a lot to learn about the game of football, but Pagano and the Colts organization seem committed to help Swoope learn the position and potentially become a future weapon for Andrew Luck. Many surrounding the Colts organization see Swoope as a practice squad player in 2014. He is a deep stash that could be a hit if he develops into the player the Colts think he can be. The Colts already have a couple talented tight ends on the roster in Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener. Swoope could be a nice taxi squad stash or deep roster stash for 2015 and beyond.

brian bulmer
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