- Tom Carpenter, Fantasy and Insider
In their Week 1 win over the Oakland Raiders, the Indianapolis Colts leaned mostly on Andrew Luck's arm and legs, but their rushing game did pretty well in the limited work they got. Vick Ballard led the way with 63 yards on 13 carries (4.8 YPC) and Ahmad Bradshaw chipped in seven carries for 26 yards (3.7 YPC). Not exactly the kind of numbers that get fantasy folks drooling, but not too bad for a light workload.
Ballard also impressed on pass protect situations. Coach Chuck Pagano said Monday that Ballard was "unbelievable" in blitz pickups, going 6-for-6 in such situations, according to Jeremiah Johnson of Fox 59 Indianapolis.
The fact that Ballard appears to have stepped up his abilities in pass pro could allow the Colts to really ease Bradshaw into the '13 campaign slowly. That would be helpful in the short term, as he gets into football shape after recovering from foot surgery. It would also increase the likelihood that the injury-prone RB would be at full speed later in the season for a playoff push.
Any sort of timeshare would limit the fantasy value of both RBs, but their production as a unit should increase as the season progresses:
"Ahmad Bradshaw/Vick Ballard (six and two points, respectively, in Week 1): The Colts actually had one of most consistent rushing attacks in the NFL's opening weekend. They posted a 50 percent GBR and 7.7 GBYPA as a team. Ballard (7.2 GBYPA) and Bradshaw (8.7 GBYPA) both consistently contributed good totals to the GBYPA cause. Some of this showing likely was the result of the mediocre state of the Raiders defense, but it does suggest that Ballard and Bradshaw both have more potential value than their combined eight fantasy points would indicate."
In their Week 1 win over the Oakland Raiders, the Indianapolis Colts leaned mostly on Andrew Luck's arm and legs, but their rushing game did pretty well in the limited work they got.