Fleener clearly far underperformed most fantasy owners expectations last year. Worse than Lance Kendricks in past seasons?
It seems like he should be able to get on the same page with Luck, since they've been playing together for so long. I don't have that high hopes for his upside anymore, since he stepped into a really good situation last season and didn't really do much. I don't know if Arians offense specifically targeted WR's as opposed to the TE, or the split targets with Dwayne Allen exacerbated his poor stats, but bottomline is, I hope anyone who drafted last season did so as part of a TE-by-committee for their fantasy teams.
I think he still definitely has the potential to have a solid season, but I would definitely need to see him be a more featured target in the passing game during preseason. Otherwise he wouldn't be any higher than my #2 TE if I waited on TE and drafted three TE's to see which one stuck.
Also doubt that anyone will be reaching for him in this upcoming season's drafts.
The following article had a small blurb about the new offensive scheme the Colts will be moving to with the departure of last year's Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians, and the hiring of new Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton. For reference, Pep Hamilton became Stanford's WR coach in 2010, and was promoted to the position of Offensive Coordinator for Stanford in 2011. Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener both played for Stanford, with 2011 being their final college season.
West Coast, No Coast
BruceArians has taken his wild, vertical offense to Arizona, and new Offensive CoordinatorPepHamilton comes from more of a West Coast Offense background. Hamilton has made it clear, however, that his system incorporates too many other styles and types of plays to be pigeonholed into a West Coast label, even calling it a “No Coast Offense.” Hamilton’s willingness to incorporate different philosophies, including elements from last year’s system, should give the Colts a more versatile attack that can adapt to and take advantage of a wide array of opposing defenses. When asked about the new system, Andrew Luck said, “It is a ‘No Coast Offense,’ and that’s how Pep (Hamilton) feels. That’s how he presented it to us. It’s going to try and give us the best advantage, wherever it may lie. It’s taking ideas from here, from there, obviously from the West Coast a bit. Wherever it gives us the best advantage to get balls in Reggie’s (Wayne) hands, in Vick Ballard’s, in Donald’s (Brown), in Darrius Heyward-Bey and T.Y. (Hilton), however we can do that, the tight ends, that’s what the offense is predicated on.” Obviously, for guys like Luck and second-year Tight End CobyFleener, the new offense isn’t actually that new. “Having been in it for four or five years at Stanford, I kind of better understand the nuances than I did of last year’s offense,” Fleener said of Hamilton’s system. “With any offense it takes time and thankfully I have a little bit of time under my belt.” The 6 foot 6 inch Fleener is surely looking forward to being in a familiar system that utilizes tight ends more in the passing game. He could end up being one of the biggest beneficiaries of the new offense.
Fleener will almost certainly improve but I don't see Dwayne Allen going anywhere. He looked solid last season (posting more catches, yards, and TDs than Fleener) and Luck looked for him often in the redzone.
Both could have value this year but I wouldn't be thrilled about going into the season with either Colts TE as my starter.
Has a great understanding with Luck dating back to college.
I feel like the fact that Luck was already familiar with Fleener, yet showed a distinct preference to Allen when they were both in the lineup, is a red flag for Fleener.
Anyway, Luck has a whole season under his belt and has established a comfortable flow within his offense. His prior familiarity with Fleener isn't as much of a factor anymore.
In being in the indianapolis market and watching a lot of Colts games, this struck me as well. I figured that with Luck being familiar with Fleener he would become his safety valve, but he wasn't. Allen looked much more like the guy that has a shot to break out. Nice thing is the Colts are going to be throwing a lot. The defense isn't very good and the running game is lackluster at best. Hard to see them having two fantasy relevant TE's though. It will be interesting to see if the new offense favors Fleener enough that he becomes the main TE.
Yeah, I think Fleener's fantasy value hinges on Pep Hamilton making him a featured part of the passing game. The Colts' new Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton was actually only the offensive coordinator for ONE of Luck's college seasons (his senior year), so I wouldn't really go out on a limb and say they have this big "connection". It's not like he was the Offensive Coordinator for 2, 3, or 4 years of Luck's college career.
That said, there were a couple other personnel notes to add:
1) LaVon Brazil's suspension. May not mean much for Fleener specifically, but both T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazil were both drafted by the Bruce Arians regime. Not sure that either is an ideal fit for the new West Coast offense (as opposed to last year's Vertical Offense) that they'll be running in 2013. Could make the decision to trade / let Brazil go (there were rumors he wouldn't make final cuts due to the suspension) easier if he doesn't ideally fit into their new scheme.
2)IF Brazil's suspension results in his eventual release, that could open up the door for 6'6" Jeremey Kelley to make the final roster. That would give them a WR taller than 6'2" (their tallest receivers are Reggie Wayne at 6'0" and DHB at 6'2"). If THAT occurs, THAT could limit Fleener's ultimate red zone targets, taking into account Dwayne Allen also getting his share.
Fleener needs to show really well in preseason, or to have a prominent role in that offense, or for Jeremy Kelley not to make the active roster. He needs to carve out a distinct role in that offense before I'd be able to recommend drafting him with any amount of certainty.
2014 Rotoworld Mock Draft Real League - 14-Team 0.5 PPR + ALL TDs = 6PTs:
QB : Matthew Stafford.......(03.13)............. RB - Adrian Peterson......(01.03)
WR1: Malcom Floyd...........(14.14)............. RB - Matt Asiata..........(UD.FA)
WR2: Eddie Royal............(UD.FA)............. RB - Juwan Thompson.......(16.12)
RB1: Arian Foster...........(01.11)............. RB - Damien Williams......(16.10)
RB2: Eddie Lacy.............(01.05)............. RB - LaMichael James......(UD.FA)
FLEX1: RB Branden Oliver....(UD.FA)............. TE - Austin Sef-Jenkins...(UD.FA)
FLEX2: RB Steven Jackson....(04.02)............. WR - Donte Moncrief.......(UD.FA)
TE : Travis Kelce...........(15.12)............. WR/IR Marquess Wilson.....(UD.FA)
Is Fleener or Allen the guy to own, still can't figure it out. It seems like Allen is the "move" TE, so isn't he the more valuable one? Yet I'm seeing lots of rankings that have Fleener higher and touting him as a sleeper.
Not sure what to take away from his performance today.
On one hand, I liked his speed and moves after the catch. He also seemed to be rather involved in the offense and received a target in the end zone. The Colts seem to be keen on this two TE set and such.
On the other hand, he fumbled the ball away and lost the TD to a pretty good defensive play.
I would be very excited for his prospects if a young Dwayne Allen didn't exist. He'll be back before the start of the season and I feel like these two guys will feed off each other. Ultimately I forsee D. Allen having a better overall season, but that may still be outside the top ten for TE's. That's the reason I like a Fred Davis that catchs passes from Luck's arch enemy because he is the clear top TE of that bunch