The Jonathan Taylor breakout finally happened for the Indianapolis Colts. I say finally, but it came in his second season. The team kept him healthy but still allowed him to get a ton of work on the ground and in the passing game. Taylor likely would have finished second if Derrick Henry had stayed healthy, but still, Taylor had a fantastic season and has high expectations for the 2022 season.
Taylor will have his third quarterback in as many seasons. Philip Rivers was the starter his rookie season and Carson Wentz replaced him last year. The Colts acquired Matt Ryan in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons to take over for Wentz, who will be the quarterback for the Washington Commanders this year. Indy will see what Matty Ice has left, but there is a bright future in the backfield for Taylor.
2021 season statistics & fantasy finish
Rushing: Taylor had 100 more careers in his second year rushing the ball 332 times for 1,811 yards. He finished with 18 rushing touchdowns and fumbled only three times.
Receiving: Taylor will have a different quarterback in 2022. Last season, he caught 40 of his 51 targets for 360 yards and two touchdowns.
Fantasy: Taylor finished as the best running back in half-PPR scoring with 333.1 fantasy points. He was second to only Derrick Henry on a points per game basis scoring 19.6 fantasy points per game.
Colts offseason moves
The biggest moves that Indy made were obviously their rotation of quarterbacks. After that, tight end Jack Doyle was put on the retired list as Mo Alie-Cox was signed to a three-year contract. Indianapolis also signed two running backs to re-fill the depth for the position. RBs Phillip Lindsay and Ty’Son Williams will likely now fill the Marlon Mack role and be used sparingly in the offense.
2022 best-case scenario
The best-case scenario for Taylor is that he shows he is able to sustain the production we saw from last season. Ryan being in town doesn’t automatically mean that the Colts will be passing more often. Taylor should still see a ton of work on the ground and through the air. Even if Indianapolis tries to manage his workload more, he has the ability to finish as the top running back in the league for the second year in a row.
2022 worst-case scenario
The worst-case scenario for Taylor is that Ryan is out to prove something before he hangs it up and comes out slinging the ball around making the offense more pass-heavy. If the presence of Lindsay and Williams forces the team to limit Taylor’s work for his long-term health, he won’t reach his ceiling. His talent will still rise though so his likely worst outcome for the season would be as an RB2 in fantasy scoring finishing somewhere around RB18.
I think Taylor is going to still have a heavy workload. Even though they have Hines as a receiving back, Taylor has shown he is electric with the ball in his hands. They will be concerned about long-term health, but he is still going to get a ton of run. Taylor will finish as a top-five running back in fantasy again.