1. Can Eric Ebron be a horse of the same color?
You’ve probably heard the stat by now: Ebron, the 10th overall selection to the Detroit Lions in 2014, scored 12 touchdowns in four seasons in Motown before totaling 14 last season, his first with the Indianapolis Colts. He led all fantasy tight ends in the category, finishing as TE4 overall.
What you may not have known is that Ebron’s 66 catches for 750 yards were also career highs, good enough for sixth and fifth, respectively, among his TE peers, and his personal-best 110 targets ranked fourth at his position (No. 3 with 21 red-zone targets).
But the other horseshoe could soon drop for Ebron with a healthy former Pro Bowler in Jack Doyle and ascending Mo Alie-Cox also returning to Indy’s TE corps. There’s also imminent TD regression on the horizon. Can Ebron thwart those concerns and remain a viable TE1, period, much less one of fantasy’s more valuable commodities?
A few pieces of good news: Ebron did his damage on less than 56 percent of the team’s total snaps last season, compared to Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz finishing well over 90 and George Kittle north of 87. Ebron is also more athletic, theoretically bringing more upside to the mix than Doyle. But he’s never been consistent with his hands, ironically averaging the second-lowest catch percentage of his career (60), an area where Doyle thrives.
Add it all up and it seems likely Ebron — who had never finished higher than TE12 overall with the Lions, returns to the fringe TE1-sphere this season, making his current ADP (TE7, 6.10) uninviting.
Teammate Marlon Mack (ADP of RB16, 3.04), fresh off his late-season flourish and reaffirmed as the team’s lead dog after the Colts punted at the position this spring, is a better bet. He returns behind perhaps the NFL’s best O-line, back entirely intact, and showed last season he’s best with a lather.