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Indy re-signs Marlon Mack: Fantasy football fallout for 2021

In a somewhat surprising development, the Colts managed to re-sign productive reserve running back Marlon Mack during the first official day of free agency.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts re-signed free-agent running back Marlon Mack on Wednesday, a modest surprise given the team’s depth at the position and Mack’s combination of youth and track record of production. Mack will return to an offense that has made considerable changes already this offseason with more significant moves expected in the not-too-distant future.

RB Marlon Mack signing: Fantasy football impact

By re-signing the veteran tailback, the Colts should get a look at the two-headed monster they planned to lean on last season: Mack and 2020 second-round pick Jonathan Taylor. The former suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 1, leaving Taylor as the lead back with Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins splitting the remaining carries. Taylor went on to rush for 1,169 yards and double-digit touchdowns, winning All-Rookie honors from the Pro Football Writers of America in the process.

Even with Mack returning, Taylor will assume the majority of the touches again in 2021, limiting Mack’s upside when the Colts have both available. Furthermore, Mack could realistically struggle out of the gate as he gets his bearings following last season’s injury. The effects of a ruptured Achilles tend to linger longer than certain other severe injuries such as knee-ligament tears.

All told, Mack’s fantasy value probably maxes out as a handcuff to Taylor in standard leagues and a deep reserve under PPR rules. However, should something happen to Taylor before or during the season that puts him on the shelf for a significant period of time, Mack would become a coveted No. 2 running back in fantasy lineups.