Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor will not be traded after the team was unable to find a fair offer, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Taylor will remain on the PUP list to start the 2023 NFL season and will miss at least the first four games of the regular season.
Taylor can be traded while on the PUP list but would still miss at least the first four games of the season.
No deal: Indianapolis did not find what it felt was a fair-value offer for Jonathan Taylor and it is not trading its All-Pro running back today, league sources tell ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 29, 2023
With no trade materializing today, Taylor now is expected to remain on the Physically Unable to Perform… pic.twitter.com/TvBXpIJCoc
Last week, it was reported that Taylor got permission from the Colts to seek a trade partner. Indy was reportedly looking for a first-round draft pick as part of compensation for Taylor, who requested the trade earlier in the summer. The running back is also dealing with an ankle injury and was away from the team due to personal reasons at points during training camp and preseason.
This is a tough situation for fantasy football managers. Taylor will still have value if he drops in your draft. He’s going to miss at least four games but the odds of a team trading for Taylor in-season feel better. All it takes is one injury or a player underperforming and a team may cave and give Indy what it wants for the All-Pro back. Prior to this news, in PPR formats Taylor was being selected as the RB9 and usually in the second round of drafts. That will change.
If you’re drafting after this news, Taylor can’t be drafted as a starter, so that means you’re better off finding two RBs and however many FLEX spots you need before eyeing the back. There’s a chance he sits out the season as well, so try not to spend a high draft pick on Taylor. Targeting Taylor around rounds 8-10 feels like an OK strategy if you feel confident in your team. There’s also no issue with just staying away from Taylor’s situation altogether.
As for the Colts’ running back group, Zack Moss broke his arm in July and could miss the start of the regular season. Deon Jackson and rookie back Evan Hull are the other two backs on the depth chart. Jackson played 16 games last season, finishing with 236 yards on 68 carries and one TD. He did perform better in the passing game with 30 receptions for 209 yards and a TD. Jackson figures to be the starting RB with Moss and Taylor sidelined.
Jackson and Hull are both going in the 70-80 range among RBs in PPR formats. Moss is being taken as the RB86. Someone is going to have some fantasy football value. If you’re in a deep draft and have the bench spots, looking at Jackson or Hull isn’t a bad idea. Even Moss once he returns could take over that backfield. Are you going to reach on one of these backs? It’s not the wisest decision. It could pay off but is risky. There’s a scenario where one or two of Jackson, Hull and Moss are on the waiver wire. That could be the way to go until we see how the snaps/touches work out.
Also worth mentioning is the presence of rookie QB Anthony Richardson. The Colts could just structure the offense around giving Richardson more designed runs to compensate for the lack of talent at RB. It’s unlikely the Colts look to sling the rock more without Taylor. Richardson wasn’t a very efficient passer in college and things shouldn’t get easier in the NFL. The plus side is Richardson and whichever RB is taking snaps will be playing behind a strong offensive line.