Born and raised in Indianapolis, Jack Doyle is a home town hero that found his way to the Colts. He initially signed as an undrafted free agent with the Tennessee Titans in 2012, before ending up with the Colts in 2013. Doyle signed a three-year, $19 million contract extension in March 2017, including $9.5 million guaranteed. Afterward, the Colts traded fellow tight end Dwayne Allen and a 6th round pick to the New England Patriots for a 4th round pick. Doyle had his best statistical season in 2016, compiling 75 targets/59 receptions/584 yards/5 TDs in 14 games. All signs are pointing up for him to have his first season as a fantasy TE1.
Jack Doyle – the pass catcher
Jack Doyle is an underrated pass catcher, especially as an undrafted free agent. Looking at his 2013 combine evaluation:
“Big target, with a powerful build. Fires off the line of scrimmage shows good explosiveness in his first couple of steps. Catches the ball away from his frame. Has the flexibility to contort to make the tough catch. Sent in motion a lot, works well on the move, showcasing plus mobility. Finds soft spots in the zone, and has enough speed to threaten the seam. Physical blocker. Locks arms out and keeps his feet moving when engaged. Mirrors well as a pass protector sells play fakes.”
“Not tremendously fast. Has some issues in getting off the press. Will play too high as a blocker at times, resulting in defenders getting into his chest and jolting him. Too often finds himself overextended as a blocker, makes it easy for defenders to slip off. Needs to add more strength, especially in his lower body.”
We can see that his overall evaluation leans toward his ability to generate separation at the line of scrimmage, having soft hands, and can generate some speed after the catch. While he is not overly explosive or the best blocker, these attributes do not interfere with his ability to produce based on his role.
Doyle had his breakout campaign in 2016, with his targets jumping to 72 targets, from just a mere 14 the previous year. On those 72 targets, Doyle converted 81.9% into receptions, which was second highest in the league (amongst tight ends who had received at least 20 targets). Doyle has just dropped three passes on the 97 catchable rated targets in his entire career, for an impressive drop rate of 3.09%. Furthermore, as per PFF, Doyle registered a PFF grade of 76.0 last season, ranking him 16th among 63 qualifying tight ends. It was easily the best graded season of his career, his previous best being a grade of 69.7 in 2014 (www.profootballfocus.com)
Doyle can catch and has the strengths to build his game as a route runner with soft hands.
Andrew Luck loves his tight ends
Andrew Luck has always enjoyed playing with two tight ends in Indianapolis, as they typically run quite a few tight end formations. Many teams run dual tight end formations, usually with one tight end designated as a stationary blocker, and the other tight end is designated as the Y receiver and can be in motion prior to the snap. While the Colts sometimes utilize this scheme, they typically employ two pass-catching tight ends with above average blocking capability.Andrew Luck loves relying on his tight
Luck loves relying on his tight ends in the red zone. In 2016, 12 of Luck’s 31 passing touchdowns went to his tight ends, and in 2014, he threw 18 of his 40 touchdowns to tight ends. (2015 was not included due to Luck playing 7 games due to injury). Now, with Dwayne Allen gone, Doyle becomes the primary receiving option at the tight end position
Redzone Opportunity with Allen Gone
Doyle becomes one of the top options in the red zone after the departure of Dwayne Allen. Taking a look at the other receiving options in Indianapolis:
|Position||Player Name||Height/Weight||2016 Colts Redzone Receiving TDs||2016 Receiving Redzone targets|
|WR||TY Hilton||5’9”, 178 lbs||2||13|
|WR||Donte Moncrief||6’2”, 216 lbs||6||10|
|WR||Phillip Dorsett||5’10”, 185 lbs||0||7|
|WR||Kamar Aiken||6’2”. 216 lbs||N/A, new to team||N/A, new to team|
|RB||Frank Gore||5’9”, 212 lbs||4||6|
|RB||Robert Turbin||5’10”, 225 lbs||1||5|
|TE||Dwayne Allen||6’3”, 265 lbs||4||9|
|TE||Erik Swoope||6’5”, 257 lbs||0||1|
|TE||Jack Doyle||6’6” 262 lbs||4||12|
We can see that the Colts receivers are not particularly tall, with only Moncrief and Aiken being over 6ft. However, Aiken is likely a WR4, with the best case scenario of a WR3 if he outplays Dorsett. Moncrief figures to have the starting WR2 position in Indy, so he will likely still command red zone looks in this play scheme. However, Moncrief’s 6 touchdowns will likely normalize more towards TY Hilton, as he had quite a few red zone targets with little success last year. In total, I expect that the WR group in Indy will receive the same number of red zone targets.
For the running backs group, both Gore and Turbin are used on outlet routes by Indy in the redzone. They have a high success rate, but these plays typically occur within the 5 yards line, and not from the 20 yards-5 yards area. I would expect about the same number of redzone receiving TDs for the running back group in 2017.
This leaves the tight end group. Here, we can see that Allen had less redzone targets than Doyle for 2016, but still produced 4 TDs. This is due to the tight end group being the largest receiving option within Indy. Swoope, while being a talented player with upside, is the superior blocker to Doyle and will likely be used on the line of scrimmage.
As previously mentioned, Doyle’s strengths lie in his ability to generate separation and his dependability to catch targets. I can see Doyle absorbing almost all of Allen’s targets within the redzone, pushing him close to 13-18 redzone targets. With his aforementioned catching ability and route running, Doyle has a great chance to approach 8+ TDs on the year.
Doyle has been developing as a player in Indianapolis over the past 4 seasons, and now has a chance to shine as a TE1. With Allen gone, he becomes the primary receiving tight end, with the main benefit coming in the redzone. While he may not be a lock for many yards, I think he has a great chance to push for 7-9 touchdowns on the year. Doyle currently has an ADP of #124 (TE#13), and has a great chance to produce as a TE1 with a lower draft cost. Doyle RULES!
2017 Season Projection (Standard Scoring):
|Receptions||Yardage||Touchdowns||Total Standard Points|