Looking back -- and ahead -- on Colts in fantasy

Updated: December 28, 2009, 4:19 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
Well, let's just say I won't be picking up Curtis Painter for my Week 17 fantasy football championship game. I can say at least that.

For a number of reasons, it stinks that the Indianapolis Colts pulled several key offensive players in the third quarter of Sunday's eventual loss to the very fortunate New York Jets. As a football fan, I wanted to see history, or at least the chance of it. The New Orleans Saints didn't get perfection, either, but at least their hopes ended in a more legitimate way. Meanwhile, as a fantasy football owner, I trusted a few key Colts in a playoff semifinal and blew it. I lost. Then again, I knew the risks of using Colts this week, and the way the game was going, I might have lost anyway.

Hey, the Colts weren't exactly lighting things up against one of the league's top defenses even before the starters were pulled, so if you lost by 10 because Peyton Manning was pulled, well, you might have lost anyway. Colts coach Jim Caldwell is an easy target, but that's fantasy football in late December. I went with Austin Collie and Dallas Clark, and I don't regret it. I activated Collie over Hines Ward, and it proved to be the right move. I also didn't have another option at tight end besides Clark, and I'm pretty sure that even if I had found one on free agency, I wouldn't have used it. Regardless, I'm not angry that I lost, and I don't blame the Colts for it. It just would have been nice to see what that fourth quarter might have brought.