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2018 Colts Fantasy Preview: Colts/Bills, Week 7

Andrew Luck is on fire, Marlon Mack has returned and T.Y. Hilton is back at practice. What does the Indianapolis Colts' fantasy prospects look like this week at home against the Buffalo Bills?

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INDIANAPOLIS — Last year, the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills matchup fell into fantasy irrelevance as a blizzard hit New Era Field. This time around, the game is in the climate-controlled atmosphere of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, so you'll get to use some of their players this time around.

*Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring.

QB Andrew Luck

  • Last three weeks avg: 33.7-of-54.7 passing (61.6%), 376.7 yards, 1.7 carries, 6.0 yards, 11 total TD, 6 total TO — 33.3 FPPG
  • Last week: 23-of-43 passing (53.5%), 301 yards, 2 carries, 7 yards, 4 TD, 3 TO — 30.7 FP
  • FantasyPros Week 7 Position Rank: QB9
  • Bills vs. QBs: 3rd (14.8 FPPG)

Luck has returned to fantasy must-start status, so there's not much use in trying to convince anyone to play him. However, here are some numbers to keep in mind to hammer it home:

In two games at Lucas Oil Stadium this season, Luck is hot, averaging 39.5-of-57.5 passing (68.7%) for 391.5 passing yards, 9.0 rushing yards and has scored six touchdowns to go with two turnovers.

RBs Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines

  • Last three weeks avg: Mack (one game) — 24.0 snaps (35%), 12.0 carries, 89.0 yards (7.4 avg), 1.0 reception (2.0 targets), 4.0 yards (4.0 avg) — 9.8 FPPG | Hines — 49.3 snaps (60%), 7.3 carries, 23.0 yards (3.4 avg), 6.0 receptions (7.7 targets), 43.0 yards (8.0 avg), 2 total TD — 13.6 FPPG
  • Last week: Mack — 24 snaps (45%), 12 carries, 89 yards (7.4 avg), 1 reception (2 targets), 4 yards (4.0 avg) — 9.8 FP | Hines — 30 snaps (43%), 3 carries, 14 yards (4.7 avg), 2 receptions (3 targets), 21 yards (10.5 avg) — 4.5 FP
  • FantasyPros Week 7 Position Rank: Mack RB27, Hines RB38
  • Bills vs. RBs: 19th (24.8 FPPG)

The most trustworthy (fantasy-wise) options in the Colts' backfield this week are Mack and Hines. Robert Turbin left last week's game early with a shoulder injury and has not practiced this week. Jordan Wilkins was active but did not see any snaps on offense.

In two games this season, Mack is averaging 12.0 touches for 64.5 yards and has three plays of 10-plus yards (and one for 20). When the Colts were making their comeback attempt against the Jets last week and wanted to establish the run, Mack was who they leaned on.

Last week, Hines caught two-of-three targets and the one he didn't haul in would have been a touchdown, so he still has value even with Mack back in the lineup. With Mack as the starter, Hines' opportunities for carries will likely be limited, but he is a solid PPR option.

Five running backs have had 10-plus fantasy points against Buffalo this year, and four of the five came from teammates in the same games, meaning Mack and Hines both have a chance to reward fantasy owners.

WR T.Y. Hilton

  • Last three weeks avg: (one game) 4.0 receptions (6.0 targets), 115.0 yards (28.8 avg) — 13.5 FPPG
  • Last week: DNP
  • FantasyPros Week 7 Position Rank: WR41
  • Bills vs. WRs: 7th (32.9 FPPG)

*Keep an eye on Hilton's status throughout the week as he attempts to return from injury*

It's good to see that Hilton is back as a full participant at practice after missing about the last 2 1/2 games with chest and hamstring injuries. However, if he does play this week then he will likely be shadowed by Buffalo's Tre'Davious White, who is becoming one the league's shutdown corners.

Through six weeks, White has been thrown at 20 times and has allowed 11 receptions (55%) for 139 yards (12.6 avg) and one touchdown. He has shadowed the likes of Davante Adams, Corey Davis and DeAndre Hopkins — all their team's unquestioned top target — with the three catching 6-of-11 targets for 72 yards and one touchdown.

In the four games Hilton has played this year, he has been targeted at least 10 times in three of the four. The fourth game was when he got injured against Houston. Although he understandably saw a season-low in targets (six), he had a season-high in yards (115).

It's a tough matchup for Hilton, but who he has at quarterback as well as his own productivity make it difficult not to start him if he's active on Sunday.

TE Eric Ebron

  • Last three weeks avg: 6.0 receptions (10.7 targets), 72.0 yards (12.0 avg), 4 total TD — 18.2 FPPG
  • Last week: 4 receptions (7 targets), 71 yards (17.8 avg), 1 total TD — 15.0 FP
  • FantasyPros Week 7 Position Rank: TE4
  • Bills vs. TEs: 7th (9.9 FPPG)

Without question, Ebron has become a weekly must-start.

He is tied for the league lead in touchdown receptions with six, and that number leads all tight ends by a wide margin (the next closest has three). Ebron has scored in all but one game.

The Bills have only faced two of the league's highly-regarded tight ends so far this season — Kyle Rudolph and Jimmy Graham — but the two combined for eight receptions (12 targets) for 69 yards, and both scored touchdowns.

K Adam Vinatieri

  • Last three weeks avg: 1.7-of-2.0 FGA (83.3%), 3.0-of-3.0 XPA (100.0%), 8.0 points
  • Last week: 2-of-2 FGA (100.0%), 4-of-4 XPA (100.0%), 10 points
  • FantasyPros Week 7 Position Rank: K4
  • Bills vs. Ks: 27th (9.5 FPPG)

It seems that every week there's a record in front of Vinatieri for him to break. But this next one is the big one: the most points scored in NFL history.

Vinatieri is 10 points away from breaking Morten Andersen's record (2,544), and it is a very real possibility that it happens this week.

Vinatieri has had at least 10 points in three games this season, and the Bills have allowed that total three times this season.

Colts Defense/Special Teams

  • Last three weeks avg: 426.0 yards allowed, 39.0 points allowed, 3.0 sacks, 1.7 takeaways
  • Last week: 374 yards allowed, 42 points allowed, 2 sacks, 2 takeaways
  • FantasyPros Week 7 Position Rank: DST2
  • Bills vs. DSTs: 32nd (13.8 FPPG)

The Colts defense has had their issues in recent weeks, but they are one of the plays of the week this time around.

The Bills give the most fantasy points in the league to opposing defenses, and they are without their starting quarterback on Sunday.

Rookie Josh Allen injured his elbow in last week's game, and now veteran Derek Anderson will start for them this week. Anderson will have been on the team less than two weeks by the time Sunday rolls around.

Some Bills offensive stats to chew on:

They are 30th in sacks alowed (24), 31st in total offense (222.5 YPG) and on third down (28 percent), and are 32nd in scoring (12.7 PPG), passing offense (123.0 YPG), interceptions thrown (nine) and quarterback rating (50.5).

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