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2018 Colts Fantasy Preview: Colts/Giants, Week 16

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INDIANAPOLIS — If you’ve made it this far, then congratulations; you are probably in your fantasy football league’s championship this week.

We’ve got an exciting one ahead of us in this Sunday’s Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Giants matchup indoors at Lucas Oil Stadium.

While the Giants’ side may be wondering about Odell Beckham Jr.’s availability, if Saquon Barkley can bounce back and if Evan Engram will keep up his solid play, we can tell you here about what to expect from the Colts’ side.

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

QB Andrew Luck

  • Last three weeks avg: 25.3-of-40.0 passing (62.9%), 279.7 yards, 2 total TD, 2 total TO — 14.7 FPPG
  • Last week: 16-of-27 passing (59.3%), 192 yards — 9.0 FP
  • FantasyPros Week 16 Position Rank: QB4
  • Giants vs. QBs: 11th (17.0 FPPG)

Luck has laid a couple of fantasy eggs lately, but that’s far from what should be expected moving forward. Three weeks ago against the Jacksonville Jaguars: that was legitimately a tough game against a good defense. However, last week against the Dallas Cowboys, the Colts’ run game did the damage. While we may see a heavy dose of the run game again this week against the Giants, that doesn’t mean Luck won’t be a solid fantasy option.

The Giants haven't faced a quarterback for a whole game who traditionally puts up big numbers since Week 7 against Matt Ryan. In that game, he had nearly 400 yards passing with a touchdown. Deshaun Watson (Week 3), Cam Newton (Week 5) and Carson Wentz (Week 6) have all had productive games against the Giants as well.

At home this season, Luck averages 26.6-of-37.1 passing (72.0%) for 293.7 yards, 2.7 touchdowns, 0.6 interceptions for a passer rating of 113.1. That is good.

If the Colts are able to run the ball effectively against the Giants, which I will get to below, then that will help setup the playaction game. That in turn could result in big pass plays, and seeing as the Giants are 30th in sacks, Luck should have time to make those plays.

RBs Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines

Last three weeks avg:

  • Mack — 37.7 snaps (53.0%), 16.3 carries, 66.3 yards (3.6 avg), 0.7 receptions (1.0 target), 5.3 yards (8.0 avg), 3 total TD, 1 total TO — 12.8 FPPG
  • Hines — 34.0 snaps (47.1%), 4.3 carries, 8.3 yards (1.6 avg), 5.3 receptions (6.7 targets), 37.0 yards (7.4 avg) — 7.2 FPPG

Last week:

  • Mack — 44 snaps (61.1%), 27 carries, 139 yards (5.1 avg), 1 reception (1 target), 10 yards (10.0 avg), 2 total TD, 1 total TO — 25.4 FP
  • Hines — 29 snaps (40.3%), 6 carries, 19 yards (3.2 avg), 4 receptions (6 targets), 45 yards (11.3 avg) — 8.4 FP
  • FantasyPros Week 16 Position Rank: Mack RB12, Hines RB57
  • Giants vs. RBs: 28th (28.9 FPPG)

This shapes up to be an awesome matchup for Mack.

In three games this season against bottom-10 run defenses (such as New York’s), Mack averages 19.0 touches for 112.7 yards per game and has scored two touchdowns. The Giants have given up big games to Alvin Kamara (181 yards, 3 TD), Adrian Peterson (156 yards, 2 TD), Matt Breida (132 yards, 2 TD), Peyton Barber (110 yards, 1 TD), Tarik Cohen (186 yards) and Derrick Henry (170 yards, 2 TD) this season.

This could also be the second time that Mack has paired together monster games. After totaling 159 yards and two touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills in Week 7, Mack followed it up with 149 yards and two touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders in Week 8.

With center Ryan Kelly and tight end Mo Alie-Cox back in the lineup last week, they proved what they can do in run blocking as Mack had 149 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Dallas Cowboys. What about this week?

WR T.Y. Hilton

  • Last three weeks avg: 7.3 receptions (11.0 targets), 120.3 yards (16.4 avg) — 15.7 FPPG
  • Last week: 5 receptions (8 targets), 85 yards (17.0 avg) — 11.0 FP
  • FantasyPros Week 16 Position Rank: WR10
  • Giants vs. WRs: 7th (29.8 FPPG)

You’ve got to ride the hot hand on this one.

Since Week 10, Hilton leads the NFL in receiving yards (718), although he has not scored a touchdown since Week 11, either. Imagine how much his fantasy value could balloon when the scores come back. He has averaged 19.0 fantasy points per game since Week 11 and has had no fewer than 11.0 points in a game in that time.

The Giants have done well against the receiver position in general, but not without their occasional holes. Seven opposing receivers have had at least 80 yards against them, and they've allowed just nine touchdowns to the position.

TE Eric Ebron

  • Last three weeks avg: 5.0 receptions (9.0 targets), 51.3 yards (10.3 avg), 1 total TD, 1 total TO — 9.0 FPPG
  • Last week: 1 reception (3 targets), 8 yards (8.0 avg) — 1.3 FP
  • FantasyPros Week 16 Position Rank: TE4
  • Giants vs. TEs: 16th (12.1 FPPG)

With the Colts passing game taking a backseat to the run game last week, Ebron’s numbers were down as well. However, he did have opportunity for a productive game, but there were some mishaps. He had two drops, one of them coming on a bang-bang play where the safety hit him hard right after the catch and dislodged the ball. Ebron also had a 38-yard catch and run wiped out by a holding penalty on the offensive line.

Focusing on this week, Ebron should remain in lineups. Despite leading all NFL tight ends in touchdowns (13), he also sees way more targets without Jack Doyle (injured reserve) in the lineup. With Doyle, Ebron averages 3.7 targets from Luck. Without Doyle, Ebron averages 9.6 targets and has had four games with at least 10.

However, like with wide receivers, the Giants do a good job against tight ends. They allow just 54.7 yards per game to the position and have allowed only three touchdowns.

Ebron hasn't had back-to-back poor fantasy outings this season. He has only had four games in which he's scores fewer than 10 points (5.8 in Week 3, 4.6 in Week 7, 0.0 in Week 11 and 1.3 in Week 15). He averages 14.2 points per game in the game immediately following the "poor" performance.

K Adam Vinatieri

  • Last three weeks avg: 1.3-of-1.3 FGA (100.0%), 1.7-of-1.7 XPA (100.0%), 5.7 points
  • Last week: 3-of-3 FGA (100.0%), 2-of-2 XPA (100.0%), 11 points
  • FantasyPros Week 16 Position Rank: K8
  • Giants vs. Ks: 31st (9.9 FPPG)

Vinatieri is coming off of one of his best outings of the season last week against the Cowboys. With his 11 points, he hit 100 on the nose for the season, extending his NFL record of 100-point seasons to 21.

The Giants have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to kickers, as eight have reached at least 10 fantasy points against them. Between Weeks 3-12, opposing kickers got to 10 points in eight-of-nine games, averaging 12.4 per contest.

Colts Defense/Special Teams

  • Last three weeks avg: 272.7 yards allowed, 9.0 points allowed, 3.7 sacks, 1.0 takeaway
  • Last week: 292 yards allowed, 0 points allowed, 3 sacks, 2 takeaways
  • FantasyPros Week 16 Position Rank: DST6
  • Giants vs. DSTs: 20th (6.6 FPPG)

The Colts' defense is on an absolute roll. Over the last five games, it has allowed just 279.0 yards, 12.2 points and a third-down rate of 37.3 percent per game, as well as 3.4 sacks and one takeaway per contest. On the flip side, the Giants are prone to offensive lapses, having six games where they've scored 20 points or fewer. In fact, last week they lost to the Tennessee Titans, 17-0.

The Giants allow the fifth-most sacks (46), and the Colts thrive against those opponents. In eighth matchups against bottom-10 opponents in sacks allowed, the Colts have 23 sacks (2.9 avg). They've also forced nine turnovers (1.1 avg) in those games.

The Colts also have an incredibly motivated Darius Leonard, so I'm not willing to bet against that situation:

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