INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts just faced the Jacksonville Jaguars a few weeks ago, but things could go much differently this time around.
It was a close encounter the last time out, with the Colts winning, 29-26. However, things have quickly changed for the Jaguars. Just this week, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was fired, quarterback Blake Bortles was benched for Cody Kessler and running back Leonard Fournette was suspended for this game. Starting interior offensive linemen Andrew Norwell and Brandon Linder were also both placed on injured reserve.
It’s safe to say that things could go differently this time around. However, as some would say, “a wounded animal is most dangerous.”
*Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring.
QB Andrew Luck
- Last three weeks avg: 24.7-of-31.7 passing (77.6%), 308.3 yards, 9 total TD, 3 total TO — 28.1 FPPG
- Last week: 30-of-37 passing (81.1%), 343 yards, 3 total TD, 2 total TO — 28.4 FP
- FantasyPros Week 13 Position Rank: QB8
- Jaguars vs. QBs: 15th (18.2 FPPG)
When the Colts played the Jaguars in Week 10, Luck was 21-of-29 passing for 285 yards and three touchdowns. That is in the midst of an eight-game streak in which Luck has thrown for at least three touchdowns, which is tied for the second longest streak in NFL history.
Jacksonville has been expectedly stout against the pass, as only four of 11 opposing quarterbacks have thrown for more than 250 yards. Luck is one of those four, though.
Luck is matchup-proof and a must-start in any situation.
RBs Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines
Last three weeks avg:
- Mack — 35.7 snaps (57.8%), 14.3 carries, 58.3 yards (4.0 avg), 1.7 reception (2.0 targets), 9.3 yards (6.0 avg), 1 total TD, 1 total 2PM — 10.3 FPPG
- Hines — 20.7 snaps (33.3%), 5.7 carries, 15.0 yards (2.3 avg), 2.0 receptions (3.0 targets), 20.3 yards (12.4 avg) — 4.5 FPPG
- Mack — 36 snaps (52.2%), 15 carries, 85 yards (5.7 avg), 2 receptions (2 targets), 11 yards (5.5 avg) — 10.6 FP
- Hines — 26 snaps (37.7%), 9 carries, 28 yards (3.1 avg), 2 receptions (2 targets), 22 yards (11.0 avg) — 6.0 FP
- FantasyPros Week 13 Position Rank: Mack RB30, Hines RB42
- Jaguars vs. RBs: 1st (17.7 FPPG)
For starters, Mack is in the league’s concussion protocol after leaving last week’s game early, but he was able to practice as a full participant on Thursday. If he is not able to play on Sunday, it will be between Hines, Jordan Wilkins and Jonathan Williams to carry the load.
In Week 10, Jacksonville kept the Colts’ running back in check, as Mack and Hines combined for 20 touches for 60 yards and a two-point conversion. The Jaguars actually haven’t allowed a running back to accumulate at least 70 yards of offense in the last six games.
It’s not all bleak, however. Previous Jaguars opponents Saquon Barkley, James White, Kareem Hunt, Ezekiel Elliott and Lamar Miller averaged 104.4 yards of offense against them and scored four touchdowns. The Colts have run for more than 100 yards as a team in six games this year, two of which they eclipsed 200 yards.
Mack and Hines aren’t the safest plays this week, but they are decent Flex options.
WR T.Y. Hilton
- Last three weeks avg: 6.3 receptions (8.7 targets), 119.0 yards (20.2 avg), 2 total TD — 19.1 FPPG
- Last week: 7 receptions (10 targets), 125 yards (17.9 avg) — 16.0 FP
- FantasyPros Week 13 Position Rank: WR19
- Jaguars vs. WRs: 4th (30.0 FPPG)
Hilton has been on a tear lately, and part of that includes his last matchup with Jacksonville. He had almost 80 yards in that game, and he combined for 280 yards in the team games since. All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who typically does well against Hilton, has yet to practice this week and may not play on Sunday. If he doesn’t play, Hilton is a must-start.
Even if Ramsey does play, Hilton is a decent option. The Jaguars have allowed six receivers to go over 90 yards, and four of them went over 100.
TE Eric Ebron
- Last three weeks avg: 2.7 receptions (3.3 targets), 38.0 yards (14.3 avg), 5 total TD — 15.1 FPPG
- Last week: 5 receptions (7 targets), 45 yards (9.0 avg), 2 total TD — 19.0 FP
- FantasyPros Week 13 Position Rank: TE5
- Jaguars vs. TEs: 16th (12.9 FPPG)
With Jack Doyle going on IR, it obviously expands Ebron’s role. Earlier in the season when Ebron played while Doyle was out with a hip injury, Ebron averaged 10.0 targets per game. With Doyle, Ebron averaged 3.7 targets.
Jacksonville hasn’t had many tests against tight ends yet, but Travis Kelce had 100 yards against them, and Zach Ertz had a touchdown. Ebron had an explosive game against Jacksonville in Week 10, going for 71 total yards and three touchdowns.
If you somehow still need convincing, Ebron is on pace to tie Rob Gronkowski’s single-season tight end touchdown record of 17.
K Adam Vinatieri
- Last three weeks avg: 1.0-of-1.7 FGA (55.6%), 3.7-of-3.7 XPA (100.0%), 6.7 points
- Last week: 2-of-3 FGA (66.7%), 3-of-3 XPA (100.0%), 9 points
- FantasyPros Week 13 Position Rank: K10
- Jaguars vs. Ks: 21st (8.4 FPPG)
In Week 10, he went 0-for-1 on field goal attempts and 3-of-3 on extra points. He obviously doesn’t normally go field goal-less, so don’t bank on a repeat there.
Jacksonville’s potential offensive woes this week could mean that the Colts’ control how everything goes, and that means plenty of opportunities for Vinatieri to boot them through the uprights.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
- Last three weeks avg: 330.7 yards allowed, 20.0 points allowed, 2.0 sacks, 1.3 takeaways
- Last week: 314 yards allowed, 24 points allowed, 1 sack, 1 takeaway
- FantasyPros Week 13 Position Rank: DST11
- Jaguars vs. DSTs: 24th (7.5 FPPG)
The Jaguars were already a good matchup for the Colts, and that’s before all the change they’ve experienced.
Jacksonville has allowed at least seven fantasy points to defenses in all but one game since Week 3 (average 10.3). They’ve allowed 31 sacks this year, at least one in all but two games. They’ve also turned the ball over in every game this year, and the Colts are one of only two teams that have a takeaway in every game.