INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts are still dealing with some injuries that shape their fantasy football value as a group.
Starting wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (chest/hamstring) and starting tight end Jack Doyle (hip) both remain out of practice and seem unlikely to play this Sunday against the New York Jets. Hilton has been out since the second half of Week 5 while Doyle hasn't played since Week 2.
On defense, eight starters are on the injury report this week, although some have been able to practice.
Perhaps the best news is that starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo and starting running back Marlon Mack both logged full practice sessions this week, indicating they could be trending towards playing Sunday. Castonzo has yet to play this year, and Mack only played in Week 2. For a run game that has yet to get going this season, both players give a big boost in that direction.
*Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring.
QB Andrew Luck
- Last three weeks avg: 34.3-of-53.7 passing (64.0%), 331.0 yards, 1.3 carries, 14.7 yards, 8 total TD, 3 total TO — 28.1 FPPG
- Last week: 38-of-59 passing (64.4%), 365 yards, 3 TD, 2 TO — 28.0 FP
- FantasyPros Week 6 Position Rank: QB14
- Jets vs. QBs: 10th (16.7 FPPG)
The last time Luck faced Todd Bowles’ defense — still head coach of the Jets back in 2016 — he went 22-of-28 (78.6%) passing for 278 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-10 Colts rout.
Luck has been on fire over the last two weeks, accumulating 829 passing yards and tossing seven touchdowns — and that was without Doyle and Hilton the majority of the time.
It certainly appears that he is back to his old dominant ways when he was a weekly fantasy starter. Although he is back to being a consistent quarterback who you’ll want to start almost any week, now is especially the time to strike with him while the it seems the iron is at its hottest.
RBs Marlon Mack, Jordan Wilkins, Nyheim Hines and Robert Turbin
- Last three weeks avg: Mack — DNP | Wilkins — 6.7 carries, 24.7 yards (3.9 avg), 1.3 receptions (1.7 targets), 3.3 yards (2.5 avg) — 3.8 FPPG | Hines— 8.0 carries, 24.3 yards (3.0 avg), 7.0 receptions (8.3 targets), 44.3 yards (6.3 avg), 2 total TD — 14.4 FPPG | Turbin — 1.0 target
- Last week: Mack — DNP | Wilkins — 6 carries, 39 yards (6.5 avg), 2 receptions (2 targets), 9 yards, 1 fumble lost — 3.8 FP | Hines — 15 carries, 45 yards (3.0 avg), 7 receptions (9 targets), 45 yards (6.4 avg) — 12.5 FP | Turbin — 1 target
- FantasyPros Week 6 Position Rank: Hines RB26, Wilkins RB52, Mack RB57, Turbin 71
- Jets vs. RBs: 18th (25.7 FPPG)
This group is finally starting to get everybody together, as Mack (hamstring) has been a full participant at practice this week, and Turbin returned from his suspension last week against the New England Patriots.
Colts head coach Frank Reich, talking to reporters this week, made it seem unlikely that they would have four running backs active for a game.
“That’s unusual. That’s unusual,” he said. “Sometimes you have the luxury of going four because everybody else is down at other positions, but it’s a little bit of a luxury to have four.”
There would be no better advice on the Colts running backs this week than to just follow the injury report. If Mack is cleared by Friday’s report, then one would assume he gets the start. Hines has carved out a nice role in the passing game and has seen a lot of touches recently, so he seems like a decent bet to be active.
Ultimately, whoever is active has a decent matchup against the Jets. New York’s defense has given up the most run plays of 20-plus yards (7) in the league. Overall, they’re a respectable 15th against the run (105.0 YPG), but those big plays could mean a big day for speed guys like Mack or Hines.
TE Eric Ebron
- Last three weeks avg: 6.3 receptions (12.0 targets), 59.3 yards (8.8 avg), 3 total TD — 15.1 FPPG
- Last week: 9 receptions (15 targets), 105 yards (11.7 avg), 2 total TD — 27.0 FP
- FantasyPros Week 6 Position Rank: Ebron TE8
- Jets vs. TEs: 1st (7.5 FPPG)
Don’t be afraid to play Ebron just because the Jets are No. 1 against tight ends. Ebron faced the No. 1 defense against tight ends last week as well and had a career game, posting new personal bests in targets (15), yards (105) and touchdowns (two). New England is now 26th against tight ends after what Ebron and Erik Swoope did.
Ebron is also getting the looks you hope for, averaging 12.0 targets per game of the last three weeks.
If Jack Doyle remains out this week, Ebron is almost a must-play, especially with the overall weakness of the tight end position in fantasy right now. But also, don't forget to keep a close eye on the injury report, again, for Ebron, as he missed practice one again Thursday with a multitude of issues.
K Adam Vinatieri
- Last three weeks avg: 2.0-of-2.3 FGA (83.3%), 2.0-of-2.0 XPA (100.0%), 8.0 points
- Last week: 1-of-2 FGA (50.0%), 3-of-3 XPA (100.0%), 6 points
- FantasyPros Week 6 Position Rank: K17
- Jets vs. Ks: 7th (6.0 FPPG)
The Colts have the luxury of not having to worry about their placekicker position. So, if you’ve got Vinatieri as your fantasy kicker, then you have the same luxury. He's the type of player you can plug into your kicker spot and not have to hit the waiver wire until the bye week
With the exception of Week 2 when the Colts only scored touchdowns — Vinatieri hit all three extra points that day — he is averaging 8.8 points per game.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
- Last three weeks avg: 427.7 yards allowed, 31.7 points allowed, 4.0 sacks, 1.7 takeaways
- Last week: 438 yards allowed, 38 points allowed, 0 sacks, 2 takeaways
- FantasyPros Week 6 Position Rank: DST15
- Jets vs. DSTs: 26th (8.0 FPPG)
Defenses are usually going to be playable against the Jets, as they yield 8.0 fantasy points per game.
Despite their solid run game and weapons like Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Terrelle Pryor and Jermaine Kearse, they do have a rookie quarterback making just his sixth career start. No matter how you cut it, there will be some mistakes for the opposing defense to capitalize on.
The Jets rank in the bottom quarter of the league in offensive yards per game (333.8 YPG) and turnovers (10). They also rank middle of the road in sacks allowed (11).
The Colts weren’t able to get to Tom Brady for any sacks last week, but they still rank tied for third in the league (17), and they average 1.5 takeaways per game.
Keep In Mind
If Hilton and Doyle remain out, it creates opportunities for others. FantasyPros currently ranks Ryan Grant as WR61 this week, Chester Rogers as WR64, Zach Pascal as WR108 and Swoope as TE51.
Last week in Hilton’s absence, Grant had six catches (nine targets) for 58 yards, Rogers had eight catches (11 targets) for 66 yards, and Pascal had one catch (seven targets) for 12 yards.
With Doyle out, Swoope had three catches (three targets) for 44 yards and a touchdown. His final catch was initially called a touchdown, but was later ruled down at the one-yard line after review.