INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts have had some standout fantasy performances in recent weeks and now they have wide receiver T.Y. Hilton back in the lineup, and the run game is firing on all cylinders.
What might they be able to do this week against the reeling Oakland Raiders?
*Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring.
QB Andrew Luck
- Last three weeks avg: 26.0-of-41.7 passing (63.9%), 274.0 yards, 1.7 carries, 4.0 yards, 11 total TD, 5 total TO — 29.7 FPPG
- Last week: 17-of-23 passing (73.9%), 156 yards, 3 carries, 5 yards, 4 total TD, 0 total TO — 30.5 FP
- FantasyPros Week 8 Position Rank: QB6
- Raiders vs. QBs: 23rd (19.5 FPPG)
We're at the point where there's no reason not to start Luck on a weekly basis. Last week, he had just 156 yards passing but still threw four touchdowns on just 23 pass attempts.
Oakland has only allowed one 300-yard passer, but every quarterback except for one has had multiple touchdowns against them this year. The Raiders defense also only has four interceptions (tied for 22nd) and seven sacks (32nd).
RBs Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins
Last three weeks avg:
- Mack (two games) — 30.5 snaps (45.5%), 15.5 carries, 107.5 yards (6.9 avg), 1.5 reception (2.5 targets), 18.5 yards (12.3 avg), 2 total TD, 1 total 2PM — 20.4 FPPG
- Hines — 34.3 snaps (45.3%), 7.7 carries, 35.3 yards (4.6 avg), 3.3 receptions (4.7 targets), 20.3 yards (6.1 avg) — 7.2 FPPG
- Wilkins — 11.0 snaps (15.0%), 4.0 carries, 28.3 yards (7.1 avg), 1.0 receptions (1.0 targets), 5.7 yards (5.7 avg) — 3.2 FPPG
- Mack — 37 snaps (56%), 19 carries, 126 yards (6.6 avg), 2 receptions (3 targets), 33 yards (16.5 avg), 2 total TD, 1 total 2PM — 30.9 FP
- Hines — 17 snaps (26%), 5 carries, 47 yards (9.4 avg), 1 reception (2 targets), -5 yards (-5.0 avg) — 4.7 FP
- Wilkins — 15 snaps (23%), 6 carries, 46 yards (7.7 avg), 1 reception (1 target), 8 yards (8.0 avg) — 5.9 FP
- FantasyPros Week 8 Position Rank: Mack RB11, Hines RB39, Wilkins RB58
- Raiders vs. RBs: 20th (26.8 FPPG)
With Robert Turbin out last week with a shoulder injury, Wilkins stepped back into the lineup in a big way. The Colts were pounding the Bills on the ground to the tune of a season-high 220 yards, and all three backs had a productive day because of it.
We could be looking at more of the same this week in Oakland. In the Colts' two wins, the team has controlled the game by running the ball, outrunning the opponent by a combined 124 yards — they're well aware.
Mack is the go-to for fantasy purposes as he's the unquestioned touches leader and is a constant big-play threat, Hines has his extra role in the passing game, and then Wilkins can get more involved if the Colts keep the run game humming.
Oakland has allowed four running backs to surpass 100 yards from scrimmage (three of them got there just with rushing yards), and those backs combined for four scores.
One thing to keep any eye on, however, is Mack's availability; he did not practice on Thursday with an ankle injury.
WR T.Y. Hilton
- Last three weeks avg: (one game) 4.0 receptions (4.0 targets), 25.0 yards (6.3 avg), 2 total TD — 16.5 FPPG
- Last week: 4 receptions (4 targets), 25 yards (6.3 avg), 2 total TD — 16.5 FP
- FantasyPros Week 8 Position Rank: WR17
- Raiders vs. WRs: 25th (42.0 FPPG)
Hilton had the touchdowns (two) but not the yards (25), in a tough matchup last week against the Bills. He also only played 35 percent of the offensive snaps in his return to the field after missing the last two and a half weeks with chest and hamstring injuries. Hilton is not on the injury report so for this week, however, meaning he could see the field more this week.
This week screams, "T.Y. Hilton" from a complete performance standpoint. Through six games, the Raiders have allowed 10 different receivers to eclipse 10 fantasy points. Their top three corners — Leon Hall, Rashaan Melvin and Gareon Conley — average a grade of 57.5 in coverage according to Pro Football Focus, which would rank approximately 120th in the NFL among individuals.
Hilton has been targeted at least 10 times in three of his five games (the three complete games he's played this season), and he's also scored touchdowns in three of five games.
TE Eric Ebron
- Last three weeks avg: 5.3 receptions (9.7 targets), 69.0 yards (13.3 avg), 3 total TD — 15.6 FPPG
- Last week: 3 receptions (7 targets), 31 yards (10.3 avg) — 4.6 FP
- FantasyPros Week 8 Position Rank: TE4
- Raiders vs. TEs: 7th (9.7 FPPG)
Ebron's hot streak finally cooled a bit last week, but he is still fantasy's No. 3 tight end and should be started, even with or without Jack Doyle in the lineup.
Ebron has scored a touchdown in all but two games this season, and his six receiving touchdowns ranks tied for second in the NFL and is tops among tight ends.
Oakland's defense hasn't been tested much against tight ends, so they rank seventh against the position. David Njoku of the Cleveland Browns is the only notable one they've faced so far, and he had five catches for 52 yards on seven targets.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
- Last three weeks avg: 371.7 yards allowed, 28.3 points allowed, 1.3 sacks, 3.9 takeaways
- Last week: 303 yards allowed, 5 points allowed, 2 sacks, 5 takeaways
- FantasyPros Week 8 Position Rank: DST7
- Raiders vs. DSTs: 25th (7.8 FPPG)
The Colts defense is another strong play this week. The unit is tied for fourth in sacks (21), tied for fifth in fumbles recovered, tied for sixth in interceptions and has forced at least one turnover in every game.
Oakland is middle of the road in total offense (15th, 373.5 YPG), but they are 28th in scoring (18.3 PPG), 29th in turnover differential (-5) and have given the ball away 11 times, tied for 10th-most.
We also can't forget that they just placed starting running back Marshawn Lynch on injured reserve with a groin injury and traded top wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys this week.