INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts have yet another difficult test ahead of them from a fantasy football perspective this week, as the Tennessee Titans have both a stout defense and plenty of talent on offense.
*Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring.
QB Andrew Luck
- Last three weeks avg: 20.0-of-27.7 passing (72.4%), 226.7 yards, 3.3 carries, 0.3 yards, 10 total TD, 1 total TO, 1 total 2PM — 28.7 FPPG
- Last week: 21-of-29 passing (72.4%), 285 yards, 5 carries, -2 yards, 3 total TD, 1 total TO — 26.8 FP
- FantasyPros Week 11 Position Rank: QB7
- Titans vs. QBs: 6th (16.3 FPPG)
The Titans are solid against quarterbacks in general this year, but good quarterbacks tend to be effective — Deshaun Watson (310 and 2 TD), Carson Wentz (348 and 2 TD) and Philip Rivers (306 and 2 TD), for example.
I don’t think anybody needs to worry about Luck’s effectiveness, as last week he became just the third player in NFL history to throw for at least three touchdowns in six consecutive games within the same season. Overall, Luck is second in the NFL in passing touchdowns (26), trailing only Patrick Mahomes (31).
During the Colts’ current three-game win streak, Luck has completed passes to 12 different receivers. So, his options in the passing game know no bounds.
RBs Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines
Last three weeks avg:
- Mack — 40.0 snaps (59.9%), 18.7 carries, 95.7 yards (4.8 avg), 2.0 reception (3.0 targets), 19.7 yards (9.8 avg), 4 total TD, 2 total 2PM — 21.9 FPPG
- Hines — 21.7 snaps (32.5%), 6.3 carries, 42.7 yards (5.8 avg), 2.0 receptions (2.7 targets), 7.0 yards (1.6 avg) — 6.0 FPPG
- Mack — 34 snaps (60.7%), 12 carries, 29 yards (2.4 avg), 2 receptions (2 targets), 9 yards (4.5 avg), 1 total 2PM — 6.8 FP
- Hines — 20 snaps (35.7%), 3 carries, 3 yards (1.0 avg), 3 receptions (4 targets), 19 yards (6.3 avg) — 3.7 FP
- FantasyPros Week 11 Position Rank: Mack RB17, Hines RB36
- Titans vs. RBs: 2nd (17.6 FPPG)
The running backs likely have the toughest test of any Colts position group this week from a fantasy standpoint. The Titans are tied for 10th in the league in run defense, allowing 99.8 yards per game. They are also tied for sixth (with the Colts) in yards per carry allowed with 3.9.
Tennessee has not allowed a single 100-yard rusher to this point, and only two running backs have had at least 100 yards of total offense against them — LeSean McCoy and Ezekiel Elliott. Running backs have only had three total TD against the Titans.
Now, to the Colts’ running backs themselves. Between Weeks 6-8, the Colts offense ran for 189.7 yards per game — Mack himself averaged 133.7 yards of offense — but came back down to earth last week against Jacksonville, as they posted just 81.
The Colts have certainly proved that they are capable of big rushing performances, so I wouldn’t be scared off just yet.
WR T.Y. Hilton
- Last three weeks avg: 2.7 receptions (5.3 targets), 45.3 yards (17.0 avg), 2 total TD — 9.9 FPPG
- Last week: 3 receptions (7 targets), 77 yards (25.7 avg) — 9.2 FP
- FantasyPros Week 11 Position Rank: WR15
- Titans vs. WRs: 24th (39.4 FPPG)
While the Titans' defense can hold-up a run game, they have shown to be vulnerable to big-time receivers. They’ve allowed six opposing receivers to go over 100 yards so far, and in those instances, all of those receivers except for one also scored a touchdown in their matchup.
This is a critical week for Hilton’s fantasy value, as he’s only averaged 45.3 yards per game in the three games since he returned from injury. He’s had some positive moments, scoring two touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills in Week 7 and posting 77 yards last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, if you’re starting him, you’re looking for some consistency in those signature chunk plays.
Teams are trying to take Hilton out of the equation by focusing extra attention on him, and the Colts are taking advantage of that by distributing the ball to other players. The law of averages — or the ebb and flow of an NFL season — says a big performance is coming for Hilton soon.
“I know T.Y. is going to have a big one here soon, and he’s being patient,” Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni said this week.
TEs Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron
Last three weeks avg:
- Ebron — 23.7 snaps (36.4%), 3.0 receptions (4.3 targets), 45.7 yards (15.2 avg), 4 total TD — 14.1 FPPG
- Doyle — (two games) 53.0 snaps (80.3%), 4.5 receptions (5.0 targets), 53.0 yards (11.8 avg), 1 total TD — 10.6 FPPG
- Ebron — 21 snaps (37.5%), 3 receptions (3 targets), 69 yards (23.0 avg), 3 total TD — 26.6 FP
- Doyle — 49 snaps (87.5%), 3 receptions (3 targets), 36 yards (12.0 avg) — 5.1 FP
- FantasyPros Week 11 Position Rank: Doyle TE8, Ebron TE10
- Titans vs. TEs: 1st (6.8 FPPG)
Hopefully, last week’s three-touchdown explosion from Ebron can dispel the myth that Doyle’s presence zaps his fantasy value.
Ebron has scored at least one touchdown in all four games in which both he and Doyle have played together. In fact, Ebron has scored more touchdowns with Doyle active (6) than without (4).
The Titans have only faced one real test at tight end so far, back in Week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Tight end Zach Ertz caught 10-of-14 targets for 112 yards in that game, having his way with the Tennessee defense.
With how much Luck and the Colts use their tight ends, Doyle and Ebron are essentially must-starts every week.
K Adam Vinatieri
- Last three weeks avg: 1.0-of-1.3 FGA (75.0%), 3.0-of-3.7 XPA (81.8%), 6.0 points
- Last week: 0-of-1 FGA (0.0%), 3-of-3 XPA (100.0%), 3 points
- FantasyPros Week 11 Position Rank: K6
- Titans vs. Ks: 6th (6.3 FPPG)
Vinatieri has had four games this year with at least 10 points. If you’re getting 10-plus points out of your kicker then that’s a pretty good deal.
This game is also at home, indoors at Lucas Oil Stadium. At this point of the season when the weather is beginning to worsen, you’ll want to take advantage of these types of matchups.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
- Last three weeks avg: 355.0 yards allowed, 19.7 points allowed, 0.7 sacks, 2.3 takeaways
- Last week: 415 yards allowed, 26 points allowed, 0 sacks, 1 takeaway
- FantasyPros Week 11 Position Rank: DST11
- Titans vs. DSTs: 24th (7.7 FPPG)
The Colts’ defense has capitalized on good matchups so far this season. They’ve had at least seven fantasy points in five of their nine games. They don’t often give those huge performances, but they don’t get completely run over either, as they’ve had at least one takeaway in every game.
This week is a decent matchup. Tennessee has surrendered five games of seven-plus points to opposing defenses. One thing the Colts could use more of, however, is pass rush. The Colts had 17 sacks in the first four games of the season, but just four in the five games since.
The Colts DST isn't a home-run pick this week, but it is certainly playable.