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2018 Colts Fantasy Preview: Colts/Titans, Week 17

2018_1118_TEN_6864

INDIANAPOLIS — Whether you're playing daily fantasy or your fantasy football league's championship spills into Week 17, there is still football to be played.

This week, the Indianapolis Colts visit the Tennessee Titans on Sunday Night Football. The winner claims an AFC playoff spot while the loser's season comes to an end.

These two teams squared off in indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 11. The Colts won, 38-10, and got great fantasy performances from quarterback Andrew Luck, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and the defense. How will things pan out this week?

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

QB Andrew Luck

  • Last three weeks avg: 24.7-of-38.3 passing (63.7%), 316.0 yards, 4 total TD, 2 total TO — 20.3 FPPG
  • Last week: 31-of-47 passing (66.0%), 357 yards, 2 total TD, 1 total TO — 25.3 FP
  • FantasyPros Week 17 Position Rank: QB5
  • Titans vs. QBs: 5th (14.6 FPPG)

In Week 11, Luck torched the Titans for three touchdowns and nearly 300 yards despite their stout defense. They still have a solid defense, but obviously Luck and the Colts offense have had recent success against it.

Luck's touchdown numbers have been a bit down lately, but the yards are still there as he's reached between 340-399 passing yards in three of the last five games. He also is not expected to have Titans Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey breathing down his neck, as he is dealing with a sprained MCL in his left knee.

The Titans haven't really faced a tough test at quarterback since Luck. Before that, they'd allowed big passing games to Deshaun Watson (310 yards and two touchdowns), Carson Wentz (348 yards and two touchdowns) and Philip Rivers (306 yards and two touchdowns).

Tennessee has the top fantasy defense against running backs, so if the Colts aren't getting anything going on the ground, it may inflate Luck's passing numbers.

RBs Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines

Last three weeks avg:

  • Mack — 42.3 snaps (61.7%), 17.7 carries, 68.7 yards (3.9 avg), 0.7 receptions (1.7 targets), 4.7 yards (2.8 avg), 4 total TD, 1 total TO — 15.0 FPPG
  • Hines — 26.7 snaps (38.8%), 3.7 carries, 7.3 yards (2.0 avg), 3.7 receptions (5.3 targets), 34.0 yards (9.3 avg), 1 total TD — 8.0 FPPG

Last week:

  • Mack — 43 snaps (64.2%), 12 carries, 34 yards (2.8 avg), 1 reception (3 targets), 4 yards (4.0 avg), 1 total TD — 10.3 FP
  • Hines — 23 snaps (34.3%), 2 carries, 2 yards (1.0 avg), 4 receptions (5 targets), 41 yards (10.3 avg), 1 total TD — 12.3 FP
  • FantasyPros Week 17 Position Rank: Mack RB11, Hines RB41
  • Titans vs. RBs: 1st (18.3 FPPG)

Running backs usually have a tough go of it against the Titans' defense, but the Colts running backs did fine in Week 11 as Mack, Hines and Jordan Wilkins combined for 105 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. Without Casey — who had a 91.1 grade against the run this season according to Pro Football Focus — could the Colts once again find success?

Tennessee's overall body of work against running backs is good, but there are some outliers. For example, Ezekiel Elliott (112 total yards), Lamar Miller (167 total yards and one touchdown) and Isaiah Crowell (107 total yards) have all had success against them since their bye week, and Adrian Peterson had 127 yards of offense against them last week.

Even when Mack hasn't put up impressive yardage totals, he has still found a way to have an effect, as he's scored a touchdown in two of his five lowest yardage totals this season. He is the Colts' primary goal-line back, so the opportunity to score is always there.

Hines has been targeted in the passing game at least five time in eight-of-15 games this season, and he's averaging 6.3 targets over the last four games, so he is almost always a decent Flex stream in PPR leagues.

WR T.Y. Hilton

  • Last three weeks avg: 7.0 receptions (9.3 targets), 140.7 yards (19.6 avg) — 17.6 FPPG
  • Last week: 7 receptions (8 targets), 138 yards (19.7 avg) — 17.3 FP
  • FantasyPros Week 17 Position Rank: WR7
  • Titans vs. WRs: 23rd (37.1 FPPG)

There's zero reason not to put Hilton in your lineups.

Week 11 against Tennessee sent Hilton into one of the hottest streaks of his career, as he caught nine balls for 155 yards and two touchdowns against them. In the last six games, he leads the NFL in receiving yards (779), he's had four games over 100 yards, hasn't had fewer than 77 yards in a game and he hasn't had fewer than 11.0 fantasy points in a game. He has, however, not scored a touchdown since then either.

The Titans have allowed seven opposing receivers to get more than 100 yards against them — Hilton being the most recent — and 18 touchdowns to the position over the course of the season.

In the last matchup, the Titans tried to shadow Hilton with Adoreé Jackson. Will they try it again?

TE Eric Ebron

  • Last three weeks avg: 2.7 receptions (5.3 targets), 33.7 yards (11.2 avg), 1 total TD — 6.7 FPPG
  • Last week: 3 receptions (5 targets), 28 yards (9.3 avg) — 4.3 FP
  • FantasyPros Week 17 Position Rank: TE12
  • Titans vs. TEs: 1st (7.8 FPPG)

First and foremost when forecasting Ebron's effect on this game is monitoring his availability. He was lost during last week's game and placed into the league's concussion protocol. He'll need to be able to get through a practice in order to play, so keep an eye on that.

Ebron has been on the coolest stretch of the season, statistically, if you can call it that. After scoring 13 touchdowns in the first 13 games, he hasn't scored a touchdown in the last two games, and he has just 36 receiving yards combined in that time. This is also a really tough matchup against Tennessee, who hasn't allowed a touchdown to a tight end all season.

If Ebron plays on Sunday, he still should be in your lineups. He has proven to be a big-time, playmaking tight end throughout the season. Banking on the statistical slump to continue is not a safe bet.

K Adam Vinatieri

  • Last three weeks avg: 1.3-of-1.3 FGA (100.0%), 3.0-of-3.0 XPA (100.0%), 7.0 points
  • Last week: 4-of-4 XPA (100.0%), 4 points
  • FantasyPros Week 17 Position Rank: K10
  • Titans vs. Ks: 16th (7.4 FPPG)

The Titans are second in both scoring defense and red zone defense, so that could present more opportunities for Vinatieri field goals rather than Colts touchdowns. Vinatieri is averaging 6.9 points per game and has only missed two field goal attempts in the last nine games.

In the last five weeks, Ka'imi Fairbairn (12 points), Jason Myers (19 points) and Dustin Hopkins (14 points) have all had big kicking performances against the Titans.

Colts Defense/Special Teams

  • Last three weeks avg: 333.0 yards allowed, 16.0 points allowed, 2.7 sacks, 0.7 takeaways
  • Last week: 392 yards allowed, 27 points allowed, 1 takeaway
  • FantasyPros Week 17 Position Rank: DST10
  • Titans vs. DSTs: 23rd (7.4 FPPG)

Tennessee may be without quarterback Marcus Mariota after he left last week's game late in the first half with a stinger on his right side. That, of course, would be good news for the Colts defense, but the Titans offense has been far from a juggernaut this season whether it's Mariota or Blaine Gabbert under center.

Mariota has played in 14 games this season, and Gabbert has seen action in seven. Instability at the quarterback position has helped lead the Titans to a ranking of 26th in both overall offense (316.0 YPG) and scoring offense (19.5 PPG). They're also 29th in passing offense (187.3 YPG) and have given up the seventh-most sacks (47).

When the two teams played in Week 11, the Colts held them to just 263 yards of offense and 10 points. Mariota and Gabbert passed for just 176 yards and were sacked five times, and running backs Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis amassed only 70 yards on the ground. Henry has taken his game to a whole 'nother level recently, however, as he's totaled 545 yards of offense and eight touchdowns in just the last four games.

The Colts' 11th-ranked defense is hot, though. Since Week 7, it is allowing just 16.3 points and 316.9 yards per game as well as 2.1 sacks and 1.4 takeaways.

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