INDIANAPOLIS — At the midway point of the Indianapolis Colts' season, the team has performed at a high level despite being thrown numerous curveballs.
With quarterback Andrew Luck retiring shortly before the regular season began, many people nationally wondered what the team's offense would look like. To this point, it's been an effective, efficient unit. Several players have stepped up and played at a high level, and we'll take a look at them today from a fantasy football performance perspective.
Here, we break down several Colts players into three categories based on what they’ve shown so far in 2019 (positional ranking heading into Week 10 in parenthesis).
- Fantasy Starters — hese players have shown that they are worth starting in your lineups more often than not.
- Flex Streamers — Thse players don’t necessarily put up numbers every single week, but they certainly have games where they are worthy of being a waiver-wire flex play.
- Dynasty Stashes —* These players may not have roles that are conducive to fantasy success right now, but they are worth stashing on your rosters in dynasty leagues, where they can break out down the line.
*Based on half-point PPR scoring.
QB Jacoby Brissett (QB15)
- 153-of-236 passing (64.8%), 1,649 yards, 37 carries, 110 yards (3.0 avg), 15 total TD, 6 total TO
*Brissett missed the second half of Week 9 due to injury. His fantasy points and rankings have been prorated to reflect his average game performance.
Brissett was put in the bright spotlight after Luck's departure, and he answered the call admirably. Through the first four games of the season, he scored at least 20 fantasy points in each and was tied for the league lead in touchdown passes at the time. Brissett has shown the ability to make his reads and spread the ball around, making completions to 12 different pass-catchers, including touchdown passes to six different players. Brissett has been especially dangerous in the red zone, scoring 14 of his 15 touchdowns inside the opponent's 20-yard line.
WR T.Y. Hilton (WR15)
- 32 receptions (46 targets), 360 yards (11.3 avg), 5 TD
*Hilton has missed 2 1/2 games due to injury. His fantasy points and rankings have been prorated to reflect his average game performance.
Oddly enough, Hilton missed two and a half games in the first half of the 2018 regular season as well, and he's on pace for just as good of a season, if not better despite the change in quarterback. The Ghost has been targeted 5.8 times per game, catching 4.0 balls for 45.0 yards as well. He scored at least one touchdown in each of the first three games. Although many people have known him as a speedy, deep-ball playmaker, all of his touchdowns have come in the red zone this season, proving his versatility.
RB Marlon Mack (RB16)
- 159 carries, 679 yards (4.3 avg), 11 receptions (13 targets), 68 yards (6.2 avg), 3 total TD, 1 two-point
Mack is on pace to crush his breakout 2018 season after having a healthy first half of the 2019 season. If he continues on this pace, or even betters it, he could become a household name for NFL fans by season's end. He has at least 15 fantasy points in half of his games, and has at least 80 yards of offense in five games. Mack's current pace of 340 touches for 1,494 yards and six touchdowns easily puts him in fantasy RB1 territory.
WR Zach Pascal (WR50)
- 19 receptions (27 targets), 321 yards (16.9 avg), 1 carry, 12 yards, 0-of-1 passing, 4 total TD
The Colts' surprise star of the first half of the season has been the always reliable Zach Pascal. With injuries to receivers Hilton, Devin Funchess and Parris Campbell, Pascal has been a constant and showed clear development as a football player. In the last five games, Pascal has been targeted at least six times in three games, averaging 5.0 catches for 84.7 yards and 1.0 touchdown in those games. With the team's receiving corps still banged up, don't look for the Pascal Train to lose steam anytime soon.
Colts DST (DST23)
- 22.1 PPG, 339.9 YPG, 20 sacks, 9 takeaways
The Colts defense started out a little bumpy, allowing 347.3 yards and 25.5 points per game, registering nine sacks and four takeaways in the first four games of the season before settling in a little, allowing 340.0 yards and 18.8 points and totaling 11 sacks and five takeaways in the four games since. Getting linebacker Darius Leonard and defensive end Jabaal Sheard back healthy has been a big boost, as has the emergence of defensive end Justin Houston, who has five sacks, six tackles for loss, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and one safety since facing his former team, the Kansas City Chiefs, four games ago.
TE Eric Ebron (TE17) and Jack Doyle (TE20)
- Ebron: 18 receptions (31 targets), 248 yards (13.8 avg), 3 total TD* Doyle: 24 receptions (34 targets), 232 yards (9.7 avg), 2 TD
The Colts' tight ends haven't been quite as potent from a fantasy perspective in the first half of this season as last year, but the Colts were also passing at a record pace this time last season. Ebron has definitely had his flashes, though, making multiple athletic plays, including one of the NFL's catches of the year, as well as having at least 45 yards in three games. Doyle has been the same hard-nosed grinder as always, opening up lanes for his teammates as a blocker as well as picking up first downs on 62.5 percent of his receptions.
K Adam Vinatieri (tied-K22)
- 12-of-17 FGA (70.6%) (2-of-3 from 50-plus), 14-of-19 XPA (73.7%), 50 points
It has obviously been an interesting season for the 24-year veteran, but he's still had his solid fantasy performances. Vinatieri has had three games with at least nine points, including Week 8 against the Denver Broncos when he had two 50-plus-yard field goals (often worth bonus points in fantasy), including the game winner.
WR Parris Campbell (WR77) and Chester Rogers (WR94)
- Campbell: 15 receptions (19 targets), 115 yards (7.7 avg), 4 carries, 34 yards (8.5 avg), 1 total TD* Rogers: 12 receptions (21 targets), 125 yards (10.4 avg), 2 TD
*Campbell has missed two games due to injury. His fantasy points and rankings have been prorated to reflect his average game performance.
Campbell has been unable to have a full-fledged body of work yet because of injuries throughout the year to his hamstring, abdomen and hand. However, when he's been on the field, his potential is quite obvious. This was especially true last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers when he had 10 all-purpose touches for 142 yards. In six games, out of 19 offensive touches Campbell had a pickup of at least 10 yards six times, including two gains of at least 20 yards.
Rogers has taken more of a "next man up" role this season as a receiver due to the group's injuries as he primarily focuses on returning punts. However, he's had at least three catches in three games, peaking with 48 yards in Week 4 against the Oakland Raiders. Still, he has already tied his single-season career high in receiving touchdowns.
RB Nyheim Hines (RB58) and Jordan Wilkins (RB74)
- Hines: 19 carries, 52 yards (2.7 avg), 23 receptions (29 targets), 188 yards (8.2 avg)* Wilkins: 24 carries, 145 yards (6.0 avg), 4 receptions (5 targets), 27 yards (6.8 avg)
With Mack healthy this season, the Colts' haven't had to rely on Hines and Wilkins as much as last year when the pair were rookies. Hines has maintained his role as the team's primary pass-catching back, catching a pass in each game, including at least three receptions in five games. He is fourth on the team in pass targets, but has yet to score a touchdown this season, which seems like just a matter of time.
Although he's the Colts' backup early-down back, Wilkins has been incredibly effective this season, as his yards per carry ranks third in the NFL among players with at least 20 carries. His 55-yard scamper against the Tennessee Titans in Week 2 helped the Colts mount a comeback victory.
TE Mo Alie-Cox (TE67)
- 5 receptions (7 targets), 49 yards (9.8 avg)
With Doyle healthy this season as opposed to last year when hip and kidney injuries limited him to just six games, Alie-Cox hasn't had as much opportunity for the flashy plays that he made last season. However, he is on pace to set new single-season career highs in receptions and targets. He is absolutely worth a fantasy stash because the Colts will have some choices to make this offseason with Alie-Cox, Doyle and Ebron being free agents. Still young in his development as a football player, Alie-Cox has a world of potential, especially since he's already a high-quality blocker.