INDIANAPOLIS — For those who have Indianapolis Colts players on their fantasy football rosters, you likely came away from last week's contest quite satisfied.
While the run game didn't quite lift off in the Colts' win over the Houston Texans, quarterback Jacoby Brissett and wide receiver Zach Pascal both had career days while receiver T.Y. Hilton and tight end Eric Ebron both had big games as well.
This week brings another good defensive opponent in the Denver Broncos, but that shouldn't hold the Colts back from having another productive statistical day. Here's what you might expect from the Colts players on your rosters this week.
*Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring. Ranks as of Thursday morning of game week.
QB Jacoby Brissett
- Last week: 26-of-39 passing (66.7 percent), 326 yards, 5 carries, 6 yards, 4 total TD, 1 total TO — 35.6 FP
- Last three weeks avg.: 22.7-of-38.0 passing (59.6 percent), 247.3 yards, 5.3 carries, 11.3 yards, 8 total TD, 3 total TO — 24.8 FP
- FantasyPros Week 8 Position Rank: QB11
- Broncos vs. QBs: 3rd (11.2 FPPG)
Last week we pointed out how Brissett could have a productive day passing the ball, and he blew up even more than expected. This week, however, it feels more like a "run the damn ball" day for the Colts, but more on that later.
Through essentially a half of the season, the Broncos have yet to allow an opposing quarterback to reach 300 passing yards (that includes Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers), and only one has had multiple touchdowns. However, Brissett leads all NFL quarterbacks in passing touchdowns per game (2.3) — something's gotta give, right? To that point, Brissett has reached at least 20 fantasy points in five of six games this season.
RB Marlon Mack
- Last week: 18 carries, 44 yards (2.4 avg.), 3 catches (3 targets), 12 yards (3.0 avg.) — 7.1 FP
- Last three weeks avg.: 19.3 carries, 71.7 yards (3.5 avg.), 2.0 catches (2.0 targets), 9.3 yards (4.7 avg.) — 9.1 FP
- FantasyPros Week 8 Position Rank: RB14
- Broncos vs. RBs: 15th (18.2 FPPG)
As we've seen, the Colts can be flat-out dominant when it comes to forcing the ball down the opponent's defensive front. So far this year, they have rushing performances of 167 yards, 180 yards and 203 yards. Including 2018, that makes eight games in which the Colts have had at least 150 rushing yards in a game. Mack is the Colts' bell cow back, averaging 21.5 touches per game, including three games with at least 20 touches. Mack has had a couple big games himself this season, running for a career-high 174 yards in Week 1 and then 132 yards on a career-high 29 carries in Week 5. He's also caught 10 passes in the last five games, adding a little something extra for fantasy owners.
While Denver does a great job against the passing game, they are a touch vulnerable in the run game. They've given up several big performances to running backs, including Josh Jacobs' 24 touches for 113 total yards and two touchdowns, David Montgomery's 19 touches for 68 yards and one touchdown, Aaron Jones' 23 yards and two touchdowns, Leonard Fournette's 31 touches for 245 yards and Austin Ekeler's 18 touches for 93 yards. Those players averaged 18.8 fantasy points per game.
WR T.Y. Hilton
- Last week: 6 receptions (11 targets), 74 yards (12.3 avg.), 1 total TD — 16.4 FP
- Last three weeks avg.: 6.0 receptions (8.3 targets), 58.7 yards (9.8 avg.), 2 total TD — 12.9 FP
- FantasyPros Week 8 Position Rank: WR7
- Broncos vs. WRs: 7th (18.8 FPPG)
The Broncos clamping down on quarterbacks obviously has an effect on their receivers. Only three opposing receivers have had real solid outings against them, with Tyrell Williams posting six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and his six catches for 99 yards and a touchdown and then Tyreek Hill's three catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. Overall, they've only allowed one 100-yard receiver.
While the Broncos have done an excellent job against receivers, Hilton could make his way around that. For example, he has the second-most receiving touchdowns in the league, all of them coming in the red zone. He obviously has the long touchdown capability in his back pocket as we've seen so many times before, but he has become equally as dangerous closer to the end zone. As the Colts' leader in targets (40), receptions (30), receiving yards (306) and touchdowns, he's going to get his by game's end, regardless.
TEs Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle
- Last week: Ebron — 4 reception (5 targets), 70 yards (17.5 avg.), 1 total TD — 15.0 FP | Doyle — 3 receptions (5 targets), 21 yards (7.0 avg.) — 3.6 FP
- Last three weeks avg.: Ebron — 2.0 receptions (4.7 targets), 42.0 yards (21.0 avg.), 2 total TD — 9.2 FP | Doyle — 3.3 receptions (5.3 targets), 20.7 yards (6.2 avg.), 1 total TD — 5.7 FP
- FantasyPros Week 8 Position Rank: Ebron TE12 and Doyle TE21
- Broncos vs. TEs: 9th (5.5 FPPG)
Like their quarterback and receiver counterparts, tight ends haven't had a good go of it against Denver either. However, it's a rare challenge for the Broncos to face a team with the tight end unit that the Colts have in Doyle and Ebron — you can add Mo Alie-Cox in there as well. Doyle and Ebron both have 25 targets, which is second on the team only behind Hilton, so they essentially always factor into the passing game. Ebron's touchdown and yardage upside makes him playable each week. He's had at least 45 yards in three of the last four games and has scored in three of the last five games.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
- Last week: 391 yards allowed, 23 points allowed, 3 sacks, 2 takeaways, 1 safety
- Last three weeks avg.: 364.0 yards allowed, 22.3 points allowed, 8 total sacks, 4 total takeaways, 1 safety
- FantasyPros Week 8 Position Rank: DST12
- Broncos vs. DSTs: 23rd (8.6 FPPG)
It's all systems go for fantasy owners of the Colts D/ST against the Broncos' offense.
The Broncos rank near the bottom of the league in total offense (25th, 317.4 YPG), turnover differential (25th, -3), passing (26th, 207.9 YPG), red-zone scoring (26th, 47.4 percent), scoring (29th, 16.0 PPG), third-down conversions (29th, 30 percent), passing touchdowns (29th, 6) and sacks allowed (tied-29th, 24). Meanwhile, the Colts are on a little bit of a hot streak defensively over their last two games, totaling seven sacks and three takeaways while holding opponents to 18 points per game.
The Colts have been able to capitalize against weaker passing games this season such as Denver's, holding both the Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders to fewer than 200 passing yards. On paper, if the Broncos were going to mount a successful attack against the Colts then it would be on the ground with Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. However, the Colts are holding opponents to an average of 68 rushing yards per game over the last two games after getting defensive end Jabaal Sheard, linebacker Darius Leonard and safety Clayton Geathers back over that time.