INDIANAPOLIS — It's Week 3 of the fantasy football season, and with that another opportunity for the Indianapolis Colts players in your lineups to bestow points upon your roster.
The Colts host the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday in a game that could have plenty of offense involved. What should you expect from the Colts players on your team? We've got you covered.
*Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring. Ranks as of Thursday morning of game week._
QB Jacoby Brissett
- Last week: 17-of-28 passing (60.7%), 146 yards, 7 carries, 25 yards, 3 total TD, 2 total TO — 21.5 FP
- Last two weeks avg.: 19.0-of-27.5 passing (69.1%), 168.0 yards, 5.0 carries, 17.0 yards, 2.5 total TD, 1.0 total TO — 20.7 FP
- FantasyPros Week 3 Position Rank: QB19
- Falcons vs. QBs: 17th (17.4 FPPG)
Brissett hasn't put up gaudy passing stats yet, but he has been efficient and has cashed in with touchdowns in the red zone. He's thrown five touchdowns through the first two weeks (tied for fourth in the NFL), and they've all been in the red zone.
As the Colts' offense has shown over the last two weeks, their recipe thus far has been to move the ball methodically down the field and then use their litany of passing-game weapons in the red zone. Of their five touchdown passes, they've all come in different ways — a short comeback route, a 19-yard catch-and-run down the left sideline, a short shovel pass, a 12-yard slant, and a four-yard fade. This tells us that they have numerous options for what they want to do, and it also says that they're unlikely to be "figured out" by defenses.
There's a pretty good chance this theme continues against the Falcons in Week 3.
The Minnesota Vikings barely passed the ball against Atlanta in Week 1 because they were dominating them so badly up front in the run game (172 yards), so it makes sense for the Colts to take the same approach, as their run game is just as potent as Minnesota's (tied for second in NFL at 185.0 yards per game). More on that later.
In Week 1, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was just 8-of-10 passing with 98 yards, but he hit receiver Adam Thielen on a 23-yard catch-and-run just outside the red zone for a score. Last week, both of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz's touchdowns came in the red zone — a four-yard strike to receiver Nelson Agholor and a one-yard run that Wentz took in himself.
RB Marlon Mack
- Last week: 49 snaps (70%), 20 carries, 51 yards (2.6 avg), 2 catches (3 targets), 12 yards (6.0 avg) — 7.3 FP
- Last two weeks avg.: 48.5 snaps (73%), 22.5 carries, 112.5 yards (5.0 avg), 1.0 catch (1.5 targets), 6.0 yards (6.0 avg), 1 total TD, 1 total two-pointer — 16.4 FP
- FantasyPros Week 3 Position Rank: RB12
- Falcons vs. RBs: 12th (17.3 FPPG)
Like we mentioned, it makes a ton of sense for the Colts to attack Atlanta's defense like Minnesota did in Week 1.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook gashed the Falcons for 120 yards of offense on 23 touches, racking up plays of seven yards (touchdown), eight (twice), 19 (touchdown), 21 and 22 yards. Rookie Alexander Mattison did damage as well, running the ball nine times for 49 yards. The pair did a ton of work against the Falcons on outside run plays, which is something the Colts have been able to take advantage of as well. In fact, Mack scored on a career-long 63-yard touchdown near the left boundary in Week 1.
The Falcons were able to bottle up the Eagles' run game last week, as Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders combined for just 46 yards on 18 carries. However, Mack and the Colts' run game is much, much closer to Cook and the Vikings' run game. In fact, Cook is currently the NFL's leading rusher (265 yards), and Mack isn't far behind (225).
Keep in mind: a huge part of fantasy football is player opportunity, and Mack has has at least 22 touches in each game this season.
But also keep an eye on Mack's injury situation: he's missed the first two days of practice this week with a calf injury.
WR T.Y. Hilton
- Last week: 4 receptions (6 targets), 43 yards (10.8 avg), 1 total TD — 12.3 FP
- Last two weeks avg.: 6.0 receptions (7.5 targets), 65.0 yards (10.8 avg), 3 total TD — 18.5 FP
- FantasyPros Week 3 Position Rank: WR14
- Falcons vs. WRs: 9th (18.5 FPPG)
People often get concerned about a team's skill position players when a new quarterback goes under center, but there have become no worries for fantasy owners who have shares of Hilton. If Brissett has hit it off and developed chemistry with anyone already, it's Hilton. Through two games, he has been targeted 15 times, has three touchdowns and appears to be Brissett's clear go-to guy in the clutch.
The Falcons have given up a couple standout performances to receivers so far. In Week 1, Thielen only had three catches for 43 yards and a score, but again the Vikings barely passed the ball. In a normal gameplan, Thielen likely would have done much more. Last week, Agholor busted out for eight receptions, 107 yards and a touchdown.
The ingredients are there for Hilton to continue his hot start to the season this Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
TEs Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle
- Last week: Ebron — 3 receptions (4 targets), 25 yards (8.3 avg), 1 total TD — 10.0 FP | Doyle — 2 receptions (3 targets), 21 yards (10.5 avg) — 3.1 FP
- Last two weeks avg.: Ebron — 2.0 receptions (3.5 targets), 16.5 yards (8.3 avg), 1 total TD — 10.0 FP | Doyle — 1.5 receptions (2.5 targets), 20.5 yards (13.7 avg) — 2.8 FP
- FantasyPros Week 3 Position Rank: Ebron TE13 and Doyle TE21
- Falcons vs. TEs: 13th (4.6 FPPG)
Vikings tight ends did nothing against the Falcons in Week 1, but that was a different story last week. Eagles tight end Zach Ertz was a huge part of their offense, catching 8-of-16 targets for 72 yards and a two-point conversion.
The Colts' tight ends haven't gotten as involved as we're used to seeing quite yet, but Ebron did put the group on the board with a touchdown last week He also nearly had one the week before but it was overturned after a review. I would preach patience for fantasy owners who have Doyle and Ebron as we know this offensive system puts a huge emphasis on tight ends, but the passing game hasn't gone heavy yet.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
- Last week: 243 yards allowed, 17 points allowed, 4 sacks, 0 takeaways
- Last two weeks avg.: 339.0 yards allowed, 23.5 points allowed, 8 total sacks, 2 total takeaways
- FantasyPros Week 3 Position Rank: DST27
- Falcons vs. DSTs: 28th (10.5. FPPG)
On the surface, starting a defense against a team that features Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley seems like a bad time, but fantasy football defenses thrive on sacks and takeaways, both of which the Colts' defense is good at producing. And so far, opposing defenses have fared well against the Falcons in fantasy.
Through two weeks, the Falcons have turned the ball over the second-most times in the league (six), and they have also been sacked five times. Meanwhile, the Colts have a couple of takeaways to their name so far, and they are tied for the second-most sacks in the NFL (eight).
Atlanta has yet to get its ground game going, averaging a 28th-ranked 65.0 yards per game. If the Colts can continue smothering the Falcons' runners and just focus on Ryan, Jones, Ridley & Co., they may be the latest to have a solid fantasy performance.