INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts sputtered at home last week in a loss to the Miami Dolphins, and fantasy football owners felt the sting.
However, this week it looks like Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett may return to action after missing the last game-and-a-half with a sprained MCL in his left knee.
Brissett's potential return would have a trickle-down effect, as the coaches' playbook returns to normal, the pass-catchers get their quarterback back and the run game doesn't face as many stacked boxes.
Let's take a look at how the Colts might do in fantasy this week at home against the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars and the return of their own quarterback, Nick Foles.
*Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring. Ranks as of Thursday of game week.
QB Jacoby Brissett
- Last game: (Week 8) — 15-of-25 passing (60.0 percent), 202 yards, 6 carries, 34 yards, 1 total TO — 9.4 FP
- Last three games avg.: (Weeks 5-8 [with bye]) — 19.7-of-31.0 passing (63.4 percent), 226.3 yards, 5.7 carries, 16.3 yards, 5 total TD, 3 total TO — 18.6 FP
- FantasyPros Week 11 Position Rank: QB17
- Jaguars vs. QBs: 17th (18.0 FPPG)
With Brissett returning to full participation in practice this week, he's all but got the green light for a return this Sunday (barring any setbacks). Fantasy owners will be looking for a bounce-back from him, as he had a big game in Week 7 against the Houston Texans (35.6 FP), but didn't muster much against the Denver Broncos in Week 8. He was on his way to a solid outing in Week 9 against the Pittsburgh Steelers before leaving for the day. Brissett may be without both of T.Y. Hilton (calf) and Parris Campbell (hand), but he has shown a strong chemistry with Zach Pascal and Jack Doyle, both of whom are healthy.
The Jaguars have only allowed three 300-yard passers this season — and none in the last five games — and two of those performances were those respective quarterbacks' only 300-yard passing days of the season: Marcus Mariota and Joe Flacco, both of whom aren't historically productive fantasy passers. The Jaguars aren't quite the same pass defense that the Colts have squared off with in the past, especially since All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey was traded away, although they are still tied for fifth in sacks (30). They are middle-of-the-pack in several passing categories, including overall pass defense (13th, 229.8 YPG), passing yards per attempt (tied-14th, 7.3), touchdown passes (14th, 13), pass plays of 20-plus yards (tied-18th, 33) and passer rating (13th, 88.9).
RB Marlon Mack
- Last game: 19 carries, 74 yards (3.9 avg.), 1 catch (1 target), 8 yards (8.0 avg.) — 8.7 FP
- Last three games avg.: 19.7 carries, 79.7 yards (4.0 avg.), 0.7 catches (0.7 targets), 7.3 yards (11.0 avg.), 1 total TD — 11.0 FP
- FantasyPros Week 11 Position Rank: RB11
- Jaguars vs. RBs: 17th (18.8 FPPG)
You probably don't need much coaxing to start a guy who is tied for fourth in the NFL in carries per game (19.8) and eighth in rushing yards per game (83.7). With Jordan Wilkins also nursing an ankle injury, Mack may shoulder an even bigger load than usual this week.
The Jaguars are near the bottom of the league in run defense (22nd, 120.2 YPG), rushing yards per carry allowed (4.9) and run plays of 40-plus yards allowed (four). They've given up five games with at least 100 yards rushing, including two 200-yard games, one of those being in their most recent game against the Houston Texans. Jacksonville has only allowed two 100-yard runners this year, but those players both had huge performances overall, as Christian McCaffrey touched the ball 25 times for 237 yards of offense and three total touchdowns, and last week Carlos Hyde had 19 carries for 160 yards.
WR T.Y. Hilton/Zach Pascal
- Last game: Hilton (Week 8) — 2 receptions (6 targets), 54 yards (27.0 avg.) — 6.4 FP | Pascal — 2 receptions (7 targets), 26 yards (13.0 avg.), 1 total TD — 3.6 FP
- Last three games avg.: Hilton (Weeks 5-8 [with bye]) — 4.0 receptions (7.0 targets), 55.0 yards (13.8 avg.), 1 total TD — 9.5 FP | Pascal — 2.7 receptions (5.0 targets), 36.0 yards (13.5 avg.), 1 total TD — 6.9 FP
- FantasyPros Week 11 Position Rank: Pascal WR37/Hilton N/A
- Jaguars vs. WRs: 13th (21.4 FPPG)
*Hilton has some missed some practice time this week with a calf injury. Monitor his status throughout the week.
You can never count Hilton out of action until head coach Frank Reich says so, but he's yet to practice in the last two weeks, so we'll move forward in this section as if he remains out. As far as Pascal goes, he's shown that he can be productive whether Hilton is in or out of the lineup, and he's performed well with both Brissett and Brian Hoyer at quarterback. Pascal has had a few solid outings this season, catching 4-of-7 targets for 72 yards (18.0 avg.) in Week 4, 6-of-7 targets for 106 yards (17.7 avg.) and a pair of touchdowns in Week 7, and 5-of-6 targets for 76 yards (15.2 avg.) and a touchdown two weeks ago against the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Hilton remains out, then Pascal resumes WR1 duties and is a playable flex option in fantasy.
As mentioned, the Jaguars' pass defense hasn't been the dominant unit we're used to seeing. So far, they've allowed some big performance, including Sammy Watkins' nine catches for 198 yards and three touchdowns, Adam Humphries' six catches for 93 yards, Courtland Sutton's six catches for 62 yards and two touchdowns, Emmanuel Sanders' five catches for 104 yards, D.J. Moore's six catches for 91 yards, Michael Thomas' eight catches for 89 yards, and Alex Erickson's eight catches for 137 yards. The Jaguars have been stingy at allowing receivers to score, though, as only three receivers have reached the end zone on them.
TEs Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle
- Last week: Ebron — 5 receptions (12 targets), 56 yards (11.2 avg.) — 8.1 FP | Doyle — 3 receptions (4 targets), 44 yards (14.7 avg.), 2 total TD — 11.9 FP
- Last three weeks avg.: Ebron — 3.3 receptions (6.0 targets), 32.7 yards (9.8 avg.) — 4.9 FP | Doyle — 3.3 receptions (4.3 targets), 42.3 yards (12.7 avg.), 2 total TD — 9.9 FP
- FantasyPros Week 11 Position Rank: Ebron TE9 and Doyle TE10
- Jaguars vs. TEs: 21st (7.9 FPPG)
This is a decent matchup for the Colts' tight ends against a Jacksonville defense who has been susceptible to opposing quality tight end play. Travis Kelce, Delanie Walker, Noah Fant, Jared Cook and Ryan Griffin all had about 10 fantasy points against them. Jacksonville has also given up five touchdowns to tight ends since Week 4.
Both Ebron and Doyle remain playable options despite the lack of consistency in their numbers. Ebron even had a season-high 43 snaps last week, out-snapping Doyle by one.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
- Last week: 229 yards allowed, 16 points allowed, 3 sacks, 2 takeaways
- Last three weeks avg.: 260.3 yards allowed, 18.3 points allowed, 7 total sacks, 4 total takeaways, 1 safety
- FantasyPros Week 11 Position Rank: DST16
- Jaguars vs. DSTs: 22nd (7.8 FPPG)
The Colts' defense has been mostly matchup-proof since Week 5, but especially recently. They haven't allowed an opponent to reach 300 yards of offenses in the last three games, and only one of those opponents got more than 20 points.
The Jaguars' offense has just been average to this point, but we'll see how and if that changes with Foles under center. They rank 21st in turnover differential (-2), 24th in scoring (19.6 PPG), 25th on third-down conversions (34 percent) and 30th in red-zone scoring (34.5 percent). Although they rank 15th in sacks allowed (22), Jacksonville's quarterback has been sacked 17 times since Week 4.
The Colts will need to circle two big names on the Jaguars' offense: running back Leonard Fournette and wide receiver D.J. Chark. Fournette is fourth in the NFL in rushing yards per game (92.3), but he's also a threat through the air with 40 receptions for 295 yards. Chark is having a breakout year, leading the team in receptions (43), targets (70), receiving yards (692 [tied-12th in the NFL]) and touchdowns (six [tied-fourth in the NFL]).