LAS VEGAS — With the fantasy playoffs now upon us (for most folks), it's time to get serious.
With a favorable road matchup today against a struggling Las Vegas Raiders (7-5) defense, which Indianapolis Colts (8-4) players could you put into your lineup to score you some crucial points?
We've got you covered here.
(Weekly positional rankings from FanDuel. Ranks as of Sunday.)
QB Philip Rivers
» FanDuel Week 14 Position Rank: QB17
» Raiders vs. QBs: Tied-24th (20.1 FPPG)
Much like the Raiders season as a whole, there's no telling how this Las Vegas defense will do fantasy-wise in today's matchup against Rivers. Will you get the defense that has allowed 6, 8, 12 or 16 points to QBs? Or will you get the defense that has allowed 44, 33, 29 or 27 points? In these cases, I'm a big "look at the back of the baseball card" analogy type of guy — what are the averages? In that case, Rivers is a decent play today; maybe not as your starter, but in a two-QB league, he could net you some decent points.
RBs Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines
» FanDuel Week 14 Position Rank: Taylor RB22, Hines RB28
» Raiders vs. RBs: 29th (25.3 FPPG)
You're going to want to start Jonathan Taylor this week. The Colts rookie running back is clearly on the rise after two straight solid performances; in Weeks 11 and 13, Taylor had 42 combined opportunities (35 carries and seven targets) for 249 yards and a touchdown. One has to imagine Taylor's performance of late has earned him more snaps moving forward, too. Couple that with the Raiders' atrocious run defense, and Taylor sure seems like a potential slam dunk.
WRs T.Y. Hilton, Michael Pittman Jr.
» FanDuel Week 14 Position Rank: Hilton WR36, Pittman Jr. WR48
» Raiders vs. WRs: 20th (31.1 FPPG)
This T.Y. Hilton from the last two weeks sure looks familiar. And if he can be the unquestioned No. 1 receiver for the Colts here down the stretch, then look out. Also, this is a great matchup for The Ghost, as the Raiders have allowed 14-plus fantasy points to six wide receivers over their last seven games. After 16.1- and 21.0-point back-to-back outings, it's time to keep Hilton in your lineup, if for nothing else as a heat check.
TEs Trey Burton, Mo Alie-Cox, Jack Doyle
» FanDuel Week 14 Position Rank: Burton TE24, Alie-Cox TE28, Doyle TE37
» Raiders vs. TEs: Tied-10th (9.2 FPPG)
Much like the Texans last week, the one thing the Raiders' defense does decently is limit big plays out of opposing tight ends. And here's our weekly caveat: because the Colts have not one, not two but three tight ends that have been making an impact on any given week, it's hard to determine which guy between Trey Burton, Mo Alie-Cox or Jack Doyle you'd want to put in your lineup in today's matchup.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
» FanDuel Week 14 Position Rank: DST20
» Raiders vs. DSTs: 16th (7.8 FPPG)
OK, so let me get this straight: the Colts' defense last week has two takeaways, five sacks and forces a safety — continuing a trend of making huge plays pretty much on a weekly basis — and there are 19 better DST options out there this week? Give me a break. Also, take this into consideration: the Raiders' top pass catcher is a tight end, Darren Waller; only the 49ers have done better against tight ends this season than the Colts. The Raiders' most consistent receiver is Hunter Renfrow, who will likely be matched up against (in my opinion) the league's top slot cornerback in Kenny Moore II. And while Josh Jacobs could very well make his return to the lineup today for Las Vegas, we all know how well this defense has done against running backs not named Derrick Henry. No. 20 this week? What?!