INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts host the Miami Dolphins this week in what could shape up to be an explosive fantasy football matchup for the home team.
Sure, there are questions about whether the Colts' starting quarterback and top receiver will be healthy enough to play, but their opponent is among the most vulnerable teams when it comes to opposing fantasy players.
The Dolphins' defense ranks near the bottom of the NFL in several categories including third-down conversions (27th, 45 percent), red-zone scoring (28th, 64.3 percent), overall defense (29th, 402.4 YPG), sacks (30th, 12), rushing (31st, 150.8 YPG) and scoring (32nd, 32.0 PPG). That's plenty of opportunity for offensive Colts players on your fantasy rosters.
Below, we'll take a closer look at how some of the individual players on the Colts may perform at Lucas Oil Stadium against the Dolphins.
*Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring. Ranks as of Thursday morning of game week.
QB Jacoby Brissett/Brian Hoyer
- Last week: Brissett (Week 8) — 15-of-25 passing (60.0 percent), 202 yards, 6 carries, 34 yards, 1 total TO — 9.4 FP | Hoyer — 17-of-26 passing (65.4 percent), 168 yards, 1 carry, 6 yards, 3 total TD, 2 total TO — 20.6 FP
- Last three weeks avg.: Brissett (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 10 Position Rank: Hoyer QB21/Brissett QB29
- Dolphins vs. QBs: 28th (22.1 FPPG)
We still don't know whether Brissett or Hoyer will be the Colts' starting quarterback on Sunday after Brissett sprained the MCL in his left knee in the first half last week while Hoyer filled in quite well. Regardless, as passers the outcome should not be much different.
The Dolphins' defense ranks near the bottom of the league in several passing categories, including 20th overall (251.6 YPG), tied-23rd in completion percentage (67.1), 26th in pass plays of 20-plus yards (34), tied-27th in interceptions (three), tied-28th in passing touchdowns (19), 29th in yards per pass attempt (8.6), 29th in passer rating (114.6) and 30th in sacks. Miami also lost its best defender, cornerback Xavien Howard, for the season to a knee injury two weeks ago. Howard had a pair of interceptions against the Colts in a Week 12 matchup last season.
The Dolphins' season started out flat by allowing a scorching performance to quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. That day, Jackson thew for 325 yards and scored five touchdowns, followed by his backup, Robert Griffin III, who also threw a touchdown. The Dolphins have also given up solid performances to Tom Brady (264 yards and three touchdowns), Dak Prescott (246 yards and three touchdowns), Philip Rivers (310 yards and two touchdowns) and Mason Rudolph (251 yards and two touchdowns).
RB Marlon Mack
- Last week: 21 carries, 89 yards (4.2 avg.) — 8.9 FP
- Last three weeks avg.: 19.3 carries, 69.7 yards (3.6 avg.), 1.3 catches (1.3 targets), 13.0 yards (9.0 avg.), 1 total TD — 10.5 FP
- FantasyPros Week 10 Position Rank: RB9
- Dolphins vs. RBs: 29th (24.1 FPPG)
The biggest potential star for the Colts offense in this game is Mack, who already ranks ninth in the NFL in rushing (679 yards) despite playing in one fewer game than four of the players ahead of him.
On opening day, not only did the Ravens have a great day through the air but they also dominated on the ground. On 46 rushing attempts, they racked up 265 yards (5.8 avg.) and two touchdowns. In total, five opposing running backs have rushed for at least 100 yards against Miami, while seven have had at least 100 yards of total offense.
Miami's opponents have run for at least 100 yards as a team in all but two games, which includes two games of more than 235 yards. The Colts' offense, on the other hand, has five games with at least 100 rushing yards including three of those being at least 150 yards.
As the Colts backfield's unquestioned lead back, Mack is all systems go this week.
WR T.Y. Hilton/Zach Pascal
- Last week: Hilton (Week 8) — 2 receptions (6 targets), 54 yards (27.0 avg.) — 6.4 FP | Pascal — 5 receptions (6 targets), 76 yards (15.2 avg.), 1 total TD — 16.1 FP
- Last three weeks 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 — 4.0 receptions (5.0 targets), 62.7 yards (15.7 avg.), 3 total TD — 14.3 FP
- FantasyPros Week 10 Position Rank: Pascal WR28/Hilton N/A
- Dolphins vs. WRs: 26th (26.9 FPPG)
On Wednesday, Colts head coach Frank Reich stopped short of ruling Hilton (calf) out for this Sunday's game, because you can never rule out a player like that with his history of fast healing and playing through injury.
If he plays Sunday then fantasy owners already know that you must start Hilton, especially with how much of a touchdown magnet he's been this season. However, if Hilton can't play, as is expected, then Pascal gets the nod as the Colts' WR1 once again. He has thrived this season, especially lately. Combined in Weeks 7 and 9, he caught 11-of-13 targets for 182 yards (16.5 avg.) and three touchdowns.
Especially considering Parris Campbell suffered a hand injury last week and is expected to be out this Sunday, either Hilton or Pascal would be great plays this week — even so for Pascal if Hilton suits up.
The Dolphins have given up plenty of big receiver performances this season, including Marquise Brown's four catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns, Amari Cooper's six catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns, Terry McLaurin's four catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns, John Brown's five catches for 83 yards and a touchdowns, JuJu Smith-Schuster's five catches for 103 yards and a touchdown, Diontae Johnson's five catches for 84 yards and a touchdown and Jamison Crowder's eight catches for 83 yards and a touchdown last week.
TEs Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle
- Last week: Ebron — 2 receptions (2 targets), 16 yards (8.0 avg.) — 2.6 FP | Doyle — 3 receptions (4 targets), 22 yards (7.3 avg.), 1 total TD — 9.7 FP
- Last three weeks avg.: Ebron — 3.0 receptions (3.7 targets), 37.3 yards (12.4 avg.), 1 total TD — 7.2 FP | Doyle — 3.3 receptions (4.7 targets), 34.7 yards (10.4 avg.), 1 total TD — 7.1 FP
- FantasyPros Week 10 Position Rank: Ebron TE8 and Doyle TE12
- Dolphins vs. TEs: 16th (6.4 FPPG)
The Dolphins actually haven't given up many big performances to tight ends this season, save for Mark Andrews' eight catches for 108 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. However, tight end performance has been tough to gauge this season, and if you've got a decent one then you've got to start them given the lack of depth at the position group across the league in fantasy.
Here are two things to consider: Doyle has caught at least three passes every game since Week 3 and is an obvious top target of Brissett. With Hoyer last week, the quarterback's first pass attempt was an 11-yard touchdown to Doyle, and he targeted the tight end for another touchdown shortly thereafter, although the pass was intercepted. With injuries and questioned game status for guys like Hilton and Campbell, it makes Ebron a no-doubt pass-catching option, especially in the red zone.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
- Last week: 273 yards allowed, 26 points allowed, 1 sack, 2 takeaways, 1 safety
- Last three weeks avg.: 314.3 yards allowed, 20.7 points allowed, 7 total sacks, 4 total takeaways, 2 safeties
- FantasyPros Week 10 Position Rank: DST2
- Dolphins vs. DSTs: 31st (13.4 FPPG)
The Colts' defense has been hot recently in the last four games. It is allowing just 18.8 points per game, 232 passing yards, has 11 sacks and five takeaways. Opponents are also averaging 22.8 carries per game for 84.8 yards (3.7 avg.) and have scored two total touchdowns on the ground in that time.
The Dolphins' offense seems to have picked up a little bit recently since Ryan Fitzpatrick earned back his spot as the starting quarterback, but it is now without starting running back Mark Walton (suspension), leading receiver Preston Williams (knee), and it traded their lead receiving back Kenyan Drake last week. That's not great news for an already-struggling offense.
Without Walton and Drake, all other Dolphins ball carriers have totaled 63 carries for 135 yards (2.1 avg.) and three touchdowns. Sixty-four of those yards and one of those touchdowns are from pocket-passing quarterbacks.
Every opposing defense except for one (New York Jets) has had at least 10 fantasy points against Miami (according to Yahoo!). According to Pro Football Focus, the Dolphins' pass protection ranks last in the NFL (39.6), as does their run blocking (40.6). Here are some of the statistics in which their offense ranks lowly:
- 26th in third-down conversions (33 percent)
- 29th in passing (198.5 YPG)
- 30th in total offense (262.2 YPG)
- 30th in scoring (12.9 PPG)
- 30th in sacks allowed (32)
- 31st in time of possession (27:07 avg.)
- 31st in passer rating (69.3)
- 31st in rushing (63.8 YPG)
- 32nd in turnover differential (-13)
- 32nd in rushing yards per carry (3.1)