INDIANAPOLIS — It's the semifinals for many of us who are still alive in our fantasy football playoffs, and there's a good chance that some Indianapolis Colts players have helped us get there along the way.
This week, they travel to The Big Easy to take on the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. Got some Colts players in the week's final game to help send you into your championship? Let's take a look at what you should expect this week from the Colts players in your lineups.
*Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring. Ranks as of Friday of game week.
QB Jacoby Brissett
- Last game: 19-of-36 passing (52.8 percent), 251 yards, 4 carries, 26 yards, 2 total TD — 24.6 FP
- Last three games avg.: 20.0-of-33.7 passing (59.4 percent), 233.0 yards, 3.0 carries, 15.0 yards, 4 total TD, 2 total TO — 17.2 FP
- FantasyPros Week 15 Position Rank: QB25
- Saints vs. QBs: 23rd (19.9 FPPG)
After a slow fantasy stretch midway through the season, Brissett's numbers have picked up a bit lately, especially taking advantage of good matchups. He's got another one this week against the Saints, who have allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for at least 300 yards in three of the last four games. The last five opposing signal-callers have had multiple touchdowns (average of 2.6). Brissett himself has had multiple touchdowns in six games this season and at least 250 passing yards in five games.
Despite a pass-catching corps that has been depleted by injuries, Brissett has begun pushing the ball downfield more the last couple weeks. In the last two games, Brissett has 13 chunk completions — which the Colts consider to be gains of 16-plus yards — spread around to four different receivers (Ross Travis , Jack Doyle , Marcus Johnson  and Zach Pascal ). Brissett may also be having two familiar faces back in the lineup this week. The Colts signed wide receiver Dontrelle Inman this week, who was with the Colts in the second half of last season, and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (calf) returned to practice this week, and is questionable heading into the game.
RB Marlon Mack
- Last game: 13 carries, 38 yards (2.9 avg.), 1 total TD — 9.8 FP
- Last three games avg.: 15.3 carries, 73.7 yards (4.9 avg.), 0.3 catches (0.3 targets), 2.7 yards (8.0 avg.), 2 total TD — 11.8 FP
- FantasyPros Week 15 Position Rank: RB25
- Saints vs. RBs: 4th (14.2 FPPG)
Mack returned to the lineup last week after missing just two weeks with a fractured right hand. He had a modest performance against one of the league's top run defenses, recording just 38 rushing yards and no receptions, but he did have a rushing touchdown. He has another tough matchup this week against the No. 4-ranked defense against running backs, so he may remain touchdown-dependent from a fantasy standpoint.
Despite the Saints being sturdy against the run, opposing running backs have had solid overall performances against them, such as Duke Johnson's 13 touches for 90 yards, Carlos Hyde's 11 touches for 85 yards, Todd Gurley's 19 touches for 67 yards and a touchdown, Ezekiel Elliott's 24 touches for 65 yards and a touchdown, Leonard Fournette's 26 touches for 188 yards, Brian Hill's 21 touches for 71 yards and a touchdown, Christian McCaffrey's 31 touches for 133 yards and two touchdowns, and Raheem Mostert's 12 touches for 109 yards and two scores last week.
With 100 yards separating Mack from his first 1,000-yard season, there's no doubt he and the Colts' offensive linemen are aware of that fact and will try to get him there as the first runner to reach 100 yards against New Orleans this season.
- FantasyPros Week 15 Position Rank: Zach Pascal WR33, Marcus Johnson WR53, Ashton Dulin WR117, T.Y. Hilton WR121, Dontrelle Inman WR131 and Chad Williams WR140
- Saints vs. WRs: 29th (27.2 FPPG)
With Hilton returning to practice this week — but not yet knowing if he'll be able to play — it leaves the receiver corps' fantasy prospects up in the air. Zach Pascal is the clear leader when Hilton is out, compiling two 100-yard games this year, and Marcus Johnson has been outstanding since rejoining the team recently with his 100-yard game last week. Since the Colts began pushing the ball downfield more in the passing game, Pascal and Johnson have been big beneficiaries. Pascal has chunk plays of 19, 19, 20, 26 and 37 in the last two weeks, and Johnson has plays of 18, 19, 46 and 50. The pair has combined to catch 19-of-32 targets for 343 yards (18.1 avg.), two touchdowns and one two-point conversion in that time. Hilton becomes the clear top target if he gets back on the field, however.
Regardless of whether or not Hilton is able to play, this is a great matchup for the Colts' receivers as a group. Six opposing receivers have had 100-yard games against the Saints this season, with wide receivers scoring 15 touchdowns against them throughout.
TE Jack Doyle
- Last week: 2 receptions (6 targets), 27 yards (13.5 avg.) — 3.7 FP
- Last three weeks avg.: 3.7 receptions (7.0 targets), 42.7 yards (11.6 avg.), 1 total TD — 8.1 FP
- FantasyPros Week 15 Position Rank: TE6
- Saints vs. TEs: 13th (6.9 FPPG)
Since Eric Ebron went on injured reserve and Doyle took over as the sole primary tight end two games ago, he has caught 8-of-17 targets for 100 yards and one touchdown. Although he's mostly a chain-moving tight end, he has also benefited from the Colts' more aggressive passing game, pulling in receptions of 17, 18 and 21 yards in the last two weeks.
New Orleans is just so-so against tight ends, allowing just four touchdowns to the position all year, but there have been some adequate fantasy performances. Will Dissly had six catches for 62 yards and a touchdown against them, Jason Witten had four catches for 50 yards, Charles Clay had three catches for 88 yards, Cameron Brate had 10 catches for 73 yards, and George Kittle had six catches for 67 yards and a touchdown last week.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
- Last week: 542 yards allowed, 38 points allowed, 1 sack, 4 takeaways, 1 return touchdown
- Last three weeks avg.: 410.0 yards allowed, 29.7 points allowed, 8 total sacks, 7 total takeaways, 1 return touchdown
- FantasyPros Week 15 Position Rank: DST24
- Saints vs. DSTs: 2nd (2.5 FPPG)
Although the Colts have been an opportunistic bunch when it comes to sacks and takeaways this season, it's not proven to be a good idea to start fantasy defenses against Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas and the Saints. That's the same Saints offense that's the second-stingiest at letting fantasy defenses score. If you're a die-hard and want to make this move anyway, then know that the Colts are allowing 331.3 yards and 22.4 points per game. The Colts' defense has been elite against the run this season, allowing just 85.1 rushing yards per game since Week 5, which would rank second in the NFL for the whole season. Still, they rank eighth overall on the season against the run with 99.7 rushing yards per game.