INDIANAPOLIS — If there's a more intriguing backfield in the NFL from a fantasy perspective than the Indianapolis Colts heading into Week 2 action, we'd love to see it.
A week into the regular season, the Colts will already be making a change at running back, as rookie Jonathan Taylor is set to take over as the starter after a season-ending Achilles injury suffered by veteran Marlon Mack in the second quarter of the team's 2020 opener last Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Taylor's first-career start Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings could create a ripple effect for the rest of the Colts' offense, particularly from a fantasy perspective. What does that mean for fellow running back Nyheim Hines, who is coming off a two-touchdown performance in Week 1? How much will No. 3 back Jordan Wilkins get into the mix? Will the Colts be inclined to pass less this week with Philip Rivers than they did in the opener?
So what should you expect from the Colts players on your fantasy rosters in Week 2? We've got you covered here.
(Weekly positional rankings from https://www.fantasypros.com/" target="_blank" >FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring. Ranks as of Wednesday morning of game week.)
QB Philip Rivers
» FantasyPros Week 2 Position Rank: QB20
» Vikings vs. QBs: 31st (30.76 FPPG)
Rivers came out firing in his Colts debut last Sunday against the Jaguars, completing 36-of-46 passes for 363 yards with one touchdown to two interceptions. And now he's going up against a Vikings defense that struggled in its own Week 1 matchup against the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers, who completed 32-of-44 passes for 364 yards with four touchdowns and no picks and a QB rating of 127.5. But head coach Frank Reich has also said after watching the film that he had hoped to call more run plays against the Jaguars; the Colts passed on 68.12 percent of their offensive snaps in Week 1, the fifth-highest mark in the league (Green Bay, for what it's worth, passed on just 57.89 percent of its offensive snaps against the Vikings, but the Packers also were protecting a big lead in the second half). Rivers will likely want to try to test a young Vikings cornerbacks group often, making him a strong starting option this week, but don't be surprised to see a few less attempts out of him this time around.
RBs Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines
» FantasyPros Week 2 Position Rank: Taylor RB13, Hines RB23
» Vikings vs. RBs: 24th (23.6 FPPG)
"Hey Rookie, welcome to the NFL." Taylor on Sunday gets his first-career start after the aforementioned season-ending injury to Mack, and after a strong showing in his NFL debut — particularly in the passing game — the experts are high on Taylor's chances this week as the Colts' workhorse in the backfield. Taylor will hope to get in a better rhythm running the ball in his second game — he had nine rushing attempts for just 22 yards against the Jaguars — but he was a major target for Rivers, logging six receptions for 67 yards, including a 35-yarder on his very first play from scrimmage. Hines, meanwhile, could very well be a strong flex option for your offense this week. While all indications are Taylor will get a majority of the carries, Hines was still heavily in the mix throughout last Sunday's game, even early on when Mack was still in; Hines finished with seven rushing attempts for 28 yards and a touchdown, as well as a team-high eight receptions for 45 yards and another score through the air. Rivers, as advertised, definitely likes to throw the ball to his backs, so definitely pick up and start Taylor and/or Hines this week against a Vikings defense that allowed almost five yards per carry last week against the Packers.
WRs T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell
» FantasyPros Week 2 Position Rank: Hilton WR17, Campbell WR38
» Vikings vs. WRs: 32nd (57.4 FPPG)
Granted, we're just one week into the regular season, but with the Colts' high-volume passing attack matched with the Vikings' inability to guard wide receivers in their respective Week 1 matchups, both Hilton and Campbell are favorable plays for your fantasy lineups this week. Hilton had four receptions for 53 yards against the Jaguars, but those numbers could've been considerably better had he not dropped two big passes on Indy's final drive as it tried to tie the game late. Never count out an inspired Hilton, and he's certainly champing at the bit to get back out there on Sunday against the Vikings. Campbell, meanwhile, had a very strong Week 1 performance, with Rivers finding him in space and letting him run to the tune of six receptions for a team-high 71 yards. Campbell could also benefit from more targets on Sunday due to the knee/ankle injuries to top tight end Jack Doyle.
TE Mo Alie-Cox
» FantasyPros Week 2 Position Rank: TE44
» Vikings vs. TEs: 2nd (1.2 FPPG)
The Vikings' defense has proven to be extremely solid against tight ends the past year or so, and that continued last Sunday against the Packers; only the Colts (0.8) allowed fewer fantasy points to tight ends in Week 1 action. Further complicating matters for this matchup is Doyle's injury situation; if he were fully available, he would be the TE18 this week after his three receptions for 49 yards last Sunday against the Jaguars. Alie-Cox could see a significant uptick in targets this week — he caught two passes for 20 yards in Week 1 — but given Doyle's status, coupled with the Vikings' ability to shut down tight ends, he might not be the best option at the position this week.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
» FantasyPros Week 2 Position Rank: DST12
» Vikings vs. DSTs: Tied-12th (6.0 FPPG)
The Colts' defense struggled to get Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II out of rhythm all day last Sunday, as he dinked and dunked his way to completing 19-of-20 passes with three touchdowns. The bad news for the Indy defense this week is it's facing another high-percentage quarterback in Kirk Cousins, although he has proven to take a few more chances down the field here and there from time to time. The Colts' main priority in this one, however, is stopping Vikings Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook, who had two touchdowns last week against the Packers. The Colts last season allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to running backs, and hope that trend continues in this one. And, of course, the Colts are hoping veteran cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who spent the previous seven seasons with the Vikings, will have some quality intel on stopping their top receiver, Adam Thielen, who had two touchdowns last week against Green Bay.