INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts today are diving right into the toughest stretch of their 2020 schedule.
Fresh off a 20-point road win over the Detroit Lions, the Colts today play host to the Baltimore Ravens in a battle of two 5-2 AFC contenders at Lucas Oil Stadium. From here, the Colts will take on the 5-2 Tennessee Titans on the road on a short week, play host to the 6-2 Green Bay Packers and then take on the division rival Titans once again in Indy.
But before we get too ahead of ourselves, let's focus on this talented Ravens team, which features the league's top-ranked rushing offense, led by quarterback Lamar Jackson, the reigning NFL MVP, and a stingy, blitz-heavy defense.
So what should you expect from the Colts players on your fantasy rosters in Week 9? We've got you covered here.
(Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring. Ranks as of today.)
QB Philip Rivers
» FantasyPros Week 9 Position Rank: QB24
» Ravens vs. QBs: 13th (19.3 FPPG)
While there are a couple positions (see below) that probably won't be good plays today against this Ravens' defense, I'm not so sure I'd bet against a hot quarterback like Philip Rivers, who has completed a combined 52-of-77 passes for 633 yards with six touchdowns to one interception in his last two games. Rivers is also one of the league's top performers against the blitz this season, and Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale loves to bring the blitz. Another possible factor: Baltimore today will be without its stud cornerback, Marlon Humphrey, who is on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. I'm not saying Rivers is your automatic QB1 in this matchup, but I am saying if he's on your bench or if he's available as a last-second pickup and you have room in your lineup, it'd probably be worth giving him a shot today.
RBs Jonathan Taylor, Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines
» FantasyPros Week 9 Position Rank: Taylor RB24, Wilkins RB36, Hines RB38
» Ravens vs. RBs: 1st (13.4 FPPG)
Let's just avoid the Colts' running backs today in your fantasy lineups. There are a couple factors at play: first, the Ravens, as you can see, are stingy against the run, and allow the fewest fantasy points to opposing backs in the NFL this season. Secondly, it's not clear how Colts head coach Frank Reich will handle the running back position today after third-year veteran Jordan Wilkins caught fire in place of starter Jonathan Taylor last week in the win over the Lions. The wildcard could be Hines, who had two receiving touchdowns against Detroit, but it's hard to estimate his weekly involvement in the gameplan, so, yeah, I'd just avoid the Indy running backs in general fantasy-wise and just hope they are able to tear it up as a group.
WRs Zach Pascal, Marcus Johnson and Michael Pittman Jr.
» FantasyPros Week 9 Position Rank: Pascal WR54, Johnson WR66, Pittman Jr. WR67
» Ravens vs. WRs: 6th (18.7 FPPG)
It's the same story at wide receiver for the Colts; with top receiver T.Y. Hilton not likely to play today (doubtful; groin), that leaves Zach Pascal, Marcus Johnson and Michael Pittman Jr. as the top available targets at the position, but there's no telling how the game will end up playing out from a targets/production standpoint. And, again, the Ravens' defense is really solid against opposing wide receivers. After connecting with 11 different pass catchers last week against the Lions, Philip Rivers could once again be in a sharing mood, which is great if you're a fan of the Colts, but isn't so great from a fantasy perspective.
TEs Trey Burton, Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox
» FantasyPros Week 9 Position Rank: Burton TE17, Doyle TE26, Alie-Cox TE28
» Ravens vs. TEs: 21st (8.9 FPPG)
Tight end is the one position where the numbers show there should be opportunities to get some fantasy points today against the Ravens — but, again, which Colts tight end do you choose? Trey Burton has three touchdowns in his last two games, but two of those are rushing scores out of the wildcat, while Jack Doyle has a receiving touchdown in each of his last two games, so either of those guys could be factors today, and then there's always Mo Alie-Cox, who is questionable heading in with a knee injury, but has shown the ability to go off with a huge performance if given the opportunity. All in all, though, if you need a tight end in your lineup, your best bet at this point is likely Burton, who has been one of Philip Rivers' favorite targets since returning from IR with a calf injury.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
» FantasyPros Week 9 Position Rank: DST13
» Ravens vs. DSTs: 11th (5.9 FPPG)
The Colts' defense faces a huge challenge today against Lamar Jackson and the league's No. 1-ranked rushing attack. But I'll say it again: start the Colts' defense in fantasy until they show you they don't deserve it. Indy gets a ton of takeaways, has three pick-sixes on the year and has All-Pro Darius Leonard back in the mix; for those reasons, I'd start the Colts' defense today and hope the unit can bait Jackson into a few mistakes, just like the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to do in their win over the Ravens last week.