INDIANAPOLIS — They had to see it to believe it, but many people nationally now know that the Indianapolis Colts' offense is going to be just fine with its new quarterback.
The Colts had a tough matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers and their defense in Week 1, but Jacoby Brissett led the offense admirably, spreading the ball around while running back Marlon Mack went off for a career day.
Brissett was one of multiple Colts player who outperformed their pregame fantasy rankings last week, so what might happen this week in another tough matchup against the Tennessee Titans in Week 2?
*Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring. Ranks as of Thursday morning of game week.
QB Jacoby Brissett
- Last week: 21-of-27 passing (77.8%), 190 yards, 2 TD, 3 carries, 9 yards — 19.9 FP
- FantasyPros Week 2 Position Rank: QB27
- Titans vs. QBs: 8th (12.4 FPPG)
Brissett was very efficient last week, nearly completing 80 percent of his throws. His accuracy and ability to get the ball out quickly were on full display. All in all, it was a solid outing for him as he tossed a couple of scores despite only throwing for 190 yards. When your offense is running for 200 yards, the passing game obviously is not as productive.
On paper, this week should be relatively similar for Brissett's stat line. Tennessee's defense is much different than last week's opponent, Los Angeles, but many of its strengths are similar in terms of pass rush and cornerback talent.
In two games against Tennessee last year, the Colts ran the ball an average of 32 times for 130 yards and 1.5 touchdowns. Since they just ran for over 200 yards against the Chargers and Mack took the ball for 174, one can imagine the run game will likely continue to be a point of emphasis for the Colts.
RB Marlon Mack
- Last week: 48 snaps (76%), 25 carries, 174 yards, 1 total TD, 1 two-point conversion — 25.4 FP
- FantasyPros Week 2 Position Rank: RB17
- Titans vs. RBs: 20th (19.9 FPPG)
By now you know this section won't take up much of your time. As we saw in the second half of last year as well as last week, the hotter Mack's hand gets, the more he dominates the Colts' backfield shares.
Against the Chargers, Mack had a single-game career best in rushing yards (aided by a career-long 63-yard touchdown) and was tied for the second-most carries he's had in a game. Last week, the Titans allowed 92 rushing yards on 19 carries and one touchdown to running backs as well as six receptions for 47 yards.
Unless you hate fantasy points, you can go ahead and keep Mack in your lineups this week.
WR T.Y. Hilton
- Last week: 56 snaps (89%), 8 receptions (9 targets), 87 yards, 2 total TD — 24.7 FP
- FantasyPros Week 2 Position Rank: WR15
- Titans vs. WRs: 14th (21.1 FPPG)
Hilton was one of the top players on the field all game for the Colts last Sunday, getting on the board early with a short second-quarter touchdown. However, in the final minute of regulation with the Colts down by eight points, Hilton took a routine quick pass and maneuvered his way 19 yards downfield for his second touchdown of the day. He led the Colts in receptions, targets, receiving yards and touchdowns by a pretty wide margin, and with WR2 Devin Funchess landing on injured reserve, Hilton's role in the offense only strengthens.
In two games against the Titans in 2018, Hilton was nearly unstoppable — catching 11-of-15 targets for 216 yards (19.6 avg) and two touchdowns — only succumbing in the second game to his then-severely battered ankle. Four of those 11 receptions were of at least 15 yards, including a 43-yard catch-and-run on that ankle as well as a 68-yard touchdown.
TEs Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle
- Last week: Ebron — 1 reception (3 targets), 8 yards — 1.3 FP | Doyle — 1 reception (2 targets), 20 yards — 2.5 FP
- FantasyPros Week 2 Position Rank: Ebron TE16 and Doyle TE19
- Titans vs. TEs: 25th (9.7 FPPG)
Colts tight ends got off to a slow start on the season last week as the group (including Mo Alie-Cox) combined for just 31 yards on three receptions. However, in this offense and how it values the tight end, it's incredibly unlikely that stays the same. It bears mentioning that Ebron nearly came down with an 11-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, although a review confirmed the ruling on the field of an incomplete pass.
Last week, the Titans allowed Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku to go for 37 yards and a touchdown on four catches.
With how shallow the tight end position is around the league, it would be wise to remain patient with the Colts' tight end productivity, especially considering the group led the NFL in touchdowns (22) last season.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
- Last week: 435 yards allowed, 30 points allowed, 4 sacks, 2 takeaways
- FantasyPros Week 2 Position Rank: DST16
- Titans vs. DSTs: 8th (0.0 FPPG)
Although the Titans put a whoopin' on the Browns in Week 1, 43-13, contextualizing the matchup shows that their defense had a huge part in the outcome. Of the team's 43 points, their defense was responsible for a pick-six and a safety. They also sacked Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield five times and intercepted him three times in the fourth quarter to completely squash any comeback attempt.
I said all of that to say this: don't let Tennessee's 43 points scare you away from using the Colts defense.
The Colts' defense got off to its own slow start last week, allowing the Chargers to amass more than 400 yards, but it did force two takeaways and sacked quarterback Philip Rivers four (almost five) times.
Like the Chargers last week, the Titans are without their starting left tackle this week, Taylor Lewan, as he serves a suspension for banned substances. Look for the Colts to be able to take advantage of that like they did against the Chargers. The Browns were able to sack Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota four times. so the Colts could have similar success.
In two games against Tennessee last year, the Colts were able to smother them, overall. They held them to an average of 13.5 points, 260.5 yards, sacked them fives times and had five takeaways.