The Indianapolis Colts take on the Jacksonville Jaguars for the second time this season. If you remember the first matchup (how could you not?), it basically brought about a new low for the Colts under Chuck Pagano — certainly of the 2017 season.
That Sunday, the Colts hosted the Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium and gave up 10 sacks in a 27-0 shutout.
As you can imagine, the Colts haven’t progressed enough in the following six weeks for me to feel any better about this week’s matchup down in Jacksonville. In fact, they gave up 8 sacks just last week to the Tennessee Titans — again, at home.
From a fantasy perspective, I would just stay away from Colts players in general. However, I know things aren’t always that simple. Let’s take a look at specifics.
We'll use a simple rating scale for each player, grading each from A-F:
- "A" is a 'must start'
- "B" is a 'recommended start'
- "C" is an 'if needed start'
- "D" is 'don't start'
- "F" is simply not a fantasy option at all this week.
QB Jacoby Brissett: D
Last three weeks average: 17.0-of-27.7 passing, 242.0 yards, 8.76 YPA, 1.3 TD, 0.3 INT, 3.0 carries, 11.7 yards, 0.0 TD per game
Maybe if the Colts looked like an improved offense since the last meeting of these two teams, I’d consider Brissett playable, but he’s not. The fact that the Jags sacked him 10 times in that game and the Titans sacked him 8 times last week, I just don’t see how this can go well for Brissett or the Colts offense in general.
RB Frank Gore: D
Last three weeks average: 38.3 snaps, 17.0 carries, 55.7 yards, 0.3 TD, 2.0 catches (3.3 targets), 16.7 yards, 0.0 TD per game
For the first part of the season, the only chink in the armor of Jacksonville’s defense was that they were vulnerable on the ground. They gave up 121.1 rushing YPG to RB’s from Weeks 1-7. Then, they traded for DT Marcell Dareus. Since then, they allow just 54.5 rushing YPG. So, there’s that. Gore ran for a season-low 34 yards in the teams’ first meeting, so it’s not like there’s some recent success.
The only way Gore has a decent fantasy game is if the Colts don’t start getting blown out early, or if he can get into the end zone. Neither of those things appear favorable, as Gore has just 1 TD in his last eight games.
RB Marlon Mack: D
Last three weeks average: 24.0 snaps, 6.7 carries, 15.7 yards, 0.0 TD, 1.3 catches (2.0 targets), 13.0 yards, 0.0 TD per game
As you can see, Mack’s fantasy value has basically fallen off of a cliff in recent weeks. He’s seeing fewer snaps, leading to fewer touches and subsequently fewer opportunities for him to break big plays.
If you imagine that the Jaguars will be in complete control of this game, then it makes sense for Mack to be in for a good amount of snaps as a pass-catching option. However, the Colts are very unlikely to do that based on their usage of him this season. They will, however, likely lean heavily on Gore as a pass-protector since Jacksonville will be bearing down on Brissett all day. I don’t imagine Mack will be all that productive in this type of matchup.
WR T.Y. Hilton: D
Last three weeks average: 57.0 snaps, 3.0 catches (5.7 targets), 71.0 yards, 0.7 TD per game
Nothing about this matchup says “Advantage: Hilton”. He was covered up like a blanket last time, catching just 2-of-8 targets for 27 yards. He’s also had six games this season without even reaching 30 yards. Jalen Ramsey, A.K.A. “The Ghostbuster”, is probably going to make this another one of those games.
TE Jack Doyle: C
Last three weeks average: 60.3 snaps, 5.7 catches (7.3 targets), 55.3 yards, 0.0 TD per game
I’m sure you get the point by now that I don’t feel good about the Colts at all in this matchup. However, if there was going to be someone who had a decent game for the Colts, it would probably be Doyle.
He is Brissett’s most-targeted pass-catcher, and since Doyle plays closer to the line of scrimmage, his catch percentage is pretty high (77.6%). Doyle caught 6-of-7 passes for 44 yards in the last matchup. That sounds about right for what we could see this week. Not a great game in standard-scoring leagues, but that’s 7.4 points in half-PPR leagues.
K Adam Vinatieri: D
Last three weeks average: 2.0-of-2.0 FGA (100%), 2.0-of-2.0 XPA (100.0%), 8.0 points per game
Vinatieri didn’t even get credited for playing against Jacksonville back in Week 7 because he didn’t step onto the field one time. I wouldn’t recommend him this week either.
Colts D/ST: D
Last three weeks average: 293.3 YA, 18.0 PA, 1.0 sack, 1.3 takeaway per game
I’d love to say that the lopsided score last time was partially caused by some defensive TD’s, but it wasn’t. Jacksonville had 518 total yards of offense, all of the scores were from the offense, and all of it was done without Leonard Fournette. This week, if the Jaguars get any defensive or special teams TD’s — which, the chances are decent — that’s going to go against the Colts D/ST’s score. They’re not a safe play this week by any means.