The Indianapolis Colts line up for their final road game of the season this Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have one of the very best defenses in the league, while the battered Colts have struggled mightily in recent weeks, especially on offense.
Let’s take a look at if any Colts have a chance at fantasy relevance this week.
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: 16.3-of-29.3 passing, 133.7 yards, 4.41 YPA, 0.7 TD, 0.7 INT, 4.7 carries, 21.3 yards, 0.3 TD per game
Brissett’s fantasy value has gone in the tank lately, and that’s not just going off of the averages of the last few weeks. I’ll excuse him on those, as he had to face two of the best pass defenses in football, and the other game was in a blizzard.
Outside of a hot streak from Weeks 8-10, Brissett hasn’t thrown for multiple TD’s in a game this year. He also hasn’t even thrown for 200 yards since then either.
The Ravens D/ST has only allowed one passer to hit 300 yards this season, and they lead the league in interceptions. The Ravens are second in the league against QB’s (11.6 FPPG), so you’d have to expect that more of the same is coming from Brissett. He’s still probably not going to have WR Donte Moncrief again, and TE Jack Doyle is the only pass-catcher that’s been productive in the last several weeks (and even that’s been inconsistent).
RB Frank Gore: C
Last three weeks average: 34.7 snaps, 19.7 carries, 74.0 yards, 0.0 TD, 1.3 catches (2.3 targets), 15.7 yards, 0.0 TD per game
Gore stands a chance at having a quasi-productive fantasy performance, and that’s mainly as a Flex. The Ravens are 19th against RB’s (24.3 FPPG), and the Colts have been using Gore quite heavily. His career-high 36-carry effort in Buffalo skews averages, but he’s had eight games this year with at least 15 touches.
Unless Baltimore starts blowing the Colts away, I would expect Gore to get another heavy workload. He is averaging 17.4 touches for 72.1 YPG this year, so he should finish around his average. He is also trying as hard as possible to get to 1,000 rushing yards on the season. He is 207 yards away, so he has a little ways to go over the next two games.
WR T.Y. Hilton: C
Last three weeks average: 55.3 snaps, 3.3 catches (5.7 targets), 37.3 yards, 0.3 TD per game
If the Colts can get Hilton matched-up on Ravens rookie CB Marlon Humphrey as much as possible, that would be ideal. However, the Colts’ lack of game-planning for opponents along with Hilton’s lack of productivity this year leaves that up in the air.
Considering this is championship week in fantasy for most of us, I would advise against starting Hilton unless you have to. For starters, the Ravens are fifth against WR’s (27.5 FPPG), and Hilton has been under 50 yards in 9-of-14 games this year. If Brissett is having a rough day — which it looks like he should — then Hilton is anything but a safe bet.
TE Jack Doyle: B
Last three weeks average: 63.0 snaps, 4.0 catches (5.3 targets), 22.3 yards, 0.3 TD per game
Per usual, Gore and Doyle are your best bets on a weekly basis. The Ravens are 24th against TE’s (12.5 FPPG), and Doyle remains Brissett’s most-targeted player. Doyle’s value is mostly in PPR leagues, as Baltimore hasn’t allowed a TD to a TE since Week 6. However, Doyle has at least 5 catches in 8-of-13 games this year. He averages 5.5 catches (7.1 targets) for 47.0 YPG.
K Adam Vinatieri: C
Last three weeks average: 1.0-of-1.7 FGA (66.7%), 1.0-of-1.0 XPA (100.0%), 4.0 points per game
Because of the Colts’ recent offensive lethargy, Vinatieri’s fantasy value hasn’t been great. He’s slipped down to fantasy’s K17. This may actually turn out to be a decent game for him if the Colts are able to push the ball at all. They struggle at finishing drives with TD’s, so if they can at least get onto Baltimore’s side of the field consistently, Vinatieri can finish it off. All that said, it’s the fantasy playoffs, and his production is no sure thing.
Colts D/ST: D
Last three weeks average: 402.3 YA, 22.7 PA, 1.3 sacks, 1.0 takeaway per game
I just wouldn’t do it. The Ravens’ run game (116.8 YPG) is humming behind Alex Collins (76.8 YPG), and Joe Flacco should be able to pass effectively against the Colts’ makeshift secondary. I mean, Brock Osweiler tore them apart last week! The Colts will probably be able to get at least one sack and/or takeaway, but it won’t be enough to make them a good play in fantasy this week.