The Indianapolis Colts face off this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Both teams are licking their wounds, but one is still the clear favorite in this matchup.
The Colts not only laid an absolute egg last week against the Los Angeles Rams, but the hopes that any of their players could be fantasy football-relevant took a hit as well.
Keep in mind that we do not yet know which QB is going to start for the Colts. This article will be updated when that information comes out from the team.
Let’s take a look ahead to this week’s matchup.
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 Scott Tolzien: F
Last three weeks average: (1 game) 9-of-18 passing (50%), 128 yds, 7.1 YPA, 0 TD, 2 INT, 33.8 rating, 2 carries, 2 yds (1.0 avg) per game
Last week: 9-of-18 passing (50%), 128 yds, 7.1 YPA, 0 TD, 2 INT, 33.8 rating, 2 carries, 2 yds (1.0 avg)
In no realm of any universe is Tolzien playable against a Def/ST that has Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, Chandler Jones and Markus Golden. If you thought it couldn’t get any worse than what happened against the Rams, just know that it can.
QB Jacoby Brissett: D
Last three weeks average: (1 game) 2-of-3 passing (66.7%), 51 yds, 17.0 YPA, 0 TD, 109.7 rating per game
Brissett has a ton more poise and pocket presence than Tolzien, so I automatically expect him to perform a bit better. With that said, I don’t think this will be a game where Brissett airs it out a ton. When he filled in for the Patriots in 2016, he only threw it 23 times per game. Another positive for Brissett is that he can also pick up yards on the ground. However, regardless of who starts under center for the Colts, I expect the Cardinals Def/ST to be a bit too much to overcome.
RB Frank Gore: D
Last three weeks average: (1 game) 10 carries, 42 yds (4.2 avg), 1 catch (1 tgt), 10 yds (10.0 avg) per game
Last week: 10 carries, 42 yds (4.2 avg), 1 catch (1 tgt), 10 yds (10.0 avg)
Gore is already having his snaps and touches cut into. Last week, he was only in on two more snaps than Marlon Mack, and they had the same amount of touches. That was in a blowout that barely included Robert Turbin. From here on out, Gore’s value is probably going to be very TD-dependent.
RB Marlon Mack: C
Last three weeks average: (1 game) 10 carries, 24 yds (2.4 avg), 1 TD, 1 catch (1 tgt), 21 yds (21.0 avg) per game
Last week: 10 carries, 24 yds (2.4 avg), 1 TD, 1 catch (1 tgt), 21 yds (21.0 avg)
The Colts already threw Mack into a significant role last week and trusted him throughout their comeback bid in a blowout loss. He even saw more snaps than Turbin, which really says something. I trust Mack’s fantasy value more than Gore and Turbin right now.
RB Robert Turbin: D
Last three weeks average: (1 game) 2 carries, 7 yds (3.5 avg), 1 catch (1 tgt), -4 yards (-4.0 avg) per game
Last week: 2 carries, 7 yds (3.5 avg), 1 catch (1 tgt), -4 yards (-4.0 avg)
I was very surprised at how little Turbin saw the field last week. If this continues, he loses all fantasy relevance. I think a lot of that had to do with the situations that the Colts got themselves into last week. Really, it was just one situation: on the wrong end of domination. If the Colts can hang close with the Cardinals this week, they should be able to play situational football, which gives Turbin more opportunities in goal-line and third downs.
WR T.Y. Hilton: C
Last three weeks average: (1 game) 3 catches (7 tgt), 57 yds (19.0 avg) per game
Last week: 3 catches (7 tgt), 57 yds (19.0 avg)
Until the Colts can establish some sort of life in the passing game, Hilton is a WR3/Flex. He’s still the focal point of the passing game, but his QB has to be able to get it to him.
WR Donte Moncrief: C
Last three weeks average: (1 game) 1 catch (4 tgt), 50 yds (50.0 avg) per game
Last week: 1 catch (4 tgt), 50 yds (50.0 avg)
What is said for Hilton goes doubly for Moncrief. His only catch last week came on a 50-yard bomb from Brissett, which obviously can’t be counted on every week. If Brissett starts, Moncrief can do some things. If Tolzien starts, nope.
TE Jack Doyle: C
Last three weeks average: (1 game) 2 catches (3 tgt), 41 yds (20.5 avg) per game
Last week: 2 catches (3 tgt), 41 yds (20.5 avg)
As the (likely) second option in the passing game, Doyle has some relevance, even if Tolzien starts. Low-end QB’s tend to target positions closer to the line of scrimmage, like TE’s. Because of their athleticism at LB and S, Arizona is solid against TE’s. They actually allowed 0 points to the position last week. However, the TE position is so watered down in fantasy right now that you may have to start Doyle.
K Adam Vinatieri: C
Last three weeks average: (1 game) 1-of-2 FGA, 0-of-1 XPA, 3 points per game
Last week: 1-of-2 FGA, 0-of-1 XPA, 3 points
Last week, I said that Vinatieri was as accurate as ever until proven otherwise. Well, he missed two kicks last week, so that’s no good. Is this a sign of things to come because of his age (44)? Is it because of a new long snapper in Luke Rhodes and holder in Rigoberto Sanchez? We’ll have to keep monitoring Vinatieri, but he still has a bad matchup this week.
Colts Def/ST: D
Last three weeks average: (1 game) 373 YA, 46 PA, 1 sack, 1 FR per game
Last week: 373 YA, 46 PA, 1 sack, 1 FR
Although the Colts’ defense wasn’t awful last week (despite the box score), they should have a better time this week against the Cardinals. QB Carson Palmer looks like it’s getting to be quittin’ time, they just lost All-Pro RB David Johnson for a few months, and starting left tackle D.J. Humphries is also on the shelf. While the Colts Def/ST could give up some yards and points, I would expect them to be able to force at least one turnover and a sack.