Kickoff: Sunday, January 3rd at 4:25 PM ET
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Betting Odds: JAX +14, 49 total via Oddsshark
Mike Glennon (Sit)
Guess who’s back, back again. Glennon’s back, warn your friends. Mike Glennon started for the Jaguars in Week 16 and, while he made a couple of nice throws and threw for two TDs, he still looked like a career backup against a solid Bears’ defense. The Colts are a bit better than the Bears defensively, but they are pretty similar overall and it’s not a great matchup for Glennon. I don’t need to say any more here – look elsewhere.
James Robinson (Start, RB2), Dare Ogunbowale (Sit), Devine Ozigbo (Sit)
James Robinson sat out the Jaguars’ Week 16 game with an “injury”, so somebody other than him carried the ball for the first time since Week 9. That man was Dare Ogunbowale, the former Tampa Bay RB who earned some offseason buzz when it was thought he would become Tom Brady‘s favorite pass-catching RB. That never materialized and he was cut before the season, landing in Jacksonville and becoming a Week 16 starting RB. He averaged 5.1 YPC and scored 10.8 fantasy points, so it wasn’t a terrible day overall, but there’s no reason to trust him if he’s the starter in Week 17. If Robinson does end up starting this week, I would imagine he will continue to be the only RB to carry the football, and he’s an RB2 on volume alone. If it’s Ogunbowale, however, his floor is much lower and he’s no more than a deep league/DFS tournament dart throw.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
D.J. Chark Jr. (Start, Flex), Keelan Cole Sr. (Sit, Flex), Laviska Shenault Jr. (Start, Flex), Chris Conley (Sit), Collin Johnson (Sit), Tyler Eifert (Sit)
Both D.J. Chark Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr. each had seven targets and a touchdown, and both of their touchdowns were acrobatic plays where they went up to get the ball over a defender or two. There’s no doubt that this offense has playmakers, it’s just up to the QB to get them the ball. That’s not always a guarantee, especially with Glennon at QB, but talented WRs can certainly make up for some of the QB’s ineffectiveness. Chark appears to be healthy and he’s a Flex play with some upside as long as he is, and you could talk me into starting Keelan Cole Sr., who has nearly as many targets (18) over their last three games as Chark (21). But the guy you may want to fire up is none other than Shenault, who leads the team in targets, yards, and fantasy points since Week 14. He’s finally capitalizing on his immense talent, and the offensive staff is looking to put the ball in his hands. If you’re desperate for a WR or a cheap DFS option, he might be your man.
Philip Rivers (Start, QB2)
The Colts, needing a win to get into the playoffs, should bring out the big guns in this one as they try to run away with a win. The Jaguars defense hasn’t allowed a 300-yard passer since Aaron Rodgers in Week 10, but Rivers could be a sneaky play for those fantasy managers in Week 17 championships whose starter is getting rested. Rivers did throw for 363 yards in their Week 1 loss to Jacksonville, but their offense has completely changed since then. They now rely heavily on both Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines to (literally) carry their offense, with Rivers as more of a complementary piece, but I imagine that Indy will want to jump out to an early lead and lock this game up before halftime. Jacksonville has already locked up the #1 overall pick, so they don’t have to tank this game and I think they’re going to show up and try to beat a division opponent for their second win of the season. I wouldn’t expect 350+ yards again, but Rivers should throw for at least two touchdowns and keep the turnovers to a minimum, making him a solid QB2 with QB1 upside.
Jonathan Taylor (Start, RB1), Nyheim Hines (Start, Flex)
Speaking of Taylor and Hines, these guys are a dynamic duo in the Colts’ backfield and they will be asked to steamroll over a Jaguars defense that has allowed the 3rd most rushing yards in the league. Taylor is RB4 over the past five weeks and can be counted on for around 20 carries. Meanwhile, Hines has been the change of pace back who has had great success in breaking out large runs and accumulating targets in the passing game. He hasn’t put up the points to be worthy of a Flex play the last few weeks, but he has had a few big plays called back on penalties that actually would have vaulted him into Flex territory, specifically a 68-yard catch and run in Week 16 that would have set the Colts up to score right before the end of the first half. In a game where all hands are on deck, and with some big name RBs likely to sit, Hines has the upside to win your week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
T.Y. Hilton (Start, Flex), Zach Pascal (Start, Flex), Michael Pittman Jr. (Sit), Jack Doyle (Sit, TE2), Mo Allie-Cox (Sit), Trey Burton (Sit)
This passing attack isn’t one you want to load up on this week, as it should still be a run-heavy game, but Rivers still does have to throw it to someone. Of the Colts’ tight ends and receivers, Zach Pascal is the one I would start in Week 17. He’s scored three touchdowns in the last two weeks, and Rivers has looked his way in numerous big spots so he clearly trusts him. Yes, T.Y. Hilton is averaging over seven targets per game since his breakout Week 13 in Houston, but aside from one big play in each of the last two weeks, he hasn’t really done much with them. He also hasn’t topped 100 yards against Jacksonville since 2015 and likely won’t in this one. He’s still worth a Flex play just on name value alone, but I think I’d rather chase another Pascal touchdown this week.
Finally, we now have to discuss the tight ends. I think one of them will find the end zone this week. Which one will it be? Jack Doyle had six targets against Pittsburgh and looks to be fully recovered from the injury that bothered him earlier in the year. Trey Burton continues to see an average of three targets per game, but he hasn’t done anything with them. Mo Allie-Cox has seen the fewest targets in the last three weeks, but he’s a big body and he makes plays when the ball is in his hands. Since Doyle had the biggest game of the three in Week 1, my guess is he will see the most targets of these three, but which one gets in the end zone is truly a mystery.
-Ben Brown (@FelixTheDog23 on Twitter, iamatechnician on Reddit)