Kickoff: Sunday, October 18 at 12:00 PM ET
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Betting Odds: IND -7.5 via Oddsshark
Joe Burrow (Sit)
Coming off the worst game of his young career with 183 yards, no touchdowns, and two turnovers, Joe Burrow now gets possibly an even tougher test with Indianapolis who boasts the best pass defense in the league. Teams are averaging just 190 yards per game against them and just picked off Baker Mayfield a couple of times last week. Burrow is going to put up big numbers against weaker defenses, but with this offensive line and great defense on tap, you want to sit Burrow for this one.
Joe Mixon (Start, RB2), Gio Bernard (Sit)
Two weeks ago Joe Mixon finally broke out in a big way with his highest ever fantasy football performance of his career. Last week in an abysmal game offensively for the Bengals, he still managed a good output as he was way more involved in the passing game. He managed 94 yards and six catches on eight targets. If that kind of target share keeps coming, as it could with a hobbled AJ Green, then we could see steady RB2 numbers from Mixon even against good defenses. Gio Bernard is merely a handcuff or waiver fodder at this point.
Tyler Boyd (Start, Flex), AJ Green (Sit), Tee Higgins (Sit)
While there have been plenty of targets to go around, we saw last week that when Burrow gets under pressure from the good defense, he is still inexperienced. This is understandable as a rookie, but it leaves much to be desired from the ones catching passes. The first start I have this week is Tyler Boyd who should still have a Flex floor with WR2 upside. Last week in a bad game Boyd still managed a healthy six targets, albeit in a 4/42 effort. Hopefully, with another week of planning and the shock of the first bad game for Burrow behind him, Boyd can see his yardage totals increase with a little more time to get downfield. AJ Green was ruled out mid-game with a hamstring injury and is not recommended even if he plays in a limited fashion. Tee Higgins actually had more targets than Boyd did, and I could see him delivering Flex value with 6-8 targets again as he has been in double-digit PPR points the last three weeks.
Philip Rivers (Sit)
Can you say over the hill? Failing to hit 20 points in a week so far, Philip Rivers should no longer be rostered in fantasy leagues. After putting up 242 with no touchdowns and a pick-six against the awful Browns defense, please do not consider him this week as the Colts head into their bye. I would not be surprised to see someone else under center before too long as they are winning on the mostly defensive effort.
Jonathan Taylor (Start, RB1), Nyheim Hines (Sit)
Since taking over as the lead dog in the Colts backfield, Jonathan Taylor has put up at least 13 points in 4 out of 5 games, the lone single-digit output understandably coming against the Bears. This week he gets a middle of the pack Bengals defense and should get all he can handle with broken down Rivers at QB. Coming off a 74 total yard game with a touchdown, he has a high chance of seeing the endzone again. The hope is that he sees more than his three targets from last week to give him a higher floor. Nyheim Hines on the other hand has been a huge disappointment since his big week one, only barely scoring in double digits once. He is a drop at this point as a low volume handcuff for Taylor owners.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
T.Y. Hilton (Start, Flex), Zach Pascal (Sit), Trey Burton (Start, TE2)
To be honest, being a Philip Rivers wideout these days is tough. If you don’t believe me, just ask T.Y. Hilton owners who have only seen one week of double digits that came in Week 5 against the Browns with 6/69 on 10 targets. While he is at this point more of a Flex upside player than WR2 that owners had hoped, he is still someone you can plug in with bye weeks starting. Many thought Zach Pascal could step up in the wake of injuries to other wideouts for the Colts, but that didn’t happen as he only got two targets last week. Trey Burton is looking like an upside tight end for the moment as Rivers loves his tight ends. He saw six targets and put up 5/33 as he is working his way back from injury to open the season. Start him as an upside TE if you have been struggling to fill the spot.
-Matt Dean (@MattDeanQBList on twitter, mdean8 on Reddit)