What We Saw: Week 1

Indianapolis Colts vs Los Angeles Chargers

 

Indianapolis Colts

 

Quarterback

 

  • Jacoby Brissett: 21/27, 190 yards, 2 TD

 

Although Jacoby Brissett was not spectacular, he certainly played above my expectations. The last time Brissett was a full-time starter he held the ball too long and took a league-leading 52 sacks. Like Andrew Luck last season, Brissett seemed to fit much better in Frank Reich’s offense and got the ball out much faster. Even with these encouraging signs, Brissett should not be on rosters in anything other than two QB and Superflex leagues. What is more important to consider with Brissett is how he will impact the other skill positions on the Colts. I will get into more detail below; however, it seems Brissett may not be the anchor I expected to weigh down the offense.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Marlon Mack: 25 carries, 174 yards, 1 TD
  • Nyheim Hines: 4 carries, 13 yards; 4 catches, 4 yards

 

Marlon Mack had himself a game. Mack came out of 2018 sparkling. He looked like he would benefit from the high-powered offense again in 2019. The Andrew Luck news, in my eyes, hurt the team in general but limited Mack’s potential significantly. After Week 1 I may have to adjust as Mack blitzed the chargers. Even if you take away his 63-yard run he would have been over 4 YPC. Mack is clearly going to be the workhorse in this offense as he saw 25 carries in a game where the Colts were trailing! Nyheim Hines did factor into the passing game as expected but was inefficient. These backs continue to have clearly defined roles within the offense. Mack, of the two, has much more fantasy value and I am excited to see what he can do for the rest of the season.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

  • T.Y. Hilton: 9 targets, 8 catches, 87 yards, 2 TD’s
  • Devin Funchess: 5 targets, 3 catches, 32 yards
  • Eric Ebron: 3 targets, 1 catch, 8 yards
  • Parris Campbell: 1 target, 1 catch, 1 yard
  • Jack Doyle: 2 targets, 1 catch, 20 yards

 

T.Y. Hilton is very good at football. After this game, it is obvious that his stock had fallen much too far. Those brave (desperate) enough to start Hilton against the talented Chargers secondary were handsomely rewarded. Hilton’s touchdown late in the fourth quarter was beautiful as he danced around two defenders and took off into the end zone. The rest of the Colts receiving corps was uninspiring. Devin Funchess saw the most targets behind Hilton, including a few in the endzone but was unable to produce. Parris Campbell did not have a good game either, only seeing one target. The tight ends were equally disappointing, however, Eric Ebron did have an overturned touchdown which would have made his day more successful. Although the offense will be less explosive without Andrew Luck, it seems the general structure looks like 2018. Hilton will be a mainstay through the air with Ebron and Funchess seeing action near the goal line.

 

Los Angeles Chargers

 

Quarterback

 

  • Philip Rivers: 25/34, 333 yards, 3 TD’s, 1 INT

 

Philp Rivers was solid as usual. He looked sharp and ready for another good fantasy season. He has plenty of weapons at his disposal, especially leaning on Keenan Allen. They connected on a long touchdown that was essentially a jump ball. It was not the safest throw but with a receiver of Allen’s caliber, I cannot blame Rivers for giving him a chance whenever possible. Rivers, like last year, was under pressure throughout the game and his lack of mobility leads to four sacks and a fumble that he subsequently recovered. This has been a recurring theme for the Chargers, and I do not expect a change anytime soon. While a great offensive line would be nice, Rivers seems to have the ability to play under pressure. If it wasn’t for a ridiculous one-handed snag by Malik Hooker, Rivers would have thrown for four touchdowns. Rivers was an extremely late pick in many drafts and if you waited, you were rewarded on Sunday.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Austin Ekeler: 12 carries, 58 yards 1 TD; 7 targets, 6 catches, 96 yards, 2 TD
  • Justin Jackson: 6 carries, 57 yards; 1 target, 1 catch, 4 yards

 

This backfield has been under a lot of scrutiny throughout the draft season. Austin Ekeler was not being slept on, although some wondered if Jackson might fit better as an early-down running back. Ekeler put a lot of that to rest on Sunday. He out-touched Justin Jackson 18 to 7 and made the most of it putting up a ridiculous amount of fantasy points. Ekeler’s receiving ability makes him less reliant on the game script and more likely to stay on the field overall. He seemed more than capable as an early-down runner, with Jackson sliding into handcuff only territory for fantasy owners. This performance will likely have a negative impact on Melvin Gordon’s current negotiations and for the time being the Chargers and many fantasy owners are more than happy with Ekeler.

 

Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends

 

  • Keenan Allen: 10 targets, 8 catches, 123 yards, 1 TD
  • Mike Williams: 3 targets, 2 catches, 29 yards
  • Hunter Henry: 5 targets, 4 catches, 60 yards

 

These three, in addition to the backs, will be most of the Chargers offense. The Colts had trouble locking down Keenan Allen all game as the veteran wideout continues to display an impressive ability to get open. As I mentioned earlier, Rivers always has eyes for Allen, and he should continue to be a fantasy stud. Mike Williams was quiet in the opener but that is normal with Williams. He is very touchdown-dependent, which makes owning him frustrating as he can often be shut out. On a positive note, it was awesome to see Hunter Henry back on the field. The production was less important than his health and by all observations, he looked healthy. Williams was the odd man out today and it remains to be seen how this will shake out ROS. At the moment, Williams seems to be the 3rd (4th if you count Ekeler) option in the passing game which could be problematic for his production. 

 

Michael Miklius

Mike is a lifelong Bears fan and unapologetic Mitch Trubisky homer. Twitter: @SIRL0INofBEEF

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