Fantasy Football Backfield Battle: Marlon Mack vs. Jonathan Taylor

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Fantasy football players despise running back by committee, yet so many NFL teams employ a RBBC. One team expected to implement a committee approach to their backfield in 2020 is the Colts.  Indianapolis’ 447 rushing attempts in 2019 was third-most in the league behind the Seahawks and Ravens. In 14 games, running back Marlon Mack led the team with 1,091 yards on 247 attempts and finished the year as the 17th running back in fantasy. Mack is a free agent after this season and some expect his time with the Colts is coming to an end. Those rumors became even more apparent after they drafted Jonathan Taylor with the 41st overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.  Sports Illustrated’s fantasy football analyst Corey Parson was joined by AllColts writer Philip B. Wilson and discussed which running back will be better for fantasy football players in 2020.

Indianpolis Colts RB Marlon Mack

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Read the transcript from their conversation:

Kaitlin O'Toole: Sports Illustrated is taking you inside the world of fantasy sports. Joining me now from All Colts is fellow Phillip B. Wilson and SI's fantasy and gambling analyst Corey Parson. Philip, how do you think the Colts backfield will shake out this season.

Phillip B. Wilson: Well, we had Frank Reich, the Colts head coach, on a conference call this morning and knowing I was going to talk to you. I put him on the spot and I asked him, you know, we always make a big deal about who's going to start. And the line in football often is what matters is who's going to finish. And Frank referred to the situation as a one one situation, saying that Marlon Mack gets in here at respect as a returning starter, thousands, some odd yards last year. Nineteen hundred last two years. But he admitted that Jonathan Taylor is a perfect complement to him and that they will split carrots. I know what you're thinking. Well, who do we, who do we back? I think they're both good plays. I ultimately think Jonathan Taylor by the New Year will prove to be a better option. That's just my two cents. I could be wrong.

Kaitlin O'Toole: All right, Corey, I want your take on this. Who do you think fantasy owners should be targeting?

Corey Parson: Well, I think Philip hit the nail on the head and appreciate him asking that question of the head coach this morning. Listen, in fantasy football circles, there's always a rush to grab the young running back. The next big stud, right now, Jonathan Taylor, who hasn't played a down in the NFL, is going almost 40 draft spots. Hide AD Marlon Mack, who ran for a thousand yards last season. Do we know that Jonathan Taylor can protect the passer? We know Marlon Mack can do that. Yes. Mack doesn't have the capabilities and the skill out the backfield, catching the football, that Taylor may have. But pass protection, holding onto the football, a trust that's developed by being a veteran. I think the player to draft is Mack now because of the value. But now, if you take that back, there is a chance that by the time we get to deep in the fantasy season that Jonathan Taylor could be that lead guy. But I'm not going to pay Taylor's price. I'll take Mack if I want a piece of the Indianapolis Colts backfield.

Kaitlin O'Toole: All right, Mack, bargain budget, I love it Corey. Thank you both for your insight on this. I really appreciate it. For all the latest fantasy and gambling analysis, stay with si.com.