INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts face potentially their most offensively explosive matchup Sunday when quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers visit Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Colts have the NFL’s No. 1-ranked defense, but Rodgers is a future Hall-of-Famer still playing at the top of his game. Could this be a shootout between two of the era’s most prolific passers in Rodgers and Colts quarterback Philip Rivers?
Here are the best starting Colts fantasy options for owners this week.
(Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring. Ranks as of Thursday of game week.)
RB Nyheim Hines
— Last game: 12 carries, 70 yards, 5 receptions (6 targets), 45 yards, 2 total TD = 26 FP
— Last three-game average: 6.3 carries, 32 yards, 3.3 receptions (3.7 targets), 39.7 yards, 4 total TD = 16.8 FP
— FantasyPros Week 11 Position Rank: RB27
— 2020 Packers vs. RBs: 30th (25.6 FPPG)
The Colts backfield is a difficult one to figure out, but its most consistent asset is Hines. Primarily the pass-catching back, Hines has also contributed as a runner. He’s coming off of the most productive game of his career, 115 total yards and two touchdowns last week against the Tennessee Titans.
Hines is tied for the most TD receptions among NFL running backs (four), and is the only player with multiple games scoring a rushing and receiving TD (two).
We’re probably due for a stinker from Hines as we explored earlier this week, but we’ll keep those negative thoughts buried for now.
Here are a couple of key things to factor in this week. Not only has Hines had some huge games this season, but his usage is increasing each of the last few games, going up from 16 snaps (21%), to 23 snaps (34%), to 39 (56%).
Also, the Packers have given up some quality fantasy performances to running backs who run and catch the ball, including Alexander Mattison (10 touches, 80 yards, 10 FP), Alvin Kamara (19 touches, 197 yards, 2 TD, 38.2 FP), and Dalvin Cook (32 touches, 226 yards, 4 TD, 47.6 FP).
WR Michael Pittman Jr.
— Last game: 7 receptions (8 targets), 101 yards, 1 carry, 21 yards = 15.7 FP
— Last three-game average: 4.7 receptions (6.3 targets), 61 yards = 9.1 FP
— FantasyPros Week 11 Position Rank: WR42
— 2020 Packers vs. WRs: 11th (21.5 FPPG)
In an attempt to come up with any way to decide which Colts wide receiver might be the best fantasy play against the Packers, Pittman became the choice. Going by where opposing wide receivers who have had success against Green Bay have lined up, Pittman fits best among the Colts receiver corps.
Between eight opposing receivers who had at least 10 fantasy points against the Packers, they lined up 38.9% of the time wide left, 30.8% wide right, and 30.3% in the slot. Pittman most closely resembles that for the Colts, lining up 40.9% wide left, 35.5% wide right, and 23.6% in the slot.
The rookie wideout is also Indy's most-targeted receiver the last two weeks with 11 catches for 157 yards (14.3 avg.). Pittman also has one carry for 21 yards. He's got the Colts' second-most fantasy points in that time (23.3) and leads the team in receiving yards by 69.
Pittman is the ﬁrst Colts rookie to have 100 receiving yards in a single game since 2014. The arrow is pointing up for the player who may be sitting in the Colts’ WR1 spot by year’s end.
Boom or Bust
The “Boom” players are outside of the top 10 at their position in FantasyPros’ Week 11 rankings, yet have high upside this week. The ”Bust” players are inside the top 15 at their position, but could fall short of expectations.
— Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints (QB13) vs. Atlanta Falcons
— Damien Harris, New England Patriots (RB18) @ Houston Texans
— Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings (WR19) vs. Dallas Cowboys
— Cam Newton, New England Patriots (QB10) @ Houston Texans
— Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (RB4) @ Indianapolis Colts
— A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans (WR14) @ Baltimore Ravens
Who I’m Adding This Week
Here are some players worth acquiring from the waiver wire. They are owned in 40% or less of Yahoo! leagues.
— QB Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints (33%)
— WR Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts (33%)
— WR Keelan Cole Sr., Jacksonville Jaguars (27%)
— RB Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams (27%)
— RB Devontae Booker, Las Vegas Raiders (8%)
Looking for a podcast? Check out the Bleav in Colts Podcast on the Bleav Podcast Network.
(Jake Arthur has covered the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for nearly a decade and is a contributor for the team's official website, Colts.com. He’s on Twitter and Facebook @JakeArthurNFL, and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.)