For many NFL fantasy owners, this is it.
Week 16 of the NFL season brings about the championship round for most fantasy football leagues, so it’s time to soak up all the knowledge you can.
The Indianapolis Colts (10-4) have a very tricky matchup Sunday as they face arguably the league’s best defense in the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3) at Heinz Field. The Steelers have lost three in a row.
Here are the best Colts fantasy options.
(Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring. Ranks as of Thursday of game week.)
RB Jonathan Taylor
— Last game: 16 carries, 83 yards, 4 receptions (5 targets), 12 yards, 1 TD = 17.5 FP
— Last three-game average: 16.3 carries, 108 yards, 3 receptions (3.3 targets), 23.7 yards, 4 total TD = 22.7 FPPG
— FantasyPros Week 16 Position Rank: RB12
— 2020 Steelers vs. RBs: 3rd (14.4 FPPG)
Taylor has essentially become an every-week fantasy starter, and even in a tough matchup, are you comfortable not starting him?
He has rushed for 80-plus yards in four consecutive games, making him just the third NFL player this season to do so, and the first rookie to do it since Saquon Barkley (2018).
It’s not just rushing yards, though. Taylor has had at least two catches in every game since Week 5.
Although they rank very well against running backs on average, Pittsburgh’s defense has given up 10-plus points to the position nine times this season, including Giovani Bernard’s 22.2 points last week.
WR T.Y. Hilton
— Last game: 4 receptions (6 targets), 71 yards = 9.1 FP
— Last three-game average: 5.7 receptions (8 targets), 89 yards, 3 total TD = 17.7 FPPG
— FantasyPros Week 16 Position Rank: WR31
— 2020 Steelers vs. WRs: 12th (22.5 FPPG)
Because of the likelihood that the Colts use a quick-strike passing attack, the recipe is there for a big game from Zach Pascal, Michael Pittman Jr. or any of the Colts’ tight ends. If we’re talking about the safe play this week, it’s Hilton.
In the last four games, his season has lit up like a Christmas tree. Hilton is averaging 5.3 catches (7.3 targets) for 87 yards and has scored four TDs, resulting in 17.3 FPPG.
Thirteen opposing receivers have reached 10 points against the Steelers, including four who have reached 20. In a recent dominant performance, Buffalo Bills receiver Stefon Diggs caught 10-of-14 targets against Pittsburgh for 130 yards and a TD.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
— Last game: 425 yards allowed, 20 points allowed, 5 sacks, 2 takeaways
— Last three-game average: 415.7 yards allowed, 22.3 points allowed, 10 total sacks, 7 total takeaways, 1 total safety, 1 total defensive TD
— FantasyPros Week 16 Position Rank: DST16
— 2020 Steelers vs. DSTs: 5th (3.5 FPPG)
Early in the season, it wasn’t a good bet to play a defense against the Steelers, but those numbers have recently changed.
Between Weeks 1-11, opposing defenses averaged just 2 FP, but since Week 12, that’s shot up to 7.8.
The offense isn’t taking as good of care of the football, turning it over eight times in the past four games. They do, however, have in their favor the fact that they don’t give up many sacks, a league-best 12.
Pittsburgh’s offense ranks near the bottom of the league overall (25th, 329 YPG), yards per pass attempt (tied-30th, 6.2), rushing (31st, 88.9 YPG), and yards per carry (tied-31st, 3.7).
The Colts defense looks like a good matchup for the Steelers offense on paper. Pittsburgh doesn’t push the ball upfield with the pass, so the Colts’ swarming zone defense should be able to keep the ball in front of them and make plays.
Question is, can the Colts get to Roethlisberger for sacks? They pass rush is inconsistent, but can rack them up in bunches. In the Colts’ last four games, the Colts have had one sack, five sacks, zero sacks, and five sacks.
Boom or Bust
The “Boom” players are outside of the top 10 at their position in FantasyPros’ Week 16 rankings, yet have high upside this week. The ”Bust” players are inside the top 15 at their position, but could fall short of expectations.
— Mitchell Trubisky, CHI (QB13) @ JAX
— D’Andre Swift, DET (RB14) vs. TB
— Robert Woods, LAR (WR15) @ SEA
— Russell Wilson, SEA (QB11) vs. LAR
— Josh Jacobs, LV (RB8) vs. MIA
— D.K. Metcalf, SEA (WR8) vs. LAR
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.
— RB Jerick McKinnon, SF (37%)
— WR Jakobi Meyers, NE (30%)
— WR Tim Patrick, DEN (29%)
— WR Russell Gage, ATL (28%)
— RB Benny Snell Jr., PIT (28%)
Looking for a podcast? Check out the Bleav in Colts Podcast on the Bleav Podcast Network.