INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts are on fire.
Winners of two straight by an average margin of 23 points, the Colts (2-1) have feasted on weaker teams in their two-game home stretch against the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets.
The Colts’ Week 4 matchup is of a different sort than the far inferior competition recently as they travel North to take on the Chicago Bears (3-0) on Sunday at Soldier Field.
While this article doesn’t serve for the purposes of analyzing which team will win or lose, it may help determine who wins your Week 4 fantasy matchups.
(Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring. Ranks as of Thursday of game week.)
RB Jonathan Taylor
— Last game: 13 carries, 59 yards, 1 catch (1 target), 3 yards, 1 total TD = 12.7 FP
— Last three-game average: 16.0 carries, 60.7 yards, 3.0 catches (3.0 targets), 26.3 yards, 2 total touchdowns = 14.2 FP
— FantasyPros Week 4 Position Rank: RB5
— 2020 Bears vs. RBs: 20th (21.3 FPPG)
By now, Taylor is preparing to settle into the big comfy chair that is weekly must-start territory. He’s establishing himself as the primary back in the Colts backfield, and while there is still room for him to improve, he is contributing as a productive player.
Taylor is averaging 19 touches for 87 yards of offense this year and has scored a touchdown in each of the last two games.
Chicago has allowed quality running back performances each week, as Adrian Peterson had 12.9 points and D’Andre Swift had 9.8 in Week 1, Dion Lewis had 13.6 points in Week 2, and Todd Gurley II had 14.7 and Brian Hill had 14.5 last week.
I would normally pair another running back with Taylor here to go in the Flex, but that hasn’t been fruitful since Week 1. In the last two weeks, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins have totaled just 9 points each.
TE Mo Alie-Cox
— Last game: 3 catches (3 targets), 50 yards, 1 TD = 12.5 FP
— Last three-game average: 3.3 catches (3.7 targets), 60.3 yards, 1 total TD = 9.7 FP
— FantasyPros Week 4 Position Rank: TE19
— 2020 Bears vs. TEs: 17th (8.2 FPPG)
We’ve gotta ride this horse until it stops, so to speak. Alie-Cox has been a star the last two weeks, totaling eight catches (nine targets) for 161 yards (20.1 avg.) and a touchdown.
Colts quarterback Philip Rivers clearly likes what he sees in Alie-Cox, as he’s become Rivers’ main go-up-and-get-it option. The opportunity, which is critical for fantasy success, is there for the third-year tight end. He’s seeing 55% of the offensive snaps, even with starting tight end Jack Doyle on the field.
The Bears have allowed quality tight end performances each week. T.J. Hockenson had 14.1 points in Week 1, Evan Engram had 9.5 in Week 2, and Hayden Hurst’s lone catch last week was a one-yard TD.
With wide receivers Michael Pittman Jr. (calf) and Parris Campbell (knee) out, Alie-Cox remains one of the offense’s primary pass-catching options.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
— Last game: 175 yards allowed, 11 points allowed, 3 sacks, 3 takeaways, 1 safety
— Last three-game average: 208.0 yards allowed, 19.0 points allowed, 3.5 sacks, 1.5 takeaways, 0.5 safeties
— FantasyPros Week 4 Position Rank: DST6
— 2020 Bears vs. DSTs: Tied-16th (5.0 FPPG)
Nick Foles replaces Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback for the Bears, and backup running back Tarik Cohen’s season is done after tearing an ACL last week.
We’re not likely to see Colts defensive domination on the road this week, but the unit should still be playable for fantasy owners.
Last week, Foles was aggressive and productive as he dug Chicago out of a 16-point hole in the fourth quarter, but he was thrown into action without preparing as the starter and had little to lose. Likewise, Atlanta hadn’t prepared for him, either. Bears head coach Matt Nagy named Foles the starter at the beginning of the week, so the Colts have been able to prepare accordingly.
In the last two weeks, the Bears have given the ball away four times and taken six sacks. In their last two games, the Colts have taken the ball away six times and sacked the quarterback five times. They also have two defensive TDs and two safeties, but who’s counting?
While the Colts defense likely won’t smother the Bears like they did the Vikings and Jets, they’ve shown that they can make plays and get to the quarterback, which is primarily what you need from a fantasy defense.
— This technically is a good matchup for the wide receivers, but you’d have to find one for the Colts who’s had a decent fantasy impact first. With no Campbell or Pittman, you would like T.Y. Hilton’s chances, but his single-game high in points so far is 7.3 back in Week 1.
— Due to multiple positive COVID-19 tests on the Tennessee Titans, their Week 4 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers has been postponed. Those players will count as having a bye week this week for fantasy purposes.
Boom or Bust
The “Boom” players are outside of the top 10 at their position in FantasyPros’ Week 4 rankings, yet have high upside this week. The ”Bust” players are inside the top 15 at their position, but could fall short of expectations.
— Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (QB14) @ Detroit Lions
— James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (RB14) @ Cincinnati Bengals
— DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (WR22) vs. Seattle Seahawks
— Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (QB10) @ Green Bay Packers
— Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles (RB11) @ San Francisco 49ers
— Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team (WR11) vs. 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.
— WR Golden Tate, New York Giants (36%)
— RB Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots (36)
— WR Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs (34%)
— TE Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears (31%)
— WR Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals (23%)
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.)