INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts are back from a bye week, and with that, their players return to your fantasy football lineups.
After a quasi-shootout in Week 6 with the Cincinnati Bengals, you might’ve missed guys like Philip Rivers or Trey Burton from your teams last week.
However, things look good again in Week 8 as the Colts (4-2) visit the Detroit Lions (3-3) on Sunday at Ford Field.
Which players should be in your lineups this week?
(Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring. Ranks as of Thursday of game week.)
RB Jonathan Taylor
— Last game: 12 carries, 60 yards, 4 catches (4 targets), 55 yards = 13.5 FP
— Last three-game average: 13.7 carries, 61.7 yards, 2.3 catches (2.7 targets), 27.7 yards, 1 total TD = 12.1 FP
— FantasyPros Week 8 Position Rank: RB8
— 2020 Lions vs. RBs: 29th (25.1 FPPG)
Taylor’s big breakout game is coming; you can almost smell it in the air. It was a popular thought two weeks ago against the Cincinnati Bengals, but the opponent jumping out to a 21-0 lead kinda squashed that.
The rookie has made visible progress as a runner each week, but the Colts having large deficits in the past two games has limited how much they can run the ball. If the Colts can actually establish the run early on Sunday and not allow the Lions to jump out to a big lead, this could be a big day for Taylor.
In the team’s three consecutive wins between Weeks 2-4, Taylor averaged 20 touches for 83.7 yards of offense and scored two touchdowns. He’s touched the ball just 30 times in the two games since, but his yards per touch is up to 6.3 as opposed to 4.2 in the three games prior.
Detroit has surrendered some big performances to running backs — Aaron Jones had 22 touches for 236 yards and three TDs, Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray combined for 37 touches for 202 yards and three TDs, and Todd Gurley had 25 touches for 82 yards and two TDs.
TE Trey Burton
— Last game: 4 catches (5 targets), 58 yards, 1 carry, 1 yard, 2 total TD = 19.9 FP
— Last three-game average: 3.7 catches (5.3 targets), 35.7 yards, 2 total TD = 9.4 FP
— FantasyPros Week 8 Position Rank: TE18
— 2020 Lions vs. TEs: 3rd (4.7 FPPG)
Quarterback Philip Rivers has had his sights set on Burton since the tight end made his Colts debut in Week 3. Burton’s targets have remained steady and his productivity has grown.
The Lions haven’t faced many formidable tight end groups, but Jimmy Graham had three catches for 25 yards and a TD while Robert Tonyan followed it up the next week with two catches for 25 yards and another score. Hayden Hurst, who has a similar skill set as Burton, had six catches for 68 yards against the Lions.
The Colts obviously know they have an athletic tight end that they can use in a multitude of ways (Burton had a rushing and receiving TD in their last game), so look for him to remain busy in The Motor City.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
— Last game: 398 yards allowed, 27 points allowed, 2 sacks, 1 takeaway
— Last three-game average: 350.7 yards allowed, 23.3 points allowed, 1.3 sacks, 1.3 takeaways, 1 total defensive/special teams TD
— FantasyPros Week 8 Position Rank: DST8
— 2020 Lions vs. DST: 15th (4.3 FPPG)
This is more about the Colts defense and special teams than it is the Lions. On paper, it’s not a great matchup, as Detroit has scored at least 21 points in each game and doesn’t give up sacks or turnovers at any sort of alarming rate.
That said, the Colts have a playmaking, opportunistic defense.
Even after the troublesome start the Colts defense has gotten off to in their last two games, they still settled in to have adequate performances. They rank second overall defensively (288 YPG), second against the pass (199.7 YPG), third against the run (88.3 YPG), and fourth in scoring (19.2 PPG).
The Colts lead the league in interceptions (10) and safeties (two), and are tied for the most combined defensive/special teams return TDs (three).
The Lions have yielded a sack in every game except one, including 11 sacks between Weeks 2-4, so they’re capable of mistakes.
Having Isaiah Rodgers and Nyheim Hines returning kicks for the Colts always means there’s a threat of a special teams score as well.
Boom or Bust
The “Boom” players are outside of the top 10 at their position in FantasyPros’ Week 8 rankings, yet have high upside this week. The ”Bust” players are inside the top 15 at their position, but could fall short of expectations.
— Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs (RB11) vs. New York Jets
— Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles (RB12) vs. Dallas Cowboys
— Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings (WR16) @ Green Bay Packers
— Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (RB5) @ Philadelphia Eagles
— Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (WR7) vs. San Francisco 49ers
— Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (WR10) vs. Indianapolis Colts
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 Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (39%)
— WR Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans (38%)
— QB Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (31%)
— RB La’Mical Perine, New York Jets (31%)
— WR Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts (7%)
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.)