Game Overview ::
By Hilow >>
- Only safety Andrew Sendejo finds himself on the league’s COVID list for the Colts; defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and cornerback Xavier Rhodes have yet to practice this week (as of Thursday).
- The Jaguars currently have eight players on the COVID list, most notably center Brandon Linder and three defensive starters (including both starting safeties); linebacker Myles Jack and tight end James O’Shaugnessy have yet to practice this week (as of Thursday).
- Win-and-in for the Colts, it’s that simple for them this week.
- The Colts have the highest Vegas implied team total on the slate at almost 30 points.
- The Jaguars have no incentive to win here, as a loss would secure the number one overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft.
How Indianaplois Will Try To Win ::
Clog the running lanes and play aggressive, ball-hawking defense while running the football behind a top-five offensive line. That’s basically what the Colts aim to accomplish on a weekly basis. They have both the third-highest overall rush rate and rush rate when trailing, have generated the most turnovers in the league (tied with Dallas), attempt the fifth-fewest passes per game, and allow just 21.2 points per game. Their situation-neutral pace of play is the slowest in the league, while their overall pace of play ranks 31st. That’s really it – very simple to analyze and digest. Their opponent this week should do very little to slow down how the Colts like to approach games. The only hit to the fantasy prospectus of the Colts here is the potential for the team to rest players later in the game should they pull away from the Jaguars, because the team will be playing in next week’s Wildcard Round should they win.
Jonathan Taylor, man. The dude is an animal. Taylor’s high in snap rate over the first five weeks of the season was 55%. In the 11 games since then, he has not dipped below 65%, with eight of the last nine games checking in at 71% or more. He even has a game with a 98% snap rate in that timeframe (Week 15). Taylor is very clearly one of the most well-rounded running backs in recent history, capable of grinding out difficult four-to-five-yard gains inside, bouncing it out off the edge, catching the ball out of the backfield, and breaking away in the second level. Furthermore, Taylor has seen at least 21 running back opportunities in each of the last eight games, an absolutely absurd stretch. Oh, and he has four games in his last eight with 29 or more running back opportunities! As if Taylor needed more going for him, he is currently 266 rush yards short of the vaunted 2,000 yards mark. However unlikely it may be, we’ve seen as many as 253 rush yards from Taylor in his short career (Week 16 of 2020 against this same Jaguars team). It’s actually not outside the realm of possibility that his coach actually calls a game to help him get there, as Frank Reich is one of the more well-liked coaches from his players and has shown a propensity to pay attention to records and the like (although Reich’s primary concern is with winning football games). The matchup on the ground yields an elite 4.55 net-adjusted line yards metric against a defense allowing 25.1 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields, including 4.3 yards per carry. Behind Taylor, expect Nyhiem Hines to mix in for a now-modest role in a primary pass-catching and hurry-up capacity.
Carson Wentz hasn’t attempted more than 28 passes since a Week 12 game against the Buccaneers and we shouldn’t expect more than 24-28 pass attempts here, at the absolute maximum. Wide receiver Michael Pittman is the only pass-catcher with a near every-down role, regularly playing 95%+ of the offensive snaps. Zach Pascal, Ashton Dulin, and TY Hilton have been splitting the remaining wide receiver snaps virtually in three, with all of Jack Doyle, Mo Alie-Cox, and Kylen Granson splitting the snaps at tight end. There is no reason to go here on the largest slate of the season.
How Jacksonville Will Try to win ::
First of all, I’m not sure the Jaguars will try or should be trying, to win this game, as they currently hold the number one overall pick in next year’s draft. That said, they have an interim head coach (Darrell Bevell) that could be auditioning for his first head coaching gig (he has assumed interim head coaching duties in back-to-back seasons for different organizations). The Jags are also a very young team, for which additional game reps mean a good deal. Even if we expect the Jags to exhibit maximum effort for the duration of the game, their chances of generating any real success are heavily diminished by a lack of talent and their opponent. Jacksonville averages only 14.2 points per game (lowest in the league), allow 27.9 points per game (second-most in the league), and generate only 304.6 yards of offense per game. All signs point to an increase in their pass play rate against a pass-funnel opponent.
The backfield has been relegated to a three-way, demi-timeshare between Dare Ogunbowale, Ryquell Armstead, and a splash of Tavon Austin. Those three “backs” will be running behind the league’s 11th-most efficient run-blocking offensive line against an opponent that ranks top-three against the run. Ogunbowale should be considered the lead back here, having played 66% of the offensive snaps a week ago, where he turned 11 total opportunities into 68 yards and a score (through the air). The matchup on the ground yields an average 4.33 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Colts defense allowing just 21.2 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields.
Over his last seven games, quarterback Trevor Lawrence has four games of 38 or more pass attempts and three games of 28 and below, with two of those games seeing the Jaguars run 48 offensive plays or fewer. Basically, this team has been forced into increased aerial aggression more often than not, even though they are much more efficient on the ground. Against a Colts team that tilts pass-funnel, in a game environment highly likely to see the Jags playing from behind for the majority of the game, we should tentatively expect Lawrence to land on the higher side of his wildly fluctuating range of pass attempts. The two primary pass-catchers for this offense are Marvin Jones, Jr. and Laquon Treadwell. Each play near every-down roles on the perimeter, with slot snaps being shared between running back/wide receiver hybrid Tavon Austin and LaViska Shenault, Jr. Tight end James O’Shaugnessy has been ruled out for this game, leaving tight end duties to blocking tight end Chris Manhertz, Luke Farrell, and Kahale Warring. The Colts rank near the middle of the league in both opponent completion rate and yards allowed per completion, making narrowing down where pass game production is likeliest to flow rather difficult. What we do know is that MJJ and Treadwell are on the field almost every offensive snap.
Likeliest Game flow ::
It is likeliest we see the Colts come into Jacksonville and walk the Jaguars off the field. The Colts carry the week’s highest Vegas implied team total, hold the week’s largest spread, and very clearly are the better team in all aspects. Although we’ve seen some weird things happen in the league this year, this is definitely not a spot to overthink. The game environment is almost entirely up to the Jaguars to dictate, in that we should loosely expect the Colts to not only take their foot off the gas late if they are handily controlling the game but likely rest starters in the process. If the Jaguars can muster a couple of scores within the first three quarters, wheels up for the main pieces of this game.
- Jacksonville has long been eliminated from playoff contention but they are “playing” for the number one pick in 2023’s NFL draft.
- The Colts can earn the five-seed with a win and some help and could fall out of the postseason entirely with a loss – very much a win or go-home endeavor here.
- Finally, the Colts play in the early time slot while the Bills and Patriots play in the afternoon time slot and the Chargers and Raiders (two teams chasing them) play on Sunday Night Football.
TOP PLAYS OF THE WEEKEND
SORTABLE GREEN ZONE TOUCHES
TEAM & PLAYER DK POINTS
DFS+ Interpretation ::
By LexMiraglia10 >>
- Lawrence has thrown just 10 TDs to 17 INT all season, and has just 2 TD in the last 9g
- Lawrence has thrown for 225+ yds in just 6/16 games
- Lawrence first game vs IND: 16/35 for 162 yds, 33 rush yds
- QBs since that JAC game vs IND: Allen (209:2:2) // Brady (226:1:1) // HOU (94:0:1) // Mac (299:2:2) // Kyler (245:1) // Carr (255:1:2)
- IND ranks 14th in def pass DVOA and 7th in overall def DVOA
- IND has allowed the 7th fewest WR yds
- Only two teams have allowed more WR TDs
- Treadwell has led JAC in receiving since W12: 53, 62, 68, 57, 54, 87 yds
- Treadwell has still yet to top 15 DK pts during that time and is at his highest price all year
- Two games of action: 17:51, 2:15 // 9:36, 2:32:1
- Dare’s only other career games with more than 2 rush att: 14:50 // 14:71
- IND ranks 3rd in def rush DVOA
- IND has allowed the 5th fewest RB DK pts/g & RB rush yds
- JAC has allowed the 6th highest yds per pass att
- JAC has allowed four 300-yd passers (2 more of 290+)
- JAC ranks 32nd in def pass DVOA
- 10 QBs have scored multiple TDs vs JAC
- Wentz’s first game vs JAC: 180:0:0
- Wentz pass att_DK pts since JAC game: 34_7.1 // 20_10 // 44_26.3 // 22_11.1 // 12_7 // 28_17.4 // 27_10.9
- The 44 att game was against Tampa Bay
- WRs over 70 yds vs JAC: Cooks (132) // Sutton (159) // Green (112), Kirk (104) // Boyd (118), Chase (77) // Waddle (70:2) // Lockett (142) // Diggs (85) // Pittman (71) // Aiyuk (85:1) // Kupp (129:1) // Cooks (102:2) // Meyers (73:1), Bourne (76)
- JAC has allowed the highest success rate & 4th highest yds/att to WRs
- 13 WRs have had 8+ tg vs JAC
- Pittman targets in the aforementioned Wentz games: 5, 5, 10, 8, 5, 12, 6
- Pittman yds in those games: 71 // 23 // 53 // 77 // 7 // 82 // 47
- Pittman’s only games of 20+ DK pts: 8:123 in 24-27 L to LAR // 6:89:1 in 25-31 L to BAL // 4:105:1 in 30-18 W vs SF // 10:86:2 in 31-34 L to TEN
- JAC has allowed the 4th most RB rush TDs (17)
- Taylor has 18 rush TDs
- RBs with 15+ rush att vs JAC: Ingram (85:1) // Mixon (67:1) // Henry (130:3) // Taylor (116:1) // Wilson (50) // CPatt (108:2) // Michel (121:1) // Rex (41) // Carter (118) // Stevenson (107:2)
- Taylor has 15+ att in all but two games this year
- Taylor rush att since W10: 21, 32, 16, 32, 29, 27, 20
- Taylor’s only sub-20 att game there came against TB
- Taylor had 8 tg in first JAC game, but just 12 tg in the 6 g since