Game Overview ::
By hilow >>
- The biggest injury news from this one is clearly Anthony Richardson, who was placed on injured reserve Wednesday with an AC joint sprain that is going to cost him at least four weeks of his rookie season – Richardson has now finished just one of the four games he started this year, missing another with a concussion.
- Tight end Mo Alie-Cox did not practice Wednesday after suffering a concussion in Week 5.
- Zay Jones did not practice with a knee injury sustained in Week 5 – he appears legitimately questionable to suit up early in the week.
- Shaquille Leonard and Kwity Paye returned to practice Wednesday after missing Week 5 with concussions.
- Jonathan Taylor immediately returned to the lineup in Week 5 after inking a three-year extension with the Colts and should continue to see his snap rate and opportunity share increase with time.
22′ = $9,200!
23′ = _______
How INDIANAPOLIS Will Try To Win ::
Indianapolis remains top five in the league in pace of play (26.2 seconds per play) but has fallen to bottom five in pass rate over expectation (PROE). The now 3-2 Colts played the Jaguars tough in Week 1, beat the Texans on the road in Week 2, beat the Ravens on the road in Week 3 in overtime, lost to the Rams in overtime in Week 4, and beat the Titans in Week 5 – all while having to alter their game plan in two of those games due to the early departure of Richardson (he also left in Week 1 but that departure happened just before the two-minute warning in the second half) and starting their backup quarterback in another. They now prepare to face the Jaguars for the second time this season with their backup quarterback, with the winner of this game left alone atop the AFC South through a third of the season. When we get later in the season we often talk about the additional magnitude of the games with playoff implications on the line. This game carries about as many playoff implications as you will find in Week 6 of an NFL season and should be viewed as a relative must-win for both sides. Shane Steichen has largely approached games by attempting to win in the trenches but has also largely been unable to fully unleash his offensive designs while dealing with a rookie quarterback and so many moving pieces from which to build around through the first five weeks. These next four weeks should be rather telling from an organizational standpoint, as they will (hopefully) give Steichen some stability to plan and manage around. In these two teams’ first meeting, Colts quarterbacks attempted 39 passes compared to 16 running backs carries and 10 totes from Richardson. In the Colts’ Week 3 win over the Ravens (a similar setup defensively – pass funnel and elevated zone rates), Gardner Minshew attempted 44 passes to 35 running back carries and did not see a rush attempt himself. Small sample size alert, but we should expect a baseline of 36-to-40 pass attempts for Minshew in this spot. The matchup tilts to the air, with the Jaguars defense allowing just 3.7 yards per carry (10th) but allowing 6.9 net yards per pass attempt (28th).
Let’s make this very clear up front – we have no clue what the running back opportunity split is going to look like between Taylor and Moss this week. What we know is that Taylor’s Week 5 game action was his first game snaps since Week 14 of the 2022 season and we have indication from Steichen that the team intends to gradually ramp up his involvement, with the only timeframe given being a month. Now, those are just words, but we also saw them hold Taylor to just 10 offensive snaps in Week 5 (side note – the outrage from the fantasy community over this made me chuckle, as Steichen literally told us this was likely to be the case, but that’s neither here nor there). I think its fair to say Moss is unlikely to garner an 80 percent snap rate or 78 percent opportunity share here (23 carries and two targets compared to six carries and one target for Taylor), but the actual split is completely up in the air at this point for Week 6. The matchup on the ground is non-ideal against a Jaguars defense facing the fourth-fewest rush attempts per game against (22.0, behind just San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Detroit), so the snap-rate split might not matter here.
Minshew does not bring the same profile to the table as the departing Richardson, the former much more pocket passer and timing quarterback than the latter. On Minshew’s 83 pass attempts this season, Michael Pittman has garnered a target share of 28.9 percent, while rookie Josh Downs checks in at 24.1 percent. From a fantasy perspective, it’s the same story for both of these guys – modest aDOT (7.3 for Pittman and 6.3 for Downs) and modest yards-per-route-run values (1.58 for Pittman and 1.22 for Downs) means a lot has to go right for either of them to return a viable GPP score. Alec Pierce remains the Z-type, downfield threat, safety manipulator of this offense with a robust 17.7 aDOT, but he’s been utilized in full-on MVS fashion this season with a putrid 9.5 percent targets-per-route-run rate (TPPR). That latter figure ranks 100th in the league – there are 32 NFL teams, each with three primary wide receivers, meaning there are WR4s with a higher TPRR than Pierce this season. That is something that theoretically could change in an instant, considering this offense appears to have been simplified by Steichen to make things as easy as possible on his rookie quarterback, but those are not great numbers, friends. Finally, the Jaguars have faced 36.2 pass attempts per game this season (11th most), largely by filtering the opposition to the air via a stout run defense (as opposed to consistently putting teams in negative game environments and forcing them to play in catch-up mode).