Game Overview ::
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- Colts RB Jonathan Taylor (thumb) is likely to miss the next two to three weeks for the Colts, potentially longer. That leaves Zack Moss as the unquestioned lead back for the time being after the veteran ran in a true workhorse role earlier in the season in the absence of Taylor.
- Titans QB Will Levis (ankle) and WR Treylon Burks (concussion) returned to full practices on Thursday. Burks is attempting to return from three straight missed games with his head injury.
- Zack Moss ($4,600) should be considered the top on-paper play of the slate. He is likely to be extremely popular, so roster construction will be important if playing him.
How indianaplois Will Try To Win ::
The Colts have proven that they would prefer to be a run-balanced team, but they are also not afraid to open things up if the game environment calls for it this year. In this spot, against a gutted Tennessee offense that is highly unlikely to push a game environment on their own merit, it becomes increasingly likely that the Colts are allowed to maintain a run-balanced stance. The big change is that the bulk of the “run” in “run-balanced” should flow through one man – Zack Moss. Another big change from how we would normally view this spot has to do with the Titans and their opponents’ trends this season. Over the last three or four years, the Titans forced extremely high rates of passing against due to a top-run defense. This year, however, they have faced the sixth-highest rush rate at 53.92 percent. That should all come together to paint a clear picture of the likeliest plan of attack for the Colts here, with a lean toward the ground in a run-balanced attack.
As was mentioned above, Zack Moss started the season as the unquestioned lead back for the Colts, handling snap rates between 76 percent and 98 percent while seeing opportunity counts of 22, 33, 19, and 25 over a four-game sample. That, my friends, is elite. One of those games, oddly enough, came against these same Titans, when he put up 36.5 DK points on 23 carries and two targets. Expect Trey Sermon to operate as the loose change of pace back behind Moss, who saw just 28 offensive snaps in the two games he acted as the direct backup to Moss earlier in the season. The matchup on the ground is difficult on paper against a Titans defense yielding just 3.8 yards per carry behind the lowest yards before contact allowed in the league (1.08). But again, the Titans have allowed rushing volume to offset the poor expected efficiency from opposing backs.
The Colts have utilized near league-average rates of 12-personnel, largely dependent on game flow. Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce operate in every-down roles while the WR3 position has largely been shared by Isaiah McKenzie and Josh Downs of late. Downs started the season as the clear WR3 but played behind McKenzie in Week 9 and Week 10 before McKenzie got hurt in Week 12. McKenzie returned to practice on Thursday and appears likely to suit up against the Titans, leaving some level of uncertainty in the expected snap rate split between the two. Either way, Pittman and Pierce should be the only two in near-every-down roles considering the three-way rotation at tight end. The Titans have allowed 6.5 net yards per pass attempt this season, which ranks eighth worst in the league, so this should not be viewed as a prohibitive spot through the air. Even so, this pass offense leaves the options rather slim – it’s basically Pittman or nobody. Pittman went over 100 yards through the air for just the second time this season in Week 12, highlighting his need for volume in a modest aDOT role. That volume is less likely to be extreme in this spot considering the opponent, leaving him with fewer paths to GPP-viable production.