Kickoff Sunday, Sep 19th 1:00pm Eastern

Rams (
25.75) at

Colts (
21.75)

Over/Under 47.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Rams Run D
19th DVOA/20th Yards allowed per carry
Colts Run O
27th DVOA/16th Yards per carry
Rams Pass D
4th DVOA/11th Yards allowed per pass
Colts Pass O
24th DVOA/19th Yards per pass
Colts Run D
13th DVOA/18th Yards allowed per carry
Rams Run O
17th DVOA/25th Yards per carry
Colts Pass D
29th DVOA/17th Yards allowed per pass
Rams Pass O
2nd DVOA/7th Yards per pass

GAME OVERVIEW::

By Hilow >>
  • Not much to love from this one from a “guaranteed points” perspective – floors are mostly scary low
  • Jonathan Taylor gains some appeal for his heavy involvement in the Colts offense, but the matchup is less than ideal
  • Rams defense may gain steam as the week progresses, but I don’t like betting on low pressure rate defensive lines against solid offensive lines

HOW LOS ANGELES WILL TRY TO WIN::

First of all, this offense is so much more fun to watch with a quarterback capable of attacking all areas of the field. The Rams ran only 52 offensive plays in a Week 1 dismantling of the Bears and held a very modest 54% situation-neutral pass rate. The offensive snap rates played out largely as we thought they would, with tight end Tyler Higbee leading the way with a full 100% snap rate, followed by Cooper Kupp at a  94% snap rate (tied with running back Darrell Henderson, who I expect to see his snaps gradually decrease as Sony Michel learns the offense), Robert Woods at 77%, Van Jefferson at 69%, and offseason addition DeSean Jackson at 27%. 20 of Matthew Stafford’s 26 pass attempts filtered through the three primary pass-catchers (Kupp: 10, Higbee: 6, Woods: 4). Expect the Rams to continue to play with pace in neutral to negative game scripts, allow their top-rated defense to provide good field position and additional possessions, and remain aggressive with the ball as the year goes on.

As previously mentioned, Darrell Henderson played a massive 94% of the offensive snaps run from scrimmage in Week 1 and saw 17 of 18 total running back opportunities. His snap rate and opportunity share was a full 100% until deep into the game when Sony Michel saw his one carry. I expect this to turn into a loose committee once Sony learns a complex offense and run scheme, which could be as soon as this week or could take a few weeks. Henderson saw only one target on 16 routes run, but the Rams largely didn’t need much as they cruised to an easy victory. I expect Henderson to lead the way once again with Sony likely mixing in for 15-20% of the offensive snaps. The matchup is a poor one against a top three run defense from 2020, even after the Colts surrendered 5.37 adjusted line yards in Week 1.

The aerial attack is where the majority of the fantasy value on this team lies. Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Tyler Higbee are all borderline every-snap players in a high-powered passing offense. The biggest news out of this game as far as injuries go lies with the Colts second level as both All-World linebacker Darius Leonard and lockdown corner Xavier Rhodes have yet to practice this week (as of Thursday). Leonard missing would be a large boost to the Rams offense overall but a massive boost to Tyler Higbee, while Rhodes’ absence would again benefit the entire Rams offense but be a massive boost to both Kupp and Woods. Consider all three high, high ceiling plays here. The Colts continue to struggle with the deep ball, providing further intrigue for the speed of Van Jefferson and DeSean Jackson.

HOW INDIANAPOLIS WILL TRY TO WIN::

The Colts landed in the middle of the pack with respect to situation-neutral pass rate in Week 1 at 58%, right in line with their 56% rate from 2020. The limitations placed on the offense through Carson Wentz should not be understated as his 6.6 yards per completion places him in the bottom three in the league. This offense should continue to flow through the running backs, with low upside passing mixed in.

The ground game flows through Jonathan Taylor, who also saw additional pass game usage in Week 1 compared to his previous roles (seven targets). The fantasy prospectus for this Colts run game depends largely on the health of their offensive line as two members of one of last season’s top-rated offensive lines worked their way back from offseason surgeries. The matchup is middling on paper after the Colts struggled to sustain a push up front against the solid run defense of the Seahawks. The matchup yields an average net-adjusted line yards metric of 4.17.

The biggest surprise from Week 1 through the air was the heavy involvement of both running backs in the pass game. Colts running backs accounted for 15 of the 38 total targets, split eight to seven in favor of Taylor over Hines. With TY Hilton still out, expect Michael Pittman, Jr. and Zach Pascal to continue to operate as the starting wide receivers, with both Parris Campbell and rookie Mike Strachan mixing in for three-wide sets. Keep an eye on Strachan, tight end Jack Doyle, and offensive linemen Quenton Nelson’s injury statuses leading up to the game as all three have either yet to practice or have gotten in only one limited practice as of Thursday. As alluded to earlier, the pass game is primarily short and intermediate work and of the low upside variety. 

LIKELIEST GAME FLOW::

It is likely up to the Colts to keep pace here the way this game lines up. Expect them to start the game attempting to control the time of possession battle but eventually be forced to move the ball via increased short-area passing and long, sustained drives. This should lead to a scenario where the Rams assert control of the game rather early and can run a conservative offense deeper into the game. With this type of set up, we shouldn’t expect a spike to volume for the primary pass-catchers out of the Rams, and the Colts spread the ball enough (and are low-upside enough) to limit much of the fantasy appeal from the game overall. 

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Alex88 >>

OVERVIEW

  • LA Rams PFF team grades after Week 1: Overall – 1st, Offense – 1st, Defense – 2nd, Special Teams – 19th
  • Indianapolis Colts PFF team grades after Week 1: Overall – 23rd, Offense – 21st, Defense – 22nd, Special Teams – 24th

Matthew Stafford

  • Stafford’s 156.1 passer rating in Week 1 vs. Chicago was the highest ever by a player in his debut with a new team
  • He completed 20 passes out of 26 attempts, for 321 yards and three TDs
  • Stafford’s 12.3 yards per attempt set a career high
  • 33.3% of the Rams passing plays went for 15+ yards, highest rate for Week 1
  • On play-action passes, Stafford was a perfect 8/8, with 155 yards and 2 TDs
  • The Rams called play action on 29.6% of dropbacks
  • In Week 1, the Colts defense allowed Russell Wilson to complete 5 out of 7 throws for 10+ yards (including 4/6 20+), for 159 yards and 3 TDs
  • Stafford’s DK points in games, where he played 100% of the snaps, that ended with 47+ points scored, from ‘20 – Week 1: 17.2 // 17.2 // 18.5 // 23.3 // 13.3 // 27.4 (vs. IND) // 23 // 17.1 // 30.1 // 23.6 // 27.3

LAR Passing Attack

  • In Stafford’s immaculate Week 1, Cooper Kupp led the team in targets (9), receptions (7), receiving yards (108), DK points (26.8) and PFF grade (81.5)
  • Kupp spent 71.4% of his snaps lined up out of the slot, pacing the team
  • Kupp’s DK point totals in the 2018 regular season, during their Super Bowl run with Jared Goff at QB (with at least 50% snaps): 17.8 // 12.3 // 16.8 // 40.2 // 21 // 19.9 // 8.9
  • 29 year old Robert Woods finished third on the team in targets for Week 1 (4)
  • He managed only three catches for 27 yards, and the lowest yards per reception out of any player on the team
  • Woods had the second lowest yards after catch per reception, with only 2.5
  • In the Super Bowl season, here are the regular season DK point totals for Woods in any game with 50+% of the snaps: 7.3 // 14.1 // 36.7 // 24.1 // 19.5 // 22.1 // 13.4 // 12 // 12.5 // 14.6 // 17.2 // 18.8 // 13.1 // 16.3 // 28.4 // 4.5 (lowest snap share at only 69.9%)
  • Van Jefferson assumed the WR 3 role with the departure of Josh Reynolds
  • In Week 1, he got the scoring party started with a 67 yard TD reception
  • He ended the game with two receptions on three targets, for 80 yards and a score
  • As a rookie last regular season, Van had one game with a snap % above 50%. He produced his highest DK point total of the season with 9 points
  • In the divisional round of the playoffs, Van played on 86% of the snaps and had six receptions on seven targets, for 46 yards and a score
  • Newcomer DeSean Jackson’s average depth of target in Week 1 was only 8.0, lowest of all targeted WRs
  • Tyler Higbee had a 100% snap rate in Week 1
  • He managed five catches for 68 yards (on six targets, second most for the team)
  • Since 2019, when he became a relevant fantasy name, here are Higbee’s DK point totals in regular season games with 85% snap rate or greater: 26.7 // 21.6 // 26.1 // 22.4 // 22.4 // 7 // 28.4 // 5.4

LAR RBs

  • In Week 1, Darrell Henderson was on the field for 49 out of 52 total offensive snaps. Sony Michel had only three
  • Henderson had 16 rushing attempts for 70 yards and a TD & one reception on one target for 17 yards
  • DK total: 15.7 points
  • Henderson has only had two other games above 50% snaps, one for 53.3% & the other 55.6%
  • Those DK totals: 9.2 // 9.6
  • In relief of Came Akers last season, Henderson totaled: 20.1 // 22 // 4.7 // 21.8 // 9.2 // 9.6 // 6.2

Carson Wentz

  • Carson Wentz with play-action from 2018-2019: 8.4 yards per attempt, 52% success, 0.14 expected points added/attempt
  • Without play-action: 6.5 YPA, 48% success, -0.03 EPA/att
  • Wentz in ‘20 with play-action: 5.8 YPA, 38% success, -0.26 EPA/att
  • In 2019, Frank Reich’s Colts used play-action on 33% of their pass attempts, sixth-highest in the NFL
  • In 2020, with Philip Rivers as QB, their EPA/att and success rate decreased under play-action, so Reich reduced the usage to seventh-lowest in the NFL
  • In Week 1 against Seattle, the Colts ran play-action on only 18.2% of Wentz’s dropbacks
  • On the seven attempts made, six went for completions (85.7% completion) with an average yards per attempt of 10.1
  • They went without play-action on 81.8% of dropbacks, for a 61.3% completion rate and only 5.8 yards per attempt but they did score both passing TDs
  • His DK point total for Week 1 was 19.3 points
  • In 2017, when Wentz paved Philadelphia’s path to the eventual Super Bowl while under Reich’s wing, Wentz scored: 23.9 // 28.8 // 13.2 // 15.1 // 31.3 // 22.4 // 32 // 18.1 // 24.8 // 20 // 24 // 21.9 // 28.2

IND Passing Attack

  • Running back Nyheim Hines led the Colts in receptions last year
  • No player hit 100 targets
  • TY Hilton came closest with 93
  • With TY hurt, here are the target totals in Week 1: Nyheim Hines – 8, Jonathan Taylor – 7, Zach Pascal – 5, Michael Pittman – 4, Jack Doyle – 4, Parris Campbell – 3, Mike Strachan – 2, Mo Alie-Cox – 2
  • Taylor led the team in receiving yards with 60, Hines was second with 48
  • Pascal scored the only 2 TDs for the team, to go with 4 catches and 43 yards
  • He had an 88.9% slot percentage in Week 1
  • Among WRs & TEs, Pascal’s 20.3 DK points was the only notable score in Week 1
  • Pascal’s DK totals in games that ended with 47+ points in 2020: 3.8 // 3.5 // 15.4 // 7.4 // 7.3 // 8.4 // 3.3 // 3.7 // 24.9 // 15.4
  • Pittman’s DK totals in games with the same criteria: 3 // 1.6 // 22.2 // 15.6 // 4.8 // 9.6 // 6.5 // 3.9 // 6.8
  • Pittman had a 78.7% outside alignment percentage in Week 1
  • Parris Campbell had a single catch for 24 yards
  • Parris lined up outside on 87.1% of his snaps
  • Doyle’s DK totals (with at least 50% offensive snaps): 7.9 // 0 // 10.9 // 9.8 // 7.6 // 7.4 // 3.4 // 9
  • Mo: 4.9 // 2.6 // 3.9
  • Mo’s only two games with double digit DK points came in games where Doyle did not record a snap or any fantasy points

IND RBs

  • In ‘20, Colts RBs averaged 32.7 touches per game
  • That was second in the league
  • They collectively led the league in yards from scrimmage per game (174.9)
  • They were sixth in yards per touch (5.4)
  • In the final six games of the NFL regular season, Jonathan Taylor had 133 touches for 837 yards and eight TDs
  • Taylor had 17 carries in Week 1, in a losing game script, plus the aforementioned 8 targets that became 6 catches for 60 yards (which led the team)
  • Those carries accounted for 65% of the RB rush share (57% of the team share when including the 4 carries by Wentz) and generated 56 yards, half of the team rushing yardage total
  • Despite 4 touches inside the 10 (three carries & one target), Taylor was unable to find the end zone and finished with 17.6 DK points
  • In 2020 games with 47+ points, Taylor’s DK totals were: 14.9 // 15.4 // 15.5 // 5.1 // 5.7 // 15.4 // 33.5 // 19.5 // 19.4
  • When filtering for wins only no matter the final score: 22 // 13.2 // 8.9 // 15.5 // 5.1 // 5.7 // 15.4 // 22.5 // 33.5 // 19.5 // 41.4
  • In losses: 14.9 // 15.4 // 10.4 // 19.4
  • The Colts are 4 point home underdogs
  • Nyheim Hines DK totals in losses in ‘20: 27.3 // 5 // 5.8 // 17.5 // 10.4
  • Hines in wins: 1.4 // 10.1 // 6.2 // 7.7 // 21.2 // 28.5 // 8.3 // 12.2 // 11.5 // 7.4 // 12.7
  • In the Week 1 loss to the Seahawks, Hines scored 14.2 DK points from nine carries for 34 yards & six catches on eight targets for 48 yards