Week 8 was absolutely wild for Colts fantasy owners. Jonathon Taylor got benched while Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines went off. Head coach Frank Reich said Taylor was dealing with “a little bit of an ankle injury” that he was not aware of until after the game. That means Reich was so unimpressed with Taylor’s 2 yards per carry that he benched him without knowledge of the injury. Where does all this information leave the Colts running backs moving forward?
Who to Start Going Forward
Rookie Jonathon Taylor scored double-digit PPR fantasy points in all but two games so far this year. Last week against the Lions and in week 4 against Chicago. Who knows what Reich saw that led to his obviously correct decision to replace him with Jordan Wilkins. Wilkins was far more effective, averaging a robust 4.5 yards per carry. Nyheim Hines only rushed five times, however, he caught three passes for 54 yards and two touchdowns.
This week the Colts face the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore’s defense is much better than Detroit’s and is slightly better against the run. If you have to start an Indianapolis back, start Hines. He has only been targeted less than four times twice and boasts an 81% catch rate. With Taylor’s lingering injury and Wilkins’ breakout performance, there is too much uncertainty going into a game against an above-average defense.
As for the next few weeks, pay attention to the Taylor/Wilkins carry splits. Tennesse, the Colts’ week 10 opponent, is 22nd in rush yards allowed per game. Whoever is more productive against them, should Taylor be healthy, will likely be the guy for the remainder of the season. Hines will get his opportunities against Houston and Las Vegas, but after this week he’ll be more of a boom or bust option.