December 2, 2022, 1:41 pm
Colts (+10.5) @ Cowboys (-560), O/U: 44
Considering the most controversial pregame story coming into this one is probably the non football-related one involving Jerry Jones (just ask LeBron James), interim Colts head coach Jeff Saturday is probably getting off the hook a little easier than usual for the suspect time management at the end of last week’s rough home loss to the Steelers. Saturday’s brief coaching resume so far includes a 1-2 and has been a mixed bag for fantasy managers. On one hand, the Colts under the former center in Saturday have graded out above-average in pass blocking in two of their three games under his leadership. They got wrecked in the run blocking unit against the Eagles, but that’s par for the course against Philly. Jonathan Taylor has still enjoyed a semi-revival since returning from his ankle injury in Week 10. The Colts D/ST unit that entered the year very much as a startable fantasy asset, on the other hand, has regressed even more under Saturday. The Cowboys, who have outscored opponents by a 68-23 margin over their past two games, will look to win for the fifth time in six games coming off a big divisional victory over the rival Giants.
We’re in Week 13 now, which means if you’re relying on a Colts QB even in superflex/QB2 formats, you need to set higher standards for your fantasy playoff push. One of Saturday’s biggest first decisions as interim head coach was giving the reins back to Matt Ryan, but the veteran has had an extremely low ceiling with only one passing score in the past eight quarters. He doesn’t warrant any additional digital ink here, so the takeaway here is to find higher ceiling options on the waiver wire like Mike White and even Kenny Pickett.
Perhaps it’s the offensive line growth, perhaps it’s the coaching switch to Saturday or maybe it’s just being healthy again. Perhaps it’s all three that are contributing to Taylor’s late-season comeback. The top fantasy draft pick has finally played to his draft capital over the past three games, finishing as a top-11 running back every week since Saturday took over. It’s a huge boost to patient fantasy managers, though a stiff test comes this week against a Cowboys defense that has yielded the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this year. One specific area of concern even during this three-game surge has been Taylor’s diminished passing game role despite the departure of satellite back Nyheim Hines to Buffalo — Taylor has averaged just 3.3 targets over that span after seeing as many as eight looks as recently as Week 7. Unfortunately, this may not be the week to up his involvement there as the Cowboys allow the fourth-fewest receiving yards to opposing backs.
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