Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor has slowly started to inch his way back up the fantasy football rankings, but he’s still not dominating the touches out of his own backfield this season.
Is Taylor a trustworthy start for fantasy managers going into Week 9? Let’s discuss the dynamic running back’s outlook going into this matchup against the Carolina Panthers.
Jonathan Taylor’s Week 9 Outlook
Taylor has now been back on the field for the past four weeks, and he’s slowly rising back up the board in fantasy rankings. We know Taylor’s talent level and what he can be for fantasy football when he’s fully rolling, and we’ve seen flashes of that brilliance in the brief time he’s been back this year.
On just 44 rush attempts so far this season, Taylor already has two 15+ yard runs. For comparison, Josh Jacobs only has two 15+ yard runs this season, and he’s carried the ball 133 times!
MORE: Week 9 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
The explosive plays from Taylor are there, but he’s still splitting the backfield with Zack Moss — who has admittedly been fantastic this season — and that’s limiting Taylor’s fantasy upside.
That upside may very well be an RB1 overall fantasy finish in Week 9 with this particular matchup. The Panthers are allowing a jaw-dropping 28.7 fantasy points per game to the RB position, and they’re struggling to slow down essentially every opposing offense that they face.
If Taylor can see 15 touches in this matchup, he’s going to have every opportunity to rip off multiple long runs and find the end zone. Moss will still be involved, surely, but Taylor’s matchup makes him a very intriguing start heading into Week 9.
Should You Start Taylor?
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Should You Start Jonathan Taylor or Josh Jacobs?
Jacobs has a very intriguing matchup himself this week against the New York Giants. However, the state of the Raiders’ offense makes me a bit more concerned for Jacobs than Taylor this week.
While Jacobs dominates the touches out of his backfield and Taylor splits his, the matchup is better for the latter against Carolina. I’ll side with Taylor here.
Should You Start Taylor or Austin Ekeler?
Austin Ekeler has been a bit frustrating to roster so far this season. He’s not finding the end zone with regularity like he has been in previous years. With that being said, it’s difficult to fade the veteran RB given his work in the receiving game.
If he can start to become more efficient on the ground, we should see Ekeler get back to putting up weekly top-five production. He’s also a top-five RB in my Week 9 rankings.
Ekeler will get the nod over Taylor here, but it’s close.
Should You Start Taylor or Tony Pollard?
The arrow seems to be pointing up for Taylor, while it’s trending down for Tony Pollard in Dallas. Even though the Cowboys are coming out of their bye week firing on all cylinders, Pollard’s struggling to see the volume to put him into the weekly top-five conversation.
Add in a tough matchup this week against the Philadelphia Eagles defensive front, and Taylor’s the clear option here.
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