Are we seeing a changing of the guard at the running back position for the Indianapolis Colts? After his performance last week, will Jonathan Taylor return to being the No. 1 RB over Zack Moss? Let’s take a look at which of these two will be more productive this weekend for fantasy football.
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Fantasy Outlook for Jonathan Taylor This Week
After being eased back into the offense slowly — 14 combined rush attempts for 37 yards over his first two games — Taylor got the start last week against the Browns and easily had his best game of the season. Taylor rushed for 75 yards on 18 carries and scored a touchdown, the first time since Week 12 last year versus the Steelers that Taylor had at least 75 rushing yards and a touchdown.
And he did this against the team that is still the No. 1 defensive unit in the NFL in the Browns.
All signs are pointing to the Colts making Taylor their feature back going forward. While Moss is still the team’s leading rusher for the season (523 yards), it’s Taylor who appears to be the man in the backfield for Indianapolis.
Fantasy Outlook for Zack Moss This Week
Moss and Taylor were on the field for the same number of offensive snaps — 35 — and each received the same number of carries — 18. But that is where the similarities end from last week’s game against the Browns.
Moss proved to be a far less productive running back for the Colts last week. Not only was he outgained by Taylor 75 to 57, but Taylor also had 45 receiving yards to Moss’ five. Not to mention, Taylor was the only one of the two to get in the end zone last week.
Adding to the problems for Moss is the fact that he missed practice on Wednesday with an undisclosed injury. He is listed as questionable for this week’s game.
Which Colts RB Should You Start?
While Taylor is trending up, Moss — 78 total rushing yards over the last two weeks — is going in the other direction. Moss is still the league’s second-leading rusher at 523 yards, so he probably shouldn’t immediately be dismissed as an option.
But with his status for this weekend’s game suddenly in question, and given Taylor’s performance last week, choosing which back to start between the two seems pretty clear.
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The Saints figure to present a challenge for the Colts’ running attack this week. New Orleans ranks fourth in total defense (285.7 YPG allowed) and is allowing less than 100 yards a game on the ground (98.7), although its last two opponents — Houston and Jacksonville — each rushed for better than 100 yards on the Saints.
The Saints are also No. 6 in the league in opponent Expected Points Added per rush (-0.17).
And, in case you need another factor to consider in making your choice, PFN’s Fantasy Start/Sit Optimizer projects that Taylor will rack up 12.7 fantasy points this weekend while Moss is projected to earn 8.5.
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