Last updated: October 3rd at 9:30pm ET
Team Totals: Chiefs 34, Colts 23
Monstrously totaled at 57 points, Colts-Chiefs is an obvious game to lean toward in lineup decisions. … Particularly with T.Y. Hilton (quad) due back, Jacoby Brissett offers streamer appeal against a Kansas City defense that has permitted top-ten fantasy outcomes to 3-of-4 quarterbacks faced while ranking bottom ten in QB Hit Rate (12.6%) and allowing the NFL’s sixth-most completions of 20-plus yards (17). High-priced DE Frank Clark has been an especially big disappointment with one QB hit on 132 pass-rush snaps. Even without Hilton last week, Brissett turned in his third straight top-12 QB1 score and has increasingly gained his coaching staff’s trust; Brissett’s pass attempts have risen each week (27 > 28 > 37 > 46) after the Colts’ run-focused early-season start. … Kansas City’s biggest defensive weakness is still on the ground, where DC Steve Spagnuolo’s unit has been trucked for 88/509/3 (5.78 YPC) rushing by enemy backs. Unfortunately, we may lack clarity on Marlon Mack’s (ankle) availability until close to game time. If Mack does miss, tackle-breaking Jordan Wilkins would take over on early downs with Nyheim Hines’ role largely unchanged as Indy’s passing-down/change-up back. Hines still makes for a compelling PPR sleeper based on this game’s projected script. Hines logged nine touches on season highs in snaps (46%) and routes run (26) as the Colts played from behind in last week’s loss to Oakland.
Brissett’s Weeks 1-4 target distribution: T.Y. Hilton 25; Jack Doyle 17; Hines and Eric Ebron 16; Parris Campbell 13; Deon Cain 11; Chester Rogers and Zach Pascal 10; Mack 6; Mo Alie-Cox 3; Wilkins 2. … Hilton is a must-play in season-long leagues if active Sunday night, but there are some causes for pause. Hilton still doesn’t appear fully recovered from the quad injury that sidelined him last week, and T.Y. has long maintained significant home-road/turf-grass splits with a career 83.9-yard average and 44.8% touchdown probability beneath domes and retractable roofs versus 61.0 yards with a 28.6% TD rate outdoors. It wouldn’t be crazy to fade Hilton on one-game DFS slates. … Doyle has run 85 routes to Ebron’s 75, but Ebron has 172 Air Yards to Doyle’s 93. Ebron dropped three passes in last Sunday’s loss, only to save his box score by beating Raiders S Erik Harris for a 48-yard touchdown in what amounted to garbage time. Neither Colts tight end is season-long viable, and their outlooks are largely the same in DFS with Doyle offering a bit more PPR equity and Ebron superior big-play potential. … Non-Hilton Colts wideouts have done nothing to warrant season-long utility, but for the sake of one-game DFS slates, ancillary WR routes were divided as follows in Week 4: Rogers 39; Cain 38; Pascal 35; Campbell 30.
Although Patrick Mahomes threw for 315 yards and tacked on a career-high 54 rushing yards in last week’s shootout win, Mahomes was a fantasy bust as the Chiefs scored three of their four touchdowns on running back carries and the fourth on a fumble return. Kansas City also lost the time-of-possession battle 34 to 26 to run-first Detroit. Particularly with FS Malik Hooker (meniscus) out 3-5 more weeks, expect Mahomes’ TD binge to resume versus Indianapolis, whose defense has one sack in its last two games and has surrendered the NFL’s fourth-most touchdown passes on the year (9). Colts DC Matt Eberflus runs zone coverage on 83% of plays, and Mahomes has shredded zone looks for league highs in yards per attempt (12.6) and touchdowns (8) in 2019. … Damien Williams’ (knee) return throws another wrench into Kansas City’s backfield with Darrel Williams and LeSean McCoy both performing well but Damien immensely trusted by the coaching staff and offering the best pass-catching skills in the unit. Damien was the Chiefs’ clear lead back in his lone healthy game, pacing the group in touches (19) and snaps (66%) in Week 1 at Jacksonville. Hopefully, Sunday night will provide a blueprint for Andy Reid’s running back usage. Going in, all three are risky flex options. Darwin Thompson figures to be inactive.
Mahomes’ target distribution: Sammy Watkins 38; Travis Kelce 33; Demarcus Robinson 21; Mecole Hardman 17; McCoy and Damien 11; Darrel 9; Thompson 1. … Scoreless since his monster opener, Watkins should get back on track against the Colts, who are more vulnerable to slot receivers like Keenan Allen (8/123/1) and Mohamed Sanu (6/75/0) than perimeter threats. Watkins runs nearly 70% of his routes inside. Although Colts slot CB Kenny Moore has done well to limit yards after catch, he’s allowed completions on 14-of-17 targets (82%) this year. As the Colts play zone coverage on 83% of their snaps, it’s notable that Watkins leads the Chiefs in targets (17), catches (10), yards (223), and touchdowns (3) versus zone (Sports Info Solutions). Promisingly, Watkins is also popping as Week 5’s No. 5 buy-low receiver in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model. … The Colts’ zone is even more susceptible to tight ends, as Austin Hooper (6/66/2), Darren Waller (7/54/0), and Foster Moreau (3/30/1) showed in the last two weeks. Kelce dropped a 7/108/0 stat line on Indianapolis in last January’s playoff win. … With Tyreek Hill (shoulder) still at least one more week away from return, Robinson and Hardman remain WR3/flex usable simply by virtue of playing with Mahomes. But this matchup is no walk in the park; fellow outside WRs Corey Davis (3/38/0), Tyrell Williams (3/36/1), Mike Williams (2/29/0), A.J. Brown (3/25/0), Travis Benjamin (2/12/0), and Calvin Ridley (1/6/0) have all fallen short of expectations versus Indy. Julio Jones (8/128/1) is the only perimeter wideout to clear 40 yards against the Colts.
Score Prediction: Chiefs 35, Colts 24