Last updated: November 7th at 6:15pm ET
Team Totals: Colts 27, Dolphins 17
Off the winless schneid following last week’s eight-point victory over the even-more-hapless Jets, the Dolphins travel to Lucas Oil Stadium missing top WR Preston Williams (ACL) and virtually their entire running back depth chart. Despite facing a to-date schedule consisting of Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, and Philip Rivers, Colts DC Matt Eberflus’ unit has conceded the league’s eighth-fewest 20-plus-yard completions (23) and has yet to allow a weekly fantasy result above QB8 while holding six of its last seven quarterbacks faced to finishes of QB12 or worse. Meanwhile, 8-of-8 DSTs to face the Dolphins have tallied top-12 fantasy scores this year. Healthy on defense, the Colts represent one of Week 10’s premier streamer plays. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a low-end two-QB-league option. … With Kenyan Drake long gone to Arizona and Mark Walton serving a four-game suspension, the Dolphins’ running back corps has been reduced to mistake-prone Kalen Ballage, seventh-round pick Myles Gaskin, UDFA rookie Patrick Laird, and Ravens castoff De’Lance Turner. Ballage is the lone member of his group to have logged a single offensive snap for the Dolphins this year. Laird has paid special teams dues after leading Miami in preseason rushing with 114 yards on a 4.6 per-carry average, and seems in line to be the No. 2 back with Gaskin third. Ballage is the only playable Week 10 option as a desperation flex.
Fitzpatrick’s 2019 target distribution: Williams 37; DeVante Parker 36; Mike Gesicki 21; Jakeem Grant 13; Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson 12; Ballage 8. … Parker projects as a big beneficiary from Williams’ year-ending loss as a targets and Air Yards dominator. He’s also quietly cobbling together his best-ever season with 55-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 7-of-8 games. Even if the Colts don’t offer an ideal matchup via their big-play-smothering zone, Parker’s massive opportunity coupled with Fitzpatrick’s aggressiveness render Parker an upside WR3 play at worst. … Gesicki looks poised for a potentially big second half and is a legitimate TE1 play this week. He ranks third among all NFL tight ends in Air Yards since Miami’s Week 5 bye, has tallied 40-plus actual yards in three of the Fins’ last four games, and gets a projection bump from Williams’ injury. The Colts’ zone is most susceptible to tight ends, allowing the NFL’s 11th-most fantasy points per game to the position. In what projects as a narrowed receiving distribution, Parker and Gesicki should dominate opportunity in this passing game for the foreseeable future. Both are quite DFS viable this week. … You’re on your own throwing darts at Dolphins ancillary receivers. Here’s how their routes run were distributed in Week 9: Hurns 19; Wilson 16; Grant 10.
Particularly with Jacoby Brissett (MCL) on the mend, Week 10 sets up as a Marlon Mack-heavy game with 20-plus touches in 6-of-8 tries facing a Dolphins defense hemorrhaging 32.6 touches per game to enemy backs and a swiss-cheese 223/1,076/6 (4.83 YPC) rushing line on the year. Mack’s big drawback is always his passing-game floor; he strangely ran a season-low nine pass routes in last week’s loss to the Steelers even as Nyheim Hines’ playing time (29%) and touches (2) were in line with his norms. Mack should still be teed up aggressively as an upside RB1 in this pretty draw favored at home by two scores. … Due to the winnable nature of Sunday’s game at home against the 1-7 Fins, the Colts may take Brissett’s availability down to the wire after Brian Hoyer performed rather competently off last week’s bench. Despite the plus matchup, Brissett’s suspect health will make him a risky fantasy investment should he start. There are all kinds of conceivable scenarios where he could fail to finish the game, and the Colts will certainly want their starter near full strength for Week 11’s division bout with Jacksonville.
Still missing T.Y. Hilton (calf) and now down Parris Campbell (broken hand), the Colts will stick with Zach Pascal as their nominal No. 1 wideout after he led the team in Week 9 routes run (37), targets (6), and receiving (5/76/1) against Pittsburgh. Pascal plays nearly 90% of his snaps outside, where Dolphins first-team CBs Ryan Lewis and Nik Needham have both surrendered passer ratings over 100.0 into their coverage. Opportunity and matchup both firmly on his side, Pascal is approaching legit WR2 territory with confident playability regardless of Week 10’s quarterback. Pascal caught 50 of his yards and his touchdown from Hoyer in Week 9. … Chester Rogers has operated as the Colts’ No. 2 receiver in T.Y.’s absence, last week delivering a 3/22/1 receiving line on five targets. Rogers plays inside, where teams targeting the slot against Miami are 42-of-62 passing for 577 yards (9.31 YPA) and eight TDs. Rogers is WR4/flex usable for season-long leaguers in bye-week binds. … Eric Ebron sets up as the Colts’ next-best pass-catcher play after holding a one-on-one meeting with Frank Reich to discuss his going-forward usage. Week 10’s squeaky wheel, Ebron catches a Dolphins defense against which opponents are 39-of-50 passing (78%) for 453 yards (9.1 YPA) when targeting tight ends. Separation between Ebron and Jack Doyle remains minor; each has cleared 50 yards in just 1-of-8 games. They are fringe TE1/2 streamers with low floors. Ebron’s ceiling is higher. … Deon Cain and Ashton Dulin are the Colts’ top No. 3 receiver candidates until Hilton and/or Devin Funchess (collarbone) returns. Funchess could be back in Week 11.
Score Prediction: Colts 24, Dolphins 17