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Fantasy Football Player Notes

Week 6 PPR Rankings
Joe Mixon Note
Joe Mixon photo 25. Joe Mixon RB - (at IND)
"Here we go again." That's something Mixon managers said last weekend. That's fine. If you missed the last buy-low window on Mixon, you have another one. What his managers don't realize is that there's a major fundamental change in this offense through the last two weeks. Over the first three games, Mixon saw just nine targets while Gio Bernard saw 15 of them. Well, over the last two weeks, Mixon has 14 targets while Bernard has just two of them. Mixon is going to be gamescript-proof if this continues and will eliminate any concern we have about starting him on a weekly basis. Now for the bad news... As mentioned in the Burrow notes, the Colts have allowed just 67.1 fantasy points per game to opponents. That's the lowest mark in the NFL while no other team has allowed less than 78.1 points per game. More bad news: Running backs have accounted for just 31.8 percent of those points. Add it all up and you have the No. 3 defense in the league against fantasy running backs. Is it a fluke? No. Under Matt Eberflus, the Colts have allowed exactly one running back to break the 100-yard barrier, and that was Derrick Henry when he was on his rampage last year. No running back - including Kareem Hunt with 20 carries and Dalvin Cook with 14 carries - has topped 72 yards on the ground against them this year. Now, to be fair, there were five running backs who were able to post RB1 numbers against the Colts last year. Two of them were Henry, while the other three were Christian McCaffrey, Austin Ekeler, and Jaylen Samuels, all running backs who caught at least six passes. The 42.6 points the Colts have allowed on the ground is the fourth-fewest in football, but the 1.59 PPR points per target ranks as the 11th-highest mark in the league. If Mixon is involved in the passing game - as we've seen the last two weeks - he'll be fine as a high-end RB2. If he's not, this sets up as a disappointing game on the ground.
4 days ago
Tyler Boyd Note
Tyler Boyd photo 48. Tyler Boyd WR - (at IND)
We knew last week's matchup was going to be a tough one for Boyd, who finished with just four catches for 42 yards against the Ravens. Don't panic, as it was likely the toughest matchup he'll have all year. The Colts defense has been good against wide receivers as a whole, but they haven't been untouchable. In fact, three of the top-four performances they've allowed to wide receivers this year have gone to those who play in the slot on a regular basis. We watched Keelan Cole finish with 5/47/1, Braxton Berrios 4/64/1, and Jarvis Landry 4/88/0 against them, so while the ceiling doesn't appear very high, they've struggled the most over the middle of the field. Even going back to last year, you'd see they struggled against the slot and allowed 8/123/1 to Keenan Allen, 7/72/1 to Dede Westbrook, and 7/91/0 to Chris Godwin, so it's not a fluke; it's the scheme. The six touchdowns the Colts have allowed to wide receivers ranks as the seventh-most, as teams have struggled to run the ball against them. You should be starting Boyd as a WR2 moving forward.
6 days ago
Tee Higgins Note
Tee Higgins photo 63. Tee Higgins WR - (at IND)
Despite not being a full-time player until Week 3, Higgins has seen nine targets that have traveled at least 20 yards in the air. There are just eight receivers with more than him on the season. That's massive opportunity from a quarterback who's only going to get better. Unfortunately, he hasn't caught any of them, and the Colts haven't allowed any pass plays of 40-plus yards and have allowed just 13 of 20-plus yards, which ranks as the fifth-fewest in the league. Still, there's reason to get excited for Higgins, as he's led the Bengals in routes run (107) over the last three weeks and has doubled the targets of A.J. Green (24 to 12). We always knew the Bengals drafted him to be the long-term replacement for Green, but that maturation happened much faster than anyone anticipated. He'll see Rock Ya-Sin in coverage most of the time, a second-year cornerback who's struggled at times, as he's allowed a rather-high 14.7 yards per reception in his coverage on the 70 targets he's faced. Still, he's allowed just two touchdowns on them and has been playing well through his three games this year, so it's not a smash spot or anything. But given Higgins' opportunity and role on the team, he's in the WR4 conversation every week and will be startable most weeks. This is not a matchup to get excited about, but knowing he's pretty much locked into six targets, he can be considered a low-end WR3/high-end WR4, especially if Green is not playing or not at 100 percent.
4 days ago
A.J. Green Note
A.J. Green photo 117. A.J. Green WR - (at IND)
His 0.76 PPR points per target rank as the lowest in the NFL among receivers with at least 10 targets. It's not all that close, either, as the closest player is Chris Hogan at 0.99 PPR points per target. It should come as no surprise, but Green has seen the most targets (34) without a single touchdown this year. He's now seen 10 targets that have traveled over 20 yards in the air, which ranks eighth in the NFL. The bad news is that Green hasn't caught any of them. Before you go on a Green rant and why he's no good anymore, Burrow has completed just 1-of-24 passes that've gone 20-plus yards down the field. Green's definitely a part of the problem, but he's not the only problem. The matchup with the Colts has not been a good one for receivers despite their lack of above average cornerback talent. They've allowed just 7.77 yards per target to wide receivers, which ranks as the fifth-lowest mark in the league. If Green plays (he left last week's game with a hamstring injury), he'd see Xavier Rhodes in coverage the most, a cornerback who's trying to make his way back from one of the worst cornerback seasons in recent memory. Through five games with his new team, he's allowed just 9-of-21 passing for 157 yards and a touchdown. The Colts have already allowed nine wide receivers to hit double-digit PPR days, though just three of them have scored more than 12.8 PPR points. Green is just not playing well right now, so even if you believe he'll eventually bounce back, you can't play him until we at least see some sort of flash, and this matchup has been far from a smash spot so far.
4 days ago
Drew Sample Note
Drew Sample photo 138. Drew Sample TE - (at IND)
Giovani Bernard Note
Giovani Bernard photo 155. Giovani Bernard RB - (at IND)
Mike Thomas Note
Mike Thomas photo 210. Mike Thomas WR - (at IND)
Cethan Carter Note
Cethan Carter photo 259. Cethan Carter TE,RB - (at IND)
John Ross Note
John Ross photo 263. John Ross WR - (at IND)
Alex Erickson Note
Alex Erickson photo 291. Alex Erickson WR - (at IND)
Trayveon Williams Note
Trayveon Williams photo 300. Trayveon Williams RB - (at IND)
Samaje Perine Note
Samaje Perine photo 318. Samaje Perine RB - (at IND)
Mason Schreck Note
Mason Schreck photo 327. Mason Schreck TE - (at IND)