BUY Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts
This is mostly a schedule play. Because, frankly, Taylor has been disappointing in the usage and performance departments.
In 5 games without Marlon Mack, he’s averaged 16 carries and 2.2 targets. He’s fallen to 13.5 carries — with 2.3 targets — over the last 4. Decent volume, but not the workhorse usage we thought he might get.
And Taylor’s play has been lackluster. He’s averaging 4.1 yards per carry and ranks bottom 4 among 45 qualifiers in yards after contact per attempt and Pro Football Focus’ Elusive Rating. In other words, he’s not doing a good job adding yards beyond what’s blocked.
Despite all that, Taylor ranks 18th among RBs in PPR points and 15th in non-PPR over the last 5 weeks. And now the schedule is about to get juicy.
Colts RBs have the easiest remaining slate of opponents according to our Strength of Schedule. Seven of their remaining 9 games (excluding Week 17) are against teams that rank 23rd or worse in adjusted fantasy points allowed to RBs. That includes 3 straight games against bottom-4 RB defenses in Weeks 13 through 15.
If Taylor starts running like the guy who dominated at Wisconsin for the past 3 seasons AND the Colts expand his volume, he could be a top 5 fantasy back the rest of the way. And even if things stay the same, that schedule figures to propel him to borderline RB1 production.