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What Week 1 tells us about Colts running backs in fantasy football

Marlon Mack suffered a potentially season-ending injury. It means Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines could become more important for the Colts moving forward. We break down the fantasy football implications.

Jonathan Taylo of the Indianapolis Colts makes a 35-yard reception for a first down in the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on September 13, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts are going to have to make some adjustments in how to split backfield touches moving forward, as starter Marlon Mack is out for a season with a torn Achilles. Change is coming to the running back depth chart, and it appears like rookie Jonathan Taylor is poised to surge to the forefront.

Many predicted that Taylor would overtake Mack at some point in the regular season, and now he’ll get a chance to be the feature back earlier than expected. Given the current depth at running back and the role Taylor played in his team’s 27-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, it’s likely that Taylor will get a large chunk of the Colts’ rushing attempts. We’ll go over how Taylor and Nyheim Hines could be affected by Mack’s absence here.

Fantasy football analysis: Colts RBs Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines

Indianapolis running backs tallied 21 carries against Jacksonville, and Taylor converted nine of those for 22 yards. He was trailed by Nyheim Hines (7) and Mack (4) in carries, but the trio only combined for 76 yards. It’s safe to say that a power back like Taylor will get more carries than Hines with Mack out of the picture, but the rookie should also be involved in the passing game.

Taylor caught six passes for 67 yards, and only Parris Campbell recorded more receiving yards (71) than him. Hines caught a game-high eight passes though and caught a touchdown pass to go along with a rushing score. The speedy gadget player will also have a larger role for the Colts moving forward, but likely won’t be used as a traditional running back as much as Taylor.

Week 2 recommendation

I’d recommend starting starting Taylor in Week 2. Indianapolis appears to be just as comfortable throwing to him as they are throwing to Hines, but Taylor is more dangerous running between the tackles. I expect Taylor to get the nod as an early-down and goal line back. And if Hines is available on your waiver wire in PPR leagues, grab him up, as Phillip Rivers is going to give these backs a lot of receptions.