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Fantasy Football Picks: Colts vs. Broncos DraftKings NFL DFS TNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Thursday’s 8:15 p.m. ET contest between the Colts and the Broncos with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

Goodness, does this game ever reek of Thursday Night Football. If I were to do a poll amongst NFL fans asking which team has been the most disappointing through four weeks, I imagine both the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos would rank towards the top of the list. The two now square off on a short week, both missing arguably their most talented offensive piece. Get excited!

Let’s dive into a classic mid-week Showdown slate.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Thursday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (IND vs DEN)


Captain’s Picks

Courtland Sutton ($14,100 CP) - I think it’s more than fair to suggest that the Broncos’ passing attack has been underwhelming through four games. However, the lone bright spot has been Sutton, who has proven to be a volume monster with Russell Wilson ($10,400) under center. Sutton enters Week 5 sitting tied for 14th in the league in receptions (24), which is what happens when your target share is well over 30% the past three contests. Sutton has also accounted for 41% of Denver’s air yards this season, with a healthy aDOT of 13.1 yards. The craziest part? These figures might have room to grow. The loss of Javonte Williams (knee) obviously has more of a ripple effect in the Broncos’ running game, yet the running back’s 17% target rate was second on the team. Those extra looks have to go somewhere, and if recent history is any indication, it could mean more opportunities for Wilson’s clear No. 1 target.

Broncos D/ST ($6,300 CP) - Denver had a difficult time slowing down Las Vegas last Sunday, but overall, the unit has been quite good in 2022. The Broncos defense is eighth-best in the NFL according to DVOA, while they’re one of just seven teams currently surrendering fewer that 5.0 yards per opponent play. Still, the bigger draw here is the presence of the Colts. Indianapolis has struggled to do anything right so far this season. It ranks dead-last in points per drive (1.36), while the Colts have also managed to turn the ball over on a whopping 21.4% of their drives — the third-highest mark in the NFL. Matt Ryan ($9,600) has been sacked on 8.9% of his drop backs, the offensive line is below-average and, worst of all, Jonathan Taylor (ankle) isn’t playing. It’s a pretty bleak picture that I’m painting, right?

FLEX Plays

Melvin Gordon III ($8,800) - I’m just having a hard time getting too excited about Mike Boone ($6,200) and Latavius Murray ($5,200). Yes, Gordon has had some serious issues with ball security through four weeks, but he’s clearly the guy who’s going to get the first crack as the Broncos’ lead back with Williams on injured reserve. Heck, Gordon garnered 17 touches in Week 3’s victory over the 49ers, and that was with Williams still healthy and active. Gordon’s shown an ability to be successful in the passing attack and he was already Denver’s goal line back, collecting 60% of the team’s carries inside the five-yard line. In what could be an advantageous script with the Broncos currently home favorites, I’ll roll with the veteran.

Phillip Lindsay ($400) - Here’s where you might want to take a chance on a cheap RB. Deon Jackson ($1,600) is the safer option — in that he’s actually on the 53-man roster as I write this — but I think there’s a very good chance that Lindsay is called up from the practice squad on Thursday. I mean, Nyheim Hines ($6,800) has just eight carries in four games. Someone on the Colts is going to have to run between the tackles, and Lindsay definitely has the track record. I also will choose to evoke the “Revenge Game” narrative. Though I don’t think it’s applicable at all times, this would be Lindsay’s first game against his former team. Lindsay’s a Denver native. He went to college at Colorado. I think the coaching staff will throw him a bone, particularly with a positional need. If he is active, Lindsay doesn’t have to do much to bring back serious value at this microscopic price.


Michael Pittman Jr. ($10,600) - I don’t have anything against Pittman in a vacuum, but paying up for the most expensive asset in a poor offense just never seems like a great idea. The volume will likely be there, as Pittman’s registered a target rate above 25% in two of the three games he’s played in 2022, yet the wideout’s aDOT has fallen from 9.8 yards last season to a paltry 6.0 yards with Ryan at QB. You need so, so, so many receptions to turn a profit with such an underwhelming route tree, especially with an implied team total under 20 points. In other words, if Pittman doesn’t find the end zone, there’s simply no way he’s part of the optimal lineup on Thursday evening.


I lack confidence in both of these teams, but at the end of the day, the Broncos appear to have more talent on both sides of the ball. The Colts have endured poor offensive line play. The’ve consistently lost the turnover battle. These are not things that generally equate to wins. So, with great sadness, I will back Nathaniel Hackett.

I regret it already.

Final Score: Denver 24, Indianapolis 17

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Thursday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (IND vs DEN)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.