Star running back Jonathan Taylor is nursing both toe and ankle injuries heading into Week 5. Facing a short turnaround for Thursday Night Football, Taylor has been in jeopardy of missing his first game since 2020.
Jonathan Taylor Injury Update
The latest update on Taylor officially crushes his Week 5 fantasy football outlook.
The Indianapolis Colts have ruled Taylor out for this Thursday due to his right ankle injury. He picked up the ailment in Week 4 against the Tennessee Titans and it clearly hampered him, as he finished with just 42 yards and a fumble.
Taylor has gotten off to a slower start by his standards after a monstrous 2021 campaign. He popped off for 161 yards in Week 1, but has followed that up posting just 167 yards combined over his last three games. The decline in production has come despite plenty of volume, with the RB averaging a healthy 24.3 opportunities (20.3 attempts plus 4.0 targets) per game.
This news now severely alters plans for fantasy managers in Week 5. Though the Wisconsin product wasn't lighting it up lately, recording more than 13.0 PPR points in just one game so far, finding starter-level production has been difficult even among highly drafted backs. Taylor's absence now creates a hole in lineups banking on him to be an RB1.
Fantasy Impact of Jonathan Taylor Week 5 Injury
The remaining running backs on the Colts' active roster are Nyheim Hines and Deon Jackson. Hines has served as the pass-catching complement to Taylor, seeing 4.8 targets per game this season, while handling just eight total rushing attempts so far.
He's an obvious candidate to see an uptick in work after averaging 72.5 carries in two full seasons alongside Taylor. The loss of Taylor will likely force Indy to air it out more as well, opening the door for Hines to come through for managers in PPR formats.
Jackson, meanwhile, has seen the bulk of his limited snaps on special teams. He's earned just two rushing attempts in 2022 and recorded -3 yards. He only saw 13 attempts in 2021, but managed to score a touchdown and generate 31 yards. There's a chance the second-year pro garners more work on the ground, but he's a dart throw add given the uncertainty of this backfield in Week 5.
Phillip Lindsay could be the name to watch for the Colts. Head coach Frank Reich has already said Lindsay would likely be called up from the practice squad and be involved if Taylor were to sit. Lindsay has RB13 (2018) and RB19 (2019) finishes in PPR to his name, but he's been mostly fantasy irrelevant since. He offers some dual-threat upside as a runner and receiver. It remains to be seen how much he's used, though.
Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. figures to be an even bigger part of Indianapolis' offensive attack in Week 5, yet Taylor's absence will allow the Denver Broncos to key in on him even more. Denver ranks No. 15 in PPR points allowed to WRs this season, so this is by no means an easy matchup. Rookie Alec Pierce is a potential sleeper to keep tabs on as Pittman draws the bulk of the coverage.
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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.