In most years, running backs are keys to having a winning fantasy team. The consistent production of the NFL’s best rushers provides the confidence general managers need every week. With top running backs often the difference makers in meetings, many running backs are worthy of early picks.
This year, Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor has got the opportunity to excite all fantasy owners looking for a top running back. Last year, the former Wisconsin Badger rushed for 1,169 yards and 11 touchdowns. Taylor also became one of five running backs to reach 1,000 yards, score 10 touchdowns, and average 5.0 yards or more as rookies. Taylor’s high mark was a 253-yard, two-touchdown outing in Week 17 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Unlike college where fumbling was a major issue, Taylor only lost one fumble.
This year, the Colts planned to use Taylor and former Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz as Indy’s main offensive pieces. Today, the Colts and Wentz announced he needs foot surgery and could miss anywhere between 5-12 weeks. Former Georgia and Washington passer Jacob Eason will be the Colts starter until Wentz is ready to play. There are even questions whether the Colts will look for another quarterback with Wentz sidelined.
With the uncertainty of when Wentz will be under center, Taylor is sure to be a hot name early in drafts. Whether in a redraft, dynasty, or PPR league. According to Fantasy Data, Taylor is the No.8 running back going in fantasy drafts. With Indy’s running tendency and Wentz missing time, Taylor should be a top-five selection challenging Saints rusher Alvin Kamara, Cowboys star rusher Ezekiel Elliott, and Giants running back Saquon Barkley.
Some fantasy football fans are even predicting Taylor could be the No. 1 fantasy player this season.
If Carson Wentz ends up missing closer to 12 weeks, Jonathan Taylor could easily finish as THE RB1 this season.— Jeff Pratt (@HotlineFantasy) August 2, 2021
He could have done it even with Wentz under center for the full year. Now, they’re going to have to rely on him more.
No matter who is under center, the Colts will likely use a strong attack behind one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. Taylor’s power and consistent rushing will shorten games and keep Indy’s defense fresher. Last year, the Colts rushed for over 124 yards a game, and that number should increase with Taylor likely getting a heavy workload in a 17-game season.
For the Colts to have a strong chance at winning the AFC South, Taylor will need a significant weekly involvement in the game plan. Coming into today, the Titans were -110 to win the AFC South on Bet MGM. Since the Wentz news broke, those props have been removed.
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Titans were -110 to win the AFC South this morning… off the board now at BetMGM https://t.co/BC9hcV2ltw— Chelsa Messinger (@ChelsaMessinger) August 2, 2021
This year, Indianapolis is hoping its young running back will take the next step towards a stellar NFL career.