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What to do with Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines in Week 3 fantasy football

The Colts are transitioning to rookie Jonathan Taylor in the backfield, and Week 3 brings a favorable fantasy matchup.

Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball against the Minnesota Vikings at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 20, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts drafted Jonathan Taylor to serve as a complement to Marlon Mack and eventually take over the starting role. That all happened a lot sooner than expected.

Mack tore his Achilles tendon in Week 1 and was lost for the season. In that first game, Nyheim Hines played 39 snaps while Taylor played 26 snaps. Hines rushed seven times for 28 yards and a touchdown and added eight receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown. Taylor rushed nine times for 22 yards and caught six passes for 67 yards.

A week late, Taylor played 49 snaps to Hines’ nine snaps. Taylor rushed 26 times for 101 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for nine yards. Hines had no rushing attempts and one four-yard reception. Jordan Wilkins carried the ball nine times for 40 yards behind Taylor.

Fantasy Football analysis: Colts RBs Jonathan Taylor, Jordan Wilkins Nyheim Hines

Taylor appears to have quickly emerged as the starter in this backfield. It’s only been one week without Mack, so we can’t get entirely ahead of ourselves, but Taylor was a high second round pick so this is not a shocking development.

Wilkins has started four games the past two seasons, but generally has just served as a complementary back. He only played one offensive snap in Week 1 before the up-tick in work in Week 2.

That combined with Hines’ decrease in work suggests Wilkins will spell Taylor on occasion on the ground, while Hines will serve as a passing down option. However, after seeing Taylor’s productivity in the passing game could foreclose more opportunities for Hines.

The Colts face an awful Jets team that has given up the sixth most fantasy points per game to running backs these first two weeks. The Colts had a game script last week that favored Taylor on the ground, and it would not be surprising to see something similar this week.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start Jonathan Taylor in all formats
Sit Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines in all formats