The Cincinnati Bengals might still be licking their wounds after the beatdown they suffered at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5. Besides losing A.J. Green to a hamstring strain, Joe Burrow was sacked seven times and the offense barely scratched out more than 200 total yards in a 27-3 defeat. Joe Mixon ran for just 59 yards on 24 carries, but he did record six catches for the second consecutive week, which is an encouraging sign for his fantasy value moving forward.
The Indianapolis Colts are no pushover either. Even though they lost to the Browns, 32-23, Indy is allowing a league-low 4.7 yards per play. The problem for the Colts has been the offense. Philip Rivers has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns and leading receiver TY Hilton is averaging just 46.2 yards per game. Running back Jonathan Taylor, although he has reached the end zone in three of the past four weeks, has also left his fantasy owners wanting more as he has seen a total of 46 touches through his past three games.
Date: Sunday, Oct. 18
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Notable Statistical rankings (Football Outsiders)
Bengals: #27 Overall — #27 offense, #14 defense, #9 special teams
Colts: #7 Overall — #25 offense, #1 defense, #2 special teams
Bengals: +8, +300
Colts: -8, -360
DOUBTFUL: WR Auden Tate (shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Mackensie Alexander (hamstring)
OUT: TE Mo Alie-Cox (knee), T Chaz Green (back)
DOUBTFUL: LB Darius Leonard (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Denico Autry (ankle, knee), T Anthony Castonzo (rib), DE Justin Houston (hip), RB Jordan Wilkins (calf)
Fantasy football start/sit advice
Tee Higgins, WR, $4,600
The 6-foot-4 Higgins looks a little like A.J. Green on the field and could be the veteran’s de facto replacement if he has to miss any time due to his injury. The rookie hasn’t put up huge stat lines, but his usage — 24 targets in the last three weeks — is nice to see. He provided double-digit fantasy points in PPR leagues in each of those games.
Tyler Boyd, WR, $5,600
Expect Boyd to bounce back from a rather mundane showing in Baltimore (4-42-0 on six targets). It was just a miserable afternoon for the Bengals’ passing game. He is Burrow’s most trusted option right now, and the Colts have had problems locking down slot wideouts over the past few weeks. Most recently, Jarvis Landry tallied 88 yards on four receptions.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, $4,900
Hilton isn’t done as a player; he is just paired with a quarterback who doesn’t have the arm strength to best utilize Hilton’s strengths. The Bengals can be had by speedy receivers, so Hilton is still in the WR3 conversation. But his ceiling is just nowhere near where it used to be as recently as two seasons ago with Andrew Luck.
Jonathan Taylor, RB, $6,400
The rookie hasn’t been the workhorse all his fantasy owners thought they were getting after his 28-touch outing in Week 2. But he still has plenty of scoring upside, and it’s not like he is losing a ton of work to the Colts’ other running backs. Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins had just six touches in Week 5. There’s a possible buy-low opportunity here.