Monday Night Football
Philadelphia @ Indianapolis
Colts-Eagles has the highest over-under of Week 2 with a 53.5-point projection. You should've aggressively targeted this game in daily leagues and re-draft lineup decisions. ... Shaking off a sack- and turnover-filled first half in last week's comeback win, Nick Foles finished with 322 yards and two TDs as the Eagles upended the Jaguars 34-17. Playing lightning fast with Chip Kelly's foot on the gas, Philly ripped off 82 snaps, the second most of any NFL offense. Sheer play volume will help mask inefficiencies, while Foles' talented and deep supporting cast will create yardage and points. In a much more favorable matchup with Indy's talent-deficient defense, Foles is an elite fantasy QB1. If forced to choose between him and Andrew Luck on Monday night, I'd lean in Foles' direction. ... Foles' Week 1 target distribution: Jeremy Maclin 10; Riley Cooper 7; LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles 6; Zach Ertz 5; Brent Celek and Jordan Matthews 4. ... Although Ertz wasn't heavily targeted, his usage was promising. He played 59.8% of Philly's snaps -- way up from last year's 41% -- and ripped off gains of 26, 26, and 25 yards on three receptions. Ertz ran 34 pass routes, only eight fewer than Jimmy Graham and seven more than Vernon Davis. Now facing a Colts team that got lit up by Denver's tight ends for a combined 8-112-3 stat line last Sunday night, Ertz is a high-ceiling TE1. ... Coming off a 4-29 opener, Cooper is a player to avoid in Week 2. As he runs most of his routes down the left sideline, Cooper will be draped in Colts RCB Vontae Davis' coverage for much of this game. Arguably the only good player on Indy's defense, Davis helped hold Demaryius Thomas to a 4-48 opener. Demaryius Thomas is a little bit better than Riley Cooper, I think.
We saw exactly what we wanted to see from Maclin on Opening Day. In addition to his team-high ten targets, Maclin played 92% of Philly's offensive snaps and could've had a much bigger day than his already-potent 4-97-1 if not for a few misfires by Foles. If Ertz has the best Week 2 matchup among Eagles pass catchers, Maclin isn't far behind. He'll run the majority of his routes against burnable LCB Greg Toler and should also see some time in the slot. ... The targets weren't there for rookie slot receiver Matthews in Week 1, but the playing time was. He played 57 downs. Matthews is a hold as a WR4. His opportunities should gradually rise. ... Primarily a blocker and possession tight end, Celek out-snapped Ertz 59 to 52, but isn't a big part of the Eagles' passing attack. A block-first tight end, Celek is a low-ceiling TE2. ... The Colts generally defended the run well in last week's loss to Denver, holding Montee Ball and C.J. Anderson to a combined 94 yards on 27 carries (3.48 YPC). That is notable, but you're obviously still trotting out McCoy as arguably the premier RB1 play of Week 2. I'm FanDueling McCoy in several spots. ... Currently a 38% player in Philly's offense, Sproles played a bigger role than I expected. While owners can't count on 31-year-old Sproles to break off 49-yard touchdown runs like he did against the Jaguars, his playing time and workload make Sproles a viable flex, particularly in PPR leagues. When Sproles is in the game, Kelly is feeding him the ball.
It's conceivable that this game plays out similarly to last week's for Indianapolis. The Colts fell behind the Broncos by a large early margin due to lackluster defensive play. Andrew Luck rallied Indianapolis to at least make it a game, finishing with 389 all-purpose yards, two passing scores, and a rushing touchdown. And Philly's defense is not nearly as talented as Denver's. Particularly with OLB Robert Mathis (Achilles') now lost for the season, the Colts are going to be a sieve defensively. Luck will have to put this team on his back on a weekly basis. He should be a fantasy point machine. ... Luck's Week 1 target distribution: Reggie Wayne 13; T.Y. Hilton 11; Coby Fleener 8; Ahmad Bradshaw 6; Dwayne Allen and Hakeem Nicks 5; Trent Richardson 4; Donte Moncrief 1. ... Wayne will likely spend most of this game in Eagles top CB Brandon Boykin's coverage, although slot corner Boykin is 5-foot-9 and change and 180 pounds. I don't really see him as a matchup to fear. Based on the game's high-scoring projection and Wayne's high-volume role, he's a locked-in fantasy WR2/3. ... At least one of the Colts' outside wideouts will probably go off on Monday night. Jaguars UDFA Allen Hurns torched Eagles RCB Cary Williams last week, and Nicks generally runs his patterns on Williams' side. At the same time, Hilton's role is much larger in Indy's offense, and we know Hilton is always a candidate to tear the cover off, while mixing in clunkers. Treat Hilton as a high-upside WR3. Nicks is worth a WR4/flex look in fantasy leagues with deeper starting lineups.
Fleener is a good athlete. He isn't very good at football, a reality that is confirmed basically every time he plays. He managed 21 yards on eight targets in Week 1, repeatedly getting out-muscled. Theoretically this is a plus matchup for Fleener, whom Colts OC Pep Hamilton insists on giving quality playing time. I'd rather invest fantasy starts in better football players. ... In-line TE Allen finished Opening Day with a good-looking stat line (5-64-1), although it was buoyed by a tackle-shedding 41-yard touchdown jaunt. As good at football as Allen is -- he's essentially the inverse of Fleener -- he isn't likely to score many long TDs like that with 4.85 speed. I liked Allen as a fantasy start last week, and like him again this week, but he won't sustain TE1 production in his current low-volume role. I'd consider selling Allen high if he has another big week. There are a lot of owners out there desperate at tight end right now. Allen is probably most current owners' TE2. ... Although game flow and Hamilton's implementation of hurry-up packages had something to do with it, Bradshaw out-snapped T-Rich 45 to 30 in Week 1 and out-gained him 85 to 51 despite one more offensive touch for Richardson. It's abundantly clear Bradshaw is a better fit for the Colts' offense. He's already on the flex radar, especially in PPR. Richardson isn't going away yet because the Colts won't throw in the towel after one game, but he's no more than a low-end RB3 at the moment. As Richardson is used mostly as a rusher, while Bradshaw appears to be the Colts' primary pass-game back, T-Rich also gets a difficult matchup. A top-ten run defense in 2013, the Eagles' defensive front lived in the Jaguars' backfield last week, holding Jacksonville to 64 scoreless yards on 25 run plays (2.56 YPC).
Score Prediction: Eagles 30, Colts 27