Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 15 Fantasy Football Recap: Indianapolis Colts vs. Minnesota Vikings

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) walks off the field during the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

  • Indianapolis Colts dominate first half despite Jonathan Taylor‘s injury: The Colts went into halftime with a 33-0 lead despite Taylor exiting the game on their first drive and not returning.
  • Minnesota Vikings comeback helps fantasy managers: The Vikings mounted a comeback in the second half, which was enough to tie the game, clinch the division and help anyone who started Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook or Justin Jefferson.
  • Indianapolis moves to a four-man rotation at tight end: Nikola Kalinic was the Colts' starting tight end despite typically being fourth on their depth chart.
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Indianapolis Colts @ Minnesota Vikings

  • K.J. Osborn: 10 receptions, 157 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Dalvin Cook: 17 carries, 95 yards, 4 receptions, 95 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Monitor Jonathan Taylor‘s health: Taylor suffered an ankle injury on the third offensive play of the game. He didn’t return and was ruled out in the second quarter.

  • The Colts turned to a two-man rotation at running back with Zack Moss and Deon Jackson.
  • The two backs were used interchangeably, as one player entered the field while the other left every two-to-three plays.
  • Moss dominated snaps in the second half despite Jackson averaging more yards per carry and scoring a touchdown in the passing game.
  • If Taylor misses time, we could see the Colts activate Jordan Wilkins off their practice squad. He was the backup behind Jackson in the last game Taylor missed.
  • This could make it a three-man rotation with no back seeing 50% of the Colts' offensive snaps.
  • Indianapolis has the best schedule for running backs over Weeks 16-17.
  • Moss is probably the best waiver wire target of the group but it’s certainly possible Jackson leads the team in fantasy points if he gets a hot hand.

The Colts' tight end rotation becomes even more frustrating: The Colts typically rotate between three tight ends, but this week, they used all four tight ends for the first time.

  • This meant no tight end was in for a majority of pass plays, and none of them saw more than two target.
  • Kylen Granson, Jelani Woods and Mo Alie-Cox all ranked between 30th-40th among fantasy tight ends heading into the season despite three top-five performances among the group.
  • Nikola Kalinic had been active the last three weeks due to injuries to other tight ends and remained active despite the other tight ends all playing.
  • It seemed hopeful that Woods could start to take over the receiving job after his eight-catch, 98-yard performance two weeks ago, but we are further away than ever from a single Colts tight end getting the receiving job.

Monitor Justin Jefferson‘s health: Jefferson went into the medical tent twice throughout the game.

  • He was able to quickly return after each trip.
  • In both cases, Jalen Reagor replaced Jefferson before Kirk Cousins quickly threw an interception while targeting Reagor.
  • Jefferson was able to find success after both trips to the tent and ended with 12 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown.
  • Chances are Jefferson will be just fine for next week considering how quickly he returned to the game, but his injury situation should still be monitored.

K.J. Osborn’s big game: Osborn had his only 100-yard game of the season against the Colts.

  • His stat line could have been bigger, with a borderline 40-yard reception that the officials decided wasn’t a catch after review.
  • This is just the second time this season that Osborn has surpassed 50 receiving yards.
  • Osborn exited the game in overtime but was able to jog off the field under his own power. He re-entered the game a few plays later.
  • Adam Thielen was held without a catch for the first 50 minutes of the game. He’s been having one of his worst seasons in years and will be 33 years old by the start of next season.
  • The Vikings have one of the worst schedules for wide receivers over the next two games, so it’s probably best not to trust either receiver throughout the rest of the fantasy playoffs.
  • Minnesota has one of the worst salary cap situations in the league coming into the offseason, and the free agent class isn’t great. There is a legitimate chance Osborn is the Vikings' No. 2 wide receiver in 2023 unless they spend their first-round pick on a wide receiver.

Table Notes

Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.

Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.

Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.


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