WR Deion Branch - Indianapolis Colts
|5-9, 193||Born: 7-18-1979||College: Louisville||Drafted: Round 2|
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Week 15: vs Denver Broncos
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FBG says: Bad matchup. Jacoby Brissett has impressed, if only modestly, as the Colts' starter. But he still hasn't been particularly effective, averaging just 5.21 adjusted net yards per attempt (26th among starters) and just 0.92 touchdowns per game. Brissett has reached 225 yards in just 3 of his 12 starts, and while his mobility is a nice asset, it's not enough to provide him with fantasy utility. As a result, of course, we've seen extremely limited contributions from the Colts receivers; these are the Dark Ages compared to their time with Andrew Luck. T.Y. Hilton has topped 30 yards in just 3 of his last 10 games, while Donte Moncrief sits even further from relevance than usual, with just 10 receptions over his last 6 appearances. The most consistent producer has been tight end Jack Doyle, who's capitalized on Brissett's lack of downfield confidence to produce solid PPR volume. But it hasn't been enough to elevate his quarterback, and this remains an exceptionally dicey fantasy offense. It's likely not worth exploring against the Broncos' elite pass defense.
With cornerback Aqib Talib back in the fold, the Broncos pass defense again looked indisputably elite in Week 14. Granted, most of their day was spent defending Jets backup quarterback Bryce Petty, but it was an impressive showing nonetheless. Scorching Jets wideouts Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse, in lockdown coverage by Talib, Bradley Roby, and world-class slot defender Chris Harris, combined for just 31 yards across 12 targets. This is still an exceptionally difficult unit to compile numbers against: through 13 games, only Tom Brady (266) and Derek Carr (253) have topped 250 yards. That said, they're allowing 2.0 passing touchdowns a game, third-most in football. The play of the safeties has been generally poor, and the red zone defense has been less-than-impressive, so scoring on this unit has indeed been doable. We just have to rein in our volume/yardage expectations against these dominant cornerbacks.
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