Matchup Analysis: Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Panthers 20, Colts 26

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Carolina Panthers Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Panthers Offense23.1 (+0.4) (16)121 (+8) (13)226 (-9) (18)
Colts Defense23.5 (+0.7) (18)101 (-11) (9)250 (+14) (21)

Indianapolis Colts Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Colts Offense21.6 (-1.1) (19)127 (+14) (9)204 (-31) (27)
Panthers Defense27.9 (+5.1) (29)140 (+27) (30)238 (+1) (16)

Panthers Rushing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Colts defense.

Christian McCaffrey made up for his two games without touchdowns in Weeks 13 and 14 as he scored twice on the ground last week while rushing for 87 yards--his highest rushing yard total since Week 10. McCaffrey hasn’t been seeing a high volume of rushes in recent weeks with just two games of more than 14 rushing attempts, but he more than makes up for that given his volume through the air. With the quarterback change to Will Grier coming this week, expect for McCaffrey to be leaned on even more than ever as they try to ease in the rookie Grier. The Panthers finally decided to shut down left tackle Greg Little, placing him on injured reserve before last week’s game. This is not big news for an offensive line that has been without him for all but four games, but it would have helped to see him back in there Dennis Daley is not a tackle by trade. Overall, this offensive line is a middling unit that has contributed to McCaffrey’s lack of efficiency on the ground. With that, even a mediocre offensive line will not hold back the league’s top running back in any given week.

The Colts have been tough to run on consistently this season, ranking above-average in most run defense statistics. They had a terrible game script in terms of run defense last week as they were getting blown out by the Saints, but this group still kept the Saints ground game relatively in check with Alvin Kamara amassing just 66 yards while Latavius Murray was held to 3.2 yards per rush attempt. Only one running back has crossed the 90-yard mark against Indianapolis, and they have given up just three rushing touchdowns in their past seven games (one to a running back, two to quarterbacks). Strong play from their linebackers, notably Darius Leonard and rookie Bobby Okereke, has been the main reason for this unit’s success. The Colts defensive line has also played well and should match up with an advantage in the trenches over this Panthers group. However, no defense has had much of an advantage over Christian McCaffrey this season--as he is one of the most matchup-proof running backs in the game.

Panthers Passing offense

Great matchup vs. the Colts defense.

Change is in store for the Panthers passing offense this week as they will turn to rookie quarterback Will Grier in place of Kyle Allen. Allen did some good things earlier in the season, but 18 turnovers in his last eight starts--including six interceptions and two fumbles in his last three games--was simply too much to keep him on the field. Will Grier led an air raid offense in college and showed he has little fear when it comes to slinging the ball around the field. He did struggle in limited opportunities this preseason, completing just 34-of-61 passes for 385 yards, but he will represent a welcomed change from Kyle Allen for this offense. Christian McCaffrey should continue to be a big focus for this passing offense as he is the best offensive player on the team. McCaffrey has seen double-digit targets in four of his last five games and averaged 84 receiving yards per game over that span. Both D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel may stand to benefit if Grier can successfully use their speed to stretch the field. Moore leads the team in targets and has also put up impressive numbers throughout the back half of the season, finishing with over 100 receiving yards four times since Week 9. Tight end Greg Olsen expects to return this week, which will be an added safety blanket for Grier.

The Colts secondary was shredded at a historically high rate by Drew Brees last week, allowing a record-high 96.7 percent completion rate and four touchdowns, marking the second straight week this group has allowed four touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. The Colts have had a shaky pass defense all season, but they have truly been exposed down the stretch, giving up multiple passing touchdowns in five straight games along with an average of 311 passing yards per game--good for allowing the most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks over that span. This secondary has also given up multiple passing touchdowns to wide receivers in five straight games, including three 100+ yard performances. A weak cornerback unit is mostly to blame here, as both outside cornerbacks Pierre Desir and Rock Ya-Sin are allowing nearly three-quarters of passes thrown their way to be caught. Both D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel should have excellent matchups here. This defense has not been as friendly to pass-catching running backs though, particularly due to the solid play from their linebackers. Since Week 1, not a single running back has scored a receiving touchdown while only two backs have exceeded 50 receiving yards. Christian McCaffrey could certainly break that touchdown streak, but it will not be an easy task against stout coverage from Darius Leonard.

Colts Rushing offense

Great matchup vs. the Panthers defense.

The Colts rushing offense has had little chance of success over the past two weeks as they have faced two of the best run defense in football as Marlon Mack has combined for just 57 yards and one touchdown from 24 attempts over that span. That storyline will almost certainly change this week for Mack as the script is flipped with a plush matchup against the Panthers. Mack has performed admirably for most of this season, averaging 4.5 yards per carry and 86 rushing yards per game prior to missing two weeks with the hand injury. The past two weeks have made it tough to get a read on Mack’s health given the tough matchups, but he has at least looked healthy and still led this backfield in carries each week despite seeing fewer than 50 percent of the snaps in both games. With the absolute mismatch in the trenches as the elite Colts offensive line squares off against a very beatable Panthers front seven, Mack should be set up for one of the best bounce-back spots of any running back in football this week.

Carolina’s woes against the run continued last week as they were trampled by the Seahawks ground game, allowing a season-high 133 rushing yards and two touchdowns to Chris Carson. The Panthers now rank as the third-worst rushing defense in yards per game (140.2 allowed) and the worst on a per-carry basis, giving up 5.2 yards per rush attempt. They have been handing out rushing touchdowns like candy on Halloween, giving up at least one to an opposing running back in 10 straight games while allowing at least three rushing touchdowns in three games. The past four weeks have been particularly tough on Carolina as they have allowed an average of two rushing touchdowns per game and more fantasy points than any other defense to opposing running backs. While they have some talented pieces on that defensive line, nose tackle Kyle Love simply isn’t getting the job done. Inconsistent play against the run from their secondary and linebackers also confounds the problem. This defensive line should be handily outmatched by an elite Colts offensive line as Colts running backs should have no problem finding room to run this week.

Colts Passing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Panthers defense.

The Colts passing offense was embarrassed by the Saints last week as they were stifled on nearly every drive until finally moving the ball in garbage time in the fourth quarter. Last week was not the first time Jacoby Brissett has struggled moving the ball, as he has finished with fewer than 170 passing yards in three of his last five games and has scored zero touchdowns in four of his last seven outings. This Colts passing offense also ranks amongst the bottom of the league in first downs with just 152 this season--sixth-fewest. Top receiver T.Y. Hilton made his way back to the field last week after missing five games since Week 8. He played only 52 percent of the snaps and led the team with nine targets, but he did appear to be limited as he routinely ceded snaps where he normally would have been out there if at 100%. Hilton was a scoring machine when on the field earlier this season, and he will be a favored target to find the end zone down the stretch as long as he can stay healthy. With Hilton back on the field, Zach Pascal’s upside becomes diminished while Marcus Johnson should fade back out of focus for this passing offense.

The Panthers passing defense has disappointed in recent weeks, giving up multiple passing touchdowns and over 280 yards in three of their last four games. This group has actually allowed 300+ passing yards six times this season, and they are allowing opposing wide receivers to score the fourth-most fantasy points per game (PPR scoring). They have talent on the perimeter with James Bradberry and Donte Jackson, but neither have played up to expectations this season while support veteran from strong safety Eric Reid has been hard to come by. This has indeed been a playmaking defense though, as they have forced 14 interceptions (T-6th most) and rank tied for the most sacks in football with 49. Their pass rush has cooled off with just three sacks in the past two games though, and this Colts offensive line is one of the best in the league in pass protection. Given the lack of success Carolina has had against the run, this game script looks to be setting up for a run-heavy approach by Indianapolis. If that comes to pass, look for another tough day from Colts pass-catchers and Jacoby Brissett.

Colts vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24 (+1.8)24 (+1.9)23 (+1.8)24 (+2.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)32 (+10.6)32 (+11.1)32 (+9.9)32 (+11.0)
12Deshaun Watson59193029821310022.922.919.919.9
13Ryan Tannehill6017221822045017.617.613.814.8
14Jameis Winston7233454564365142.342.337.740.7
15Drew Brees6029303074000031.431.428.331.3

Will Grier (FanDuel: $6000, DraftKings: $4300)

13vs WAS000000000000.00.0
14@ ATL000000000000.00.0
15vs SEA000000000000.00.0
16PROJ-Dodds23372531.21.2280.117.717.717.7 (H=48)17.7 (H=67)
16PROJ-Tremblay25402761.21.3390.118.818.818.8 (H=53)18.8 (H=74)
16PROJ-Bloom19361681.11.536011.911.911.9 (H=24)11.9 (H=33)

Colts vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)5 (-3.6)9 (-2.7)6 (-3.5)7 (-3.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)17 (-2.2)17 (-1.7)16 (-2.7)17 (-2.0)
12Carlos Hyde291667000006.
12Duke Johnson30522011803.
13Derrick Henry452614913317022.625.622.127.6
13Dion Lewis1100011900.
14Ronald Jones2711360542305.
14Peyton Barber3011340221905.
15Alvin Kamara4214660552308.913.911.413.9
15Latavius Murray229290322004.

Christian McCaffrey (FanDuel: $10800, DraftKings: $10100)

13vs WAS7414440137.058010.217.213.717.2
14@ ATL70115301211.082013.524.519.024.5
15vs SEA7219872108.088029.537.533.537.5
16PROJ-Dodds18840.76.8560.219.426.222.8 (H=41)26.2 (H=56)
16PROJ-Tremblay20900.77.0570. (H=44)27.1 (H=60)
16PROJ-Bloom15700.67.0460.216.423.419.9 (H=32)23.4 (H=46)

Colts vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24 (+2.9)22 (+3.3)23 (+3.2)23 (+4.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)31 (+11.8)31 (+13.5)31 (+12.5)31 (+13.8)
12DeAndre Hopkins598694200021.427.424.427.4
12Will Fuller53117140000014.021.017.524.0
13Kalif Raymond171140100010.011.010.511.0
13Adam Humphries23211310007.
14Breshad Perriman655370100013.016.014.516.0
14Mike Evans182161100012.113.112.613.1
15Michael Thomas481212128100018.830.824.833.8
15TreQuan Smith45112110008.

D.J. Moore (FanDuel: $6600, DraftKings: $6900)

13vs WAS71126.07511-3013.
14@ ATL7064.08101008.
15vs SEA70128.01130110012.320.316.323.3
16PROJ-Dodds5.7770.31309.815.512.7 (H=24)15.6 (H=33)
16PROJ-Tremblay6.1830.302010.316.413.4 (H=27)16.5 (H=37)
16PROJ-Bloom5.0510.30006.911.99.5 (H=14)12.0 (H=21)

Curtis Samuel (FanDuel: $6000, DraftKings: $4500)

13vs WAS6974.065100012.516.514.516.5
14@ ATL6542.025031704.
15vs SEA6685.0311423011.416.413.916.4
16PROJ-Dodds3.5430.21706.29.78.0 (H=12)9.7 (H=22)
16PROJ-Tremblay3.4430.21706.29.67.9 (H=11)9.6 (H=22)
16PROJ-Bloom3.0310.33160. (H=13)10.1 (H=24)

Jarius Wright (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3000)

13vs WAS5253.03400003.
14@ ATL5954.0300000375.07.0
15vs SEA4341.0900000.
16PROJ-Dodds1.8210.10002.74.53.6 (H=3)4.5 (H=9)
16PROJ-Tremblay1.7210.10102.84.53.7 (H=4)4.5 (H=9)
16PROJ-Bloom1.060.10001.22.21.7 (H=1)2.2 (H=2)

Chris Hogan (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

15vs SEA631.01300001.
16PROJ-Dodds1.2170.10002.33.52.9 (H=2)3.5 (H=5)
16PROJ-Tremblay1.6230.10002.94.53.7 (H=4)4.5 (H=9)
16PROJ-Bloom0.000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Colts vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)20 (+0.3)21 (+0.9)21 (+0.5)19 (+0.7)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)19 (+1.4)20 (+2.1)22 (+1.8)21 (+1.9)
12Jordan Akins28432602.
13Anthony Firkser19432202.
14Cameron Brate24443019.
15Josh Hill4711516.

Ian Thomas (FanDuel: $5100, DraftKings: $3100)

13vs WAS3244.02402.
14@ ATL61105.057111.716.714.216.7
15vs SEA6942.02302.
16PROJ-Dodds2.9280.246.95.5 (H=7)6.9 (H=18)
16PROJ-Tremblay2.8270. (H=7)6.7 (H=17)
16PROJ-Bloom0.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Greg Olsen (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3900)

13vs WAS3933.02202.
14@ ATL000.000000.00.0
15vs SEA000.000000.00.0
16PROJ-Dodds2.5270. (H=7)6.4 (H=12)
16PROJ-Tremblay1.5170. (H=2)3.8 (H=5)
16PROJ-Bloom3.0340. (H=9)7.6 (H=17)

Colts vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)22T (+0.5)22T (+0.5)17T (+0.3) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)22 (+1.4)22 (+1.4)17T (+0.8) (+0.0)
12Kaimi Fairbairn2222888.08.0
13Ryan Succop1144777.07.0
14Matt Gay1155889.09.0
15Wil Lutz2244101010.010.0

Joey Slye (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

13vs WAS0033333.03.0
14@ ATL22228810.010.0
15vs SEA1133668.08.0

Colts vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)5T (-1.0)5T (-1.0)20T (-0.3)20T (-0.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)5 (-2.9)5 (-2.9)20 (+0.4)20 (+0.4)
12Houston Texans1729610000112.02.0
13Tennessee Titans17391321009920.020.0
14Tampa Bay Buccaneers3530910100332.02.0
15New Orleans Saints720510000115.05.0

Carolina Panthers (FanDuel: $3500, DraftKings: $2400)

13vs WAS29.0036250000556.06.0
14@ ATL40.004611000011-3.0-3.0
15vs SEA30.0042821000443.03.0
16PROJ-Dodds26.203662.30.90.600. (H=16)6.9 (H=23)
16PROJ-Tremblay26.503702.20.90.600. (H=15)6.8 (H=23)

Panthers vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)11 (-1.3)11 (-1.3)11 (-1.5)13 (-0.9)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)16 (-0.4)16 (-0.2)16 (-0.2)17 (+0.5)
12Drew Brees6530393113100026.626.623.426.4
13Dwayne Haskins641325147004608.
14Matt Ryan7020343132018024.524.521.324.3
15Russell Wilson672026286203-1022.222.219.319.3

Jacoby Brissett (FanDuel: $7500, DraftKings: $5900)

13vs TEN722540319121-1017.917.914.717.7
14@ TB63193625120426023.223.222.622.6
15@ NO56183416500170997.37.3
16PROJ-Dodds21342321.70.84140. (H=48)20.2 (H=61)
16PROJ-Tremblay21342341.70.94150.220.320.320.3 (H=49)20.3 (H=62)
16PROJ-Bloom19292001.412100. (H=33)16.2 (H=42)

Panthers vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)32 (+7.3)32 (+5.8)32 (+7.1)32 (+6.5)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)32 (+12.5)31 (+11.8)32 (+12.4)31 (+12.7)
12Latavius Murray267641000012.412.412.412.4
12Alvin Kamara44115409948010.219.214.719.2
13Derrius Guice19101292328025.727.726.730.7
13Adrian Peterson2313991100015.915.915.915.9
14Devonta Freeman48178414410015.419.417.419.4
14Brian Hill149621000012.
15Chris Carson51241332214025.726.726.229.7
15C.J. Prosise105150111002.

Marlon Mack (FanDuel: $7300, DraftKings: $6200)

13vs TEN000000.000000.00.0
14@ TB261338100.0009.
15@ NO251119000.0001.
16PROJ-Dodds16760.51.06011.212.211.7 (H=19)12.2 (H=24)
16PROJ-Tremblay17820.50.00011.211.211.2 (H=17)11.2 (H=21)
16PROJ-Bloom18750.50.00010.510.510.5 (H=16)10.5 (H=18)

Nyheim Hines (FanDuel: $5700, DraftKings: $4400)

13vs TEN31422122.0180101211.012.0
14@ TB3541054.02402.
15@ NO9210022.0201.
16PROJ-Dodds4180.23.3250. (H=12)9.5 (H=22)
16PROJ-Tremblay4200.23.3250. (H=12)9.7 (H=23)
16PROJ-Bloom3110.12.0110. (H=4)5.5 (H=8)

Jordan Wilkins (FanDuel: $5500, DraftKings: $4100)

13vs TEN321147032.0905.
14@ TB911000.0000.
15@ NO24310131.0707.
16PROJ-Dodds3160.11.1702.943.5 (H=3)4.0 (H=5)
16PROJ-Tremblay3140.11.410034.43.7 (H=3)4.4 (H=6)
16PROJ-Bloom5240.11.0403.44.43.9 (H=3)4.4 (H=6)

Panthers vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)22 (+2.5)29 (+5.5)26 (+4.0)28 (+5.9)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)27 (+5.6)26 (+6.5)26 (+6.0)24 (+6.9)
12Michael Thomas581110101100016.
12TreQuan Smith47311310007.
13Kelvin Harmon54535100005.
13Steven Sims37432900002.
14Olamide Zaccheaus222193100015.316.315.816.3
14Calvin Ridley385576100013.618.616.118.6
15Tyler Lockett5398120100018.
15DK Metcalf55423610009.611.610.611.6

T.Y. Hilton (FanDuel: $7300, DraftKings: $6400)

13vs TEN000.000000000.00.0
14@ TB000.000000000.00.0
15@ NO2994.02500002.
16PROJ-Dodds4.8600.5000913.811.4 (H=18)13.8 (H=29)
16PROJ-Tremblay4.9580.50008.813.711.2 (H=17)13.7 (H=29)
16PROJ-Bloom6.0610.50009.115.112.1 (H=20)15.1 (H=34)

Zach Pascal (FanDuel: $6600, DraftKings: $6100)

13vs TEN72107.0109000010.917.914.420.9
14@ TB6395.074100013.418.417.920.4
15@ NO4564.04400004.
16PROJ-Dodds2.8390.20005.17.96.5 (H=7)7.9 (H=11)
16PROJ-Tremblay2.2330.20004.56.75.6 (H=5)6.7 (H=8)
16PROJ-Bloom4.0450.30006.310.38.3 (H=11)10.3 (H=18)

Marcus Johnson (FanDuel: $5900, DraftKings: $4300)

13vs TEN6764.05500005.
14@ TB5673.0105100016.519.518.022.5
15@ NO4542.03700003.
16PROJ-Dodds1.8260.10003.254.1 (H=3)5.0 (H=7)
16PROJ-Tremblay1.6230.10002.94.53.7 (H=3)4.5 (H=6)
16PROJ-Bloom2.0330.20004.56.55.5 (H=6)6.5 (H=11)

Dontrelle Inman (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3500)

15@ NO3132.02500002.
16PROJ-Dodds0.9100.10001.62.52.1 (H=1)2.5 (H=2)
16PROJ-Tremblay1.0120.10001.82.82.3 (H=1)2.8 (H=3)
16PROJ-Bloom1.01200001.22.21.7 (H=1)2.2 (H=2)

Panthers vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)5 (-1.8)2 (-3.2)11T (-2.5)2 (-3.4)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)14 (-0.9)10 (-2.2)11 (-1.5)10 (-2.4)
12Jared Cook388699115.921.918.921.9
13Jeremy Sprinkle49423603.
14Austin Hooper47623203.
15Jacob Hollister46332302.

Jack Doyle (FanDuel: $6200, DraftKings: $4500)

13vs TEN68116.073113.319.316.319.3
14@ TB4962.02702.
15@ NO4652.02102.
16PROJ-Dodds4.9500.47.412.39.9 (H=17)12.3 (H=34)
16PROJ-Tremblay5.1550.58.513.611.0 (H=20)13.6 (H=40)
16PROJ-Bloom3.0340. (H=8)8.2 (H=17)

Ross Travis (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $2500)

13vs TEN1232.03103.
14@ TB511.0100.
15@ NO000.000000.00.0
16PROJ-Dodds0.990. (H=3)
16PROJ-Tremblay0.980. (H=3)
16PROJ-Bloom0.000000.00.0 (H=0)

Panthers vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)29 (+1.6)29 (+1.6)28 (+1.7) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)32 (+3.9)32 (+3.9)32 (+4.1) (+0.0)
12Wil Lutz2244101011.011.0
13Dustin Hopkins3422111112.012.0
14Younghoe Koo4444161618.018.0
15Jason Myers1134666.06.0

Chase McLaughlin (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)


Panthers vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)27T (+1.4)27T (+1.4)26 (+1.5)26 (+1.5)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)27 (+2.9)27 (+2.9)26 (+2.4)26 (+2.4)
12New Orleans Saints3135140100665.05.0
13Washington Redskins2127871100111111.011.0
14Atlanta Falcons2034552200131314.014.0
15Seattle Seahawks2441413000777.07.0

Indianapolis Colts (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $3300)

13vs TEN31.002926020010109.09.0
14@ TB38.0054213101151511.011.0
15@ NO34.004240000000-1.0-1.0
16PROJ-Dodds20.903762.51.20.700. (H=21)9.7 (H=31)
16PROJ-Tremblay20.003872.61.30.800.410.410.410.4 (H=24)10.4 (H=35)