In consideration for the 2021-2022 NFL MVP and the fantasy football MVP, Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor has been nothing short of sensational all season. With the 400-point milestone attainable in Week 18, can Taylor add his name to the list of all-time great fantasy performances with one more dominant game in Week 18 against the Jacksonville Jaguars?
Jonathan Taylor is rushing towards history in Week 18
Some people love to get on their soapbox and proclaim that running backs don’t matter. That type of slander directed at the position is something you will never hear out of me. Taylor is a prime example of running backs do, in fact, matter.
The second-year back out of Wisconsin has been nothing short of brilliant since he took over the backfield in the middle of last season and went to another level in 2021. The Colts and fantasy managers would not be where they are without Taylor, who leads the NFL with 317 rushing attempts and is second with 354 touches (Najee Harris — 366).
Averaging 24.5 carries per game since Week 9, Taylor has been on the warpath and heads into Week 18 with 1,734 rushing yards, 342 receiving yards, and 20 total touchdowns. Having averaged 22.5 PPR points on the season and 26 in his last eight, Taylor has 360.6 PPR points coming into Sunday.
He is 39.4 points away from crossing the 400-point milestone, which will place him in rarefied air amongst some of the best single-season performances of all time. With six games this year of 24+, including a 53.4-point performance in Week 11 against Buffalo, there is a legitimate shot Taylor could pull this off given his high ceiling.
The 400-point club is as exclusive as it gets in fantasy
Every sport has its milestones. Like in baseball hitting the 40/40 club, 500 home runs, 300 wins, or 3,000 strikeouts, fantasy football has them too. The most notable being players scoring over 400 fantasy points in a season.
Only 13 players have ever hit 400 PPR points. The first was Priest Homes in 2003 for the Chiefs with 445. Of the 13 players, six were quarterbacks. Josh Allen joined the club in 2020 with 406.1 points and is 6.3 away from being the only player to reach the 400-club twice (doing so in back-to-back years). Cooper Kupp also joined the list in his record-breaking campaign.
Running backs have dominated the top of the list, recording the top four fantasy seasons. LaDainian Tomlinson set the all-time scoring record back in 2006 with the San Diego Chargers with 481.1 points, a record I doubt will ever be beaten.
If Taylor can gain the needed 39.4 fantasy points, he would be the first running back since Christian McCaffrey’s historic 2019 season (471.2 points) when he had over 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards.
Can Jonathan Taylor cross 400 fantasy points in Week 18 against Jacksonville?
I will never doubt Taylor. He is what people wanted Saquon Barkley to be. Yeah, I said that. He has 10 games of 100+ rushing yards, including 9 of his last 10. Week 16 was also the first time since Week 3 Taylor had not found the end zone.
The problem in Week 18 is the timing. The Colts need a win to get into the playoffs, so I do expect them to come out hard and give Taylor his full workload. Add in the Jaguars being an awful defense (21st against RBs), and Taylor should have a field day as he did in Week 10 when they last met (24.6 PPR).
My concern is can Taylor score 40 PPR points in three quarters? The Jaguars will not be able to keep this game competitive, and once firmly in the lead, I can see Frank Reich pulling his starters. If this was a better offensive team that could stay within 10 points, I would feel much better about Taylor’s odds.
In the end, I think Taylor might fall just short of the 400-point milestone. But at least he has secured the 1.01 in 2022 fantasy football drafts and is the top-ranked dynasty player.