The Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts meet on Thursday Night Football in a battle of disappointing AFC teams looking to find a rhythm this season. Fantasy football managers will have to make difficult choices for their starting lineup. So let’s dive into whether you should start Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy against the Colts.
Should You Start Jerry Jeudy vs. the Colts?
The Broncos were expecting to have an explosive offense that took the best of Russell Wilson’s game from Seattle and blended in an improved offensive line and elite defense. Instead, through four weeks, the Broncos have been disjointed, played a boring and ineffective style of offense, and have found themselves at an uncomfortable 2-2 record. Is Wilson washed, or will he be part of an early-season turnaround that needs to start sooner than later?
One of the reasons for optimism around the passing game was Jeudy. The former first-round pick has continued to be an effective intermediate threat, averaging almost 15 yards per catch to this point in his career. Jeudy has been fine, averaging a career-high 16.6 yards per catch, and is on pace to produce close to double-digit touchdowns.
But he’s averaging a career-low in yards per game with only 45.8. Wilson has greatly favored Courtland Sutton thus far, with Sutton seeing 14 more targets through four games. There’s not even another receiver who has more than five targets on the roster.
There are several discouraging trends within the numbers beyond Jeudy’s ability to get into the end zone and his high yards per catch average. We’re banking on those two things being the start of a more fruitful pairing sooner than later. This matchup against the Colts might be exactly what this offense needs.
Entering Week 4, Jeudy is ranked at WR25 and No. 73 overall in our expert PPR fantasy football rankings. Indianapolis ranks 31st in EPA per play and 16th in yards allowed through the air. The Colts once had an elite defense but have seen a sharp decline despite adding solid contributors in Yannick Ngakoue and Stephon Gilmore.
For as many flaws as the Colts’ defense has shown, they still rank as the fourth-best defense against receivers. They’ve allowed an average of 10 receptions per game for 114 yards and 26 fantasy points in PPR leagues. It’s noteworthy that Denver has the two best receivers the Colts have faced, considering Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, and Tennessee lack two star pass-catchers.
I don’t foresee this being a high-scoring game, but I trust Jeudy’s talent. Unless you have two clearly better receivers and a Flex option to relegate Jeudy to the bench, you should have confidence starting him. Wilson has played better recently, and it’s not shocking this unit needed some time to gel. Jeudy, in theory, will thrive against Indianapolis’ zone coverage even more so than Sutton’s vertical game.
One area we’d love to see Jeudy improve is in the red zone. The Broncos have targeted Jeudy four times and Sutton six times in the red zone. This offense simply has to move the ball more effectively and consistently. Once there, both of these playmakers are converting their opportunities.
Jeudy isn’t a slam dunk play considering the lack of volume within the offense, but the matchup is favorable. I trust the high-end talent on the unit to get on the same page.
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