The Case for a Jonathan Taylor Fade in Week 2 NFL
Unfortunately, this fade did not turn out as well as I had hoped. I was very surprised to see Jonathan Taylor end up with 26 rush attempts and Nyheim Hines only end up with one target the entire game. Clearly they made an effort to make Taylor their workhorse back. While it’s hard not to be results-driven in DFS, I believe the process was good and the theory behind the fade was at least rational. NFL is a high variance game and these things happen, time to move on to the next slate!
Hello there, the reason you clicked this article was:
a.) “Who does this fish think he is fading one of the highest touted rookie running backs of 2020?”
b.) You clicked on it by accident.
Either way, I’m happy you’re here! I wrote this article because my first initial lean was to just auto-lock Jonathan Taylor into my cash and GPP teams this week simply based on the fact that Marlon Mack went down last week.
As I kept thinking about it, I began to think wait a minute, everyone is probably thinking the same exact thing. The Colts have the best offensive line in football, they are home favorites which implies a good game script for Taylor, and Phillip Rivers is a check-down machine. Classic “don’t overthink it” spot, right?
Currently, Jonathan Taylor has a projected ownership of around 35% as of today. Let’s break this down to see why it could be bad chalk.
Jonathan Taylor is a rookie out of Wisconsin playing in his second game ever in the NFL in a season without a single pre-season game (important for rookies). In the first game, Jonathan Taylor was barely featured until the second half when Marlon Mack was confirmed done for the season. This could mean Taylor was still adjusting to the playbook or that the Colts were just higher on Mack in general.
Not only did they not feature Taylor until Mack’s injury, Nyheim Hines was the star of the game catching 8 balls out of the backfield and two touchdowns. So now that Mack is gone it should be smooth sailing and a bell-cow type of workload for Taylor, right? Well let’s hold on just a moment.
In the second half of the game against Jacksonville, Hines and Taylor split snaps 20-20 while Mack was in the locker room. Head Coach Frank Reich said, and I quote, “Hines will still be a big part of the offense and Jordan Wilkins will also have a role.” Jordan F*CKING Wilkins too?? This could so easily be a three-headed backfield, just as we saw last week when Mack was playing the first half.
The Colts face the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2. Everyone now thinks the Vikings are a trash defense because they got gashed by Aaron Rodgers last week. What people don’t see is that it was almost all Rodgers and the receivers doing the heavy lifting. The Vikings secondary looks very weak but the Defensive Line doesn’t look terrible holding Aaron Jones to 16 rush attempts for 66 yards and a fall-in td in a blowout. I think it makes a ton of sense to target Parris Campbell and T.Y. Hilton to gain extra leverage on Jonathan Taylor as people who roster him will be unlikely to roster a Colt’s receiver with Taylor.
Jonathan Taylor has a salary of $5,700 on DraftKings. The best part about that salary is how many pivots are around him that have significantly less ownership and are in better spots and roles! David Johnson could catch 10 balls on Sunday and it wouldn’t surprise me, he’s $5,800 with projected ownership of 5% which is 1/7th less than Taylor. Kenyan Drake is $5,900 at 15% owned and faces the Washington football team. Throw in even Miles Sanders potentially if he’s fully healthy at $6,000 or drop down to Ronald Jones II at $5,200 against the worst run defense (Panthers).
ALL OF THIS BEING SAID, I could be wrong and Taylor just smashes because he’s talented and this is the NFL so anything can happen, but needless to say, there are A LOT of red flags. Thank you for tuning in, this is my take on the Jonathan Taylor situation for Week 2 in the NFL. Fade with me and let the football gods have mercy on our souls.