Is Jonathan Taylor worth starting Week 1 vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars?
The 2020 NFL Draft yielded us a bountiful crop of running backs. Many of these star collegiate tailbacks will begin to make a name for themselves professionally in the NFL this season. One player who is expected to do big things as a rookie is Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts. He believe he is going to be great, but can we trust starting him Week 1 in fantasy football?
Jason Moore of The Fantasy Footballers loves the matchup for Taylor vs. the AFC South rival Jacksonville Jaguars. According to Odds Shark, the Jaguars are getting seven points at home from the visiting Colts. Though Marlon Mack is the Colts’ starting running back, here is why Moore is so high on Taylor having a big first game in an NFL uniform on Sunday afternoon down in Duval.
If this game were being played in Indianapolis, the Colts would be a two-score favorite. What Moore expects to happen is Taylor will get a few carries here and there as a bit of a change-of-pace back from Mack. With a disinterested Jaguars defense, look for Taylor to get a few big runs early, similar to how he would explode to the second level when he was starring at Wisconsin.
Marlon Mack will get his vs. the Jaguars, but so will Jonathan Taylor.
Moore expects the Colts to win this one easily, and that might be the biggest reason to start Taylor this week, probably in the flex and maybe as high as RB2 if you didn’t exactly crush it at running back in your fantasy draft. Do you really think Colts head coach Frank Reich is going to let Philip Rivers let it rip with a lead late in the game? No, Reich and the Colts will run the dang ball.
In an effort to chew up some clock, Mack may have a fantastic fantasy day, but so will the rookie Taylor. Of course, you’re going to have to bank on an explosive play or two out of him to merit starting him in the flex, but that’s the kind of thing Taylor did the last three years at Wisconsin. He did win back-to-back Doak Walker Awards before turning pro after his true junior season in 2019.
Ultimately, the matchup favors Taylor and the Colts big time in this game. While it remains to be seen where the Colts end up in what should be a tightly-contested AFC South, they will surely be better than the toothless Jaguars this season. Winning on the road is always difficult, but look for Taylor to be a big reason the Colts get to 1-0 on the season with a win down in Jacksonville.