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Monday Night Football preview: What to expect fantasy-wise from Colts vs Saints

It’s the Michael Thomas Show.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts offense

Indy’s passing game outlook will vary depending on the availability of WR T.Y. Hilton. The Saints’ typically strong defense has shown vulnerabilities as of late -- vulnerabilities that are further worsened by defensive linemen Sheldon Rankins and Marcus Davenport being placed on Injured Reserve (h/t Evan Silva). Should T.Y. Hilton be active, per Rotoworld, HC Frank Reich said he will see a full complement of snaps. He would be a solid flex option if that were the case. Zach Pascal would be an even stronger flex option than Hilton, based on his recent track record of steady production and his lack of an injured calf. If Hilton is active, Pascal drops to more of a low-end flex. Marcus Johnson is a moderate boom/bust flex option, regardless of Hilton’s availability.

Jack Doyle retains back-end TE1 value. The moderately productive tight end has a solid matchup on deck here.

Marlon Mack’s prospects significantly increased with the Rankins/Davenport news. He should see 18+ touches in what’s now a not-so-tough matchup. Consider the mid-tier RB2 to have Top 10-15 upside. Nyheim Hines’s passing game role evaporated with Mack’s return. He’s not worthy of starting consideration.

The Saints offense

Indy’s defense has been strong against some, however, they were just set ablaze by Jameis Winston -- who suffered a broken thumb in-game and kept playing. Drew Brees is a high-flying QB1 this week, claiming the overall QB6 spot.

As always, Michael Thomas will be in contention to take home overall WR1 honors. Indianapolis does do a good job of preventing deep passes, but Thomas has been making his money in the short-to-intermediate areas of the field all year. He’s ready to rock. The Saints ancillary receivers, Ted Ginn Jr. and Tre’Quan Smith are both one trick ponies who streak downfield for a handful of targets per game. Expect them to stay quiet in this one.

Jared Cook’s been demolishing box scores all season and the Colts have a fairly standard “good against bad tight ends/bad against good tight ends” defense. Expect Cook to light things up on Monday night. He’s a high-end TE1.

Alvin Kamara’s been a bust this year but his usage remains elite. He’s the overall RB12 this week in what amounts to a tough matchup. Given the latter, it’s unlikely breather back Latavius Murray does much in the box score. He’s not a recommended flex option.