The Colts ruled Jonathan Taylor out for Thursday's game against the Broncos, as he just wasn't able to recover from his ankle quickly enough with the quick turnaround. Hopefully the extra time off before Week 6 helps him get back on the field, because it's a big loss – for the Colts as well as for Fantasy players who invested their first pick in Taylor. And replacing him isn't necessarily straightforward for either.
Taylor has played at least 74% of the snaps in each of the Colts first four games, a mark he reached just seven times all of last season. And, because Taylor has missed just one game in his career, it's hard to know exactly what to expect – though it'll likely mean more Nyheim Hines, for sure.
Hines played 65% of the snaps in the lone game Taylor missed back in 2020, totaling 10 carries and 10 targets in a game the Colts were trailing by 21 points at halftime. You probably can't expect another 10-target game, though it's within the realm of possibility, as the Colts will likely try to make up for Taylor's absence with more short passes.
Hines has played 50% of the snaps or more in 10 career games, and he's averaged 17.5 PPR points per game in those – 7.4 carries for 26.5 yards with 6.3 catches on 7.4 targets for 43.9 yards, with seven touchdowns in those 10 games. That seems like a pretty reasonable workload assumption for Hines – 8-10 carries, 5-7 targets, with an increased chance to score makes him an RB2 candidate for Week 5.
We'll probably also see a more traditional runner get an increased role for the Colts, though whether that will be Deon Jackson or practice squad-er Phillip Lindsay is tough to say. I think it'll be Lindsay, but I'm not sure he'll matter much for Fantasy – you're hoping for 10 carries and a chance at a short touchdown, but that is by no means a guarantee. You'd have to be pretty desperate to put Lindsay in your lineup, especially since there's no guarantee he'll get that opportunity ahead of Jackson.
If you had the chance to add Tyler Allgeier from the Falcons, he's probably the best option who might still be available – and he's still out there in 27% of CBS Fantasy leagues, so go check and make sure he's not on the wire in yours. Allgeier's backup, Caleb Huntley is probably also a better option than either of the Colts backups, as the Falcons want to use multiple backs and will run the ball a ton of they can stay competitive. Huntley looked good in his first action in Week 4, and he'll benefit from an offense that is blocking exceptionally well and a scheme that has created a lot of running lanes.
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Among running backs still available in 50% or more of CBS Fantasy leagues, Mike Boone is in the same range as Huntley for me, and both are behind someone like J.D. McKissic for Week 5. I'm a little worried that the pending return of Brian Robinson could push Antonio Gibson into more of McKissic's passing downs, but that seems like more of a long-term concern. I would also consider Rex Burkhead, who is still a part of the Texans passing game even as Dameon Pierce sees his role expand.
There aren't a lot of good options available to replace Taylor, unfortunately, but the Falcons backs are probably your best bet if Hines isn't available – for what it's worth, he is only 80% rostered right now, so he's available in shallower leagues. There's no good replacement for a player of Taylor's caliber, so hopefully this is just a one-week thing we're dealing with.