We are now over a month into this NFL season! We must focus on the top takeaways now that we have film and statistics to study. No longer can we rest on our offseason takes of who will succeed and who will fail. We now have a reasonably large sample size of NFL football. The fantasy season will move quickly, and in a dynasty, it is essential to acquire players before they break out or unload players before they falter. We can lead our team to a fantasy football title by focusing on weekly top takeaways!
Deon Jackson Free Square
Late last week, Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines were ruled out for Indianapolis’ Week 6 matchup with AFC South rival Jacksonville. This was Taylor’s second week in a row due to an ankle injury. Hines was knocked out early in Week 5 with a concussion and was forced to miss Week 6, with teams being extra careful with head injuries this year. That opened the door for practice squad player Deon Jackson to start his first career game.
Jackson played four years at Duke, where he was able to amass over two thousand career rushing yards. He went undrafted in 2021 and has spent the past two years on the Colts’ practice squad. Deon looked dominant in his first NFL start this past week. He had four receptions in the first quarter alone! He finished with a stat line of 12 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown, plus an additional 79 yards on ten receptions. Unfortunately, Jackson left the game with a quad injury. This leaves question marks about this backfield heading into Week 7.
The hope is that Jonathan Taylor will be able to return this week in a matchup against their other AFC South rival, the Tennesse Titans. However, ankle injuries are hard to predict. Hines is more likely to return as he will be over two weeks post-concussion by that point. If all three were to miss time, then Phillip Lindsay would be slated to start. Keep a close eye on the Colts’ injury reports this week.
Travis Etienne Takeover Is Happening
One of the key narratives that the fantasy community keyed in on this summer was the battle of the Jacksonville running backs. Travis Etienne and James Robinson were returning from injuries, and each section of the fantasy community had its guy they were rooting for. Etienne was returning from a Lisfranc injury suffered last preseason. James Robinson was returning from an Achilles tear he suffered in Week 16 of last year. In both cases, modern medicine surprised us with their early availability.
Early in the season, James Robinson was receiving most of the workload. This was a surprise as Robinson was closer to his injury date than Etienne. Most of the fantasy community was freaking out early in the year with narratives like the new coaching staff doesn’t like Etienne. Many people overlooked a key point; however, 2022 is Travis Etienne’s rookie year. He missed all of last year with an injury; this is year one for him. Like we see Breece Hall and Kenneth Walker breaking out, so is Etienne.
This past Sunday, Etienne saw very similar work to James Robinson in a pivotal AFC South matchup. The main difference was efficiency. Despite having two fewer carries, Etienne outgained Robinson by 32 yards. He also outpaced Robinson in efficiency metrics like Yards After Contact per Attempt and Yards per Route Run. The Etienne takeover is happening, and you should be looking to buy him while there is still a chance.
Information is the most powerful tool any dynasty fantasy football manager possesses. If you can stay on top of the correct information more than your league-mates, you will come out on top. The AFC South is home to some key fantasy players. Be sure to check back with us, as we will be breaking down takeaways from every division this week. And be sure to come back next week, as we will be doing the same for all 18 weeks of the 2022 NFL season!
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