Is Zach Ertz as good as Julius Thomas? Thomas did break out of obscurity a season ago as Peyton Manning's favorite red zone target, to the tune of 788 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. This year, Thomas has already made a deep impact in the fantasy realm, catching seven passes for 104 yards and three touchdowns (all in the second quarter) on a harried Colts defense.
Thomas torched the likes of D'Qwell Jackson, Jerrell Freeman, and LaRon Landry in putting up those points, coming in handy while Demaryius Thomas had his struggles with Vontae Davis (more on this in a bit).
Ertz is easily employable as a downfield receiver, as he proved with three catches for 77 yards and a touchdown against the Jaguars. Ertz drawing man coverage against a defense that struggles to cover quality tight ends seems quite the favorite match-up for no. 86. Freeman appears to be sitting Monday with a hamstring injury, so the rotational coverage duties are thinning out as they are. Bet on Ertz to be deadly.
SIT: Jeremy Maclin
Chances are that Maclin won't get as wide open on Monday as he was on the 68-yard touchdown against the bumbling Keystone Jags secondary. Not to take away from a talented player, but his line for the game prior to the catch was a simple three catches for 29 yards.
There's no telling which receiver Davis is going to cover most exclusively on Monday night, but something tells me that Maclin will be getting most of his attention. Davis is the closest thing to a shutdown defender in the Colts secondary, and Maclin does get the nod over Riley Cooper as the team's best receiver.
Without a quality pass rush, the Colts fear the extended offensive play. Nick Foles, with time, will likely be able to watch routes develop to a heavy liking, which makes it important for Indianapolis to try and shut down the main receiver. Davis held Demaryius Thomas to a mere 48 yards receiving, and kept him out of the end zone in an impressive showing. Besides, if Foles is having too much fun targeting tight ends, Maclin's services may not be required.
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