Jonathan Taylor
(Photo by Andy Lyons:Getty Images)

Jonathan Taylor Is Not A League Winner in Fantasy Football 2021

There seems to be some sort of misconception in the fantasy football community that drafting Jonathan Taylor very early is a league-winning move. I’m here to tell you why taking Taylor with your first round pick or dropping a lot on him is actually anything but a league-winning pick.

Let’s start off with the obvious dilemma of the workload. By no means am I questioning that Taylor is the lead back in the offense, because he is. However, too many fantasy football players are failing to realize the impact of Nyheim Hines and Marlon Mack. Just because they aren’t flashy names doesn’t mean they won’t have their role in the Colts’ offense. Hines’ playmaking and elusiveness with the ball in his hands will earn him the spot as the third round back, which limits Taylor’s upside as he doesn’t get those receptions. Furthermore, the receptions he did manage to get last year were more of a product of Philip Rivers’ playstyle than anything else, and that certainly won’t be the case this year with Carson Wentz in town.

Mack, who is just one injured season removed from a season in which he rushed for 1,000 yards, will most definitely get carries and vulture a few touchdowns at the very least. If the Colts didn’t intend to involve Mack, I can guarantee you they wouldn’t have re-signed him after he just missed the entire year with an injury. Yes, Taylor is the top running back on a team with a top 3 offensive line, but the Colts will be far more of a running back by committee than people think, which really hurts Taylor’s upside through a lack of volume.

Now in most cases, outstanding talents usually find a way to still produce in good situations even with a lack of volume like Nick Chubb or A.J. Brown. But with Jonathan Taylor, the talent is also a part of the problem. I understand he went on a tear at the end of the year, but it was against some of the worst rushing defenses in the league in the Texans, Titans, and Jaguars. He isn’t talented enough that he will be able to be a top 10 fantasy running back with just 15 carries a game. Moreover, had the Colts really believed in Taylor’s talent, why were Hines and even Jordan Wilkins getting so many carries last year, and why would they bring Marlon Mack back?

The main problem with Taylor simply comes back to his value as he is being drafted as a top 8 fantasy running back when I just don’t see him finishing there. With how limited his celling is due to a lack of volume, Taylor is essentially being drafted at his peak value. You don’t want to draft guys like that. Instead, you should look at players who have the upside to outperform their draft position, such as Austin Ekeler, who is still being drafted way too low this year and has the volume as well as the receiving ability to outperform his current value. At the end of the day, you can trust that Taylor will have a fantastic season behind that Colts offensive line, score more than 10 touchdowns, and be a top 10 fantasy running back. However, I envision him as more of a high-end running back 2 who could have a very touchdown-dependent season due to a lack of usage.

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