THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (6-3) @ TENNESSEE TITANS (4-5)
WHEN: 7:25 p.m. CT
WHERE: NFL Network
This game matches up the top two teams in the AFC South division, each of which is coming off a loss. It is a must win for the Titans because a loss will leave them 3 games back with just 6 to go. Tennessee was stunned last week by a terrible Jacksonville Jaguars squad, and a loss this week at home pretty much knocks them out of the playoff picture.
The Colts need to keep winning if they would like a chance at a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Denver, Kansas City, and New England match up against each other over the next 3 weeks, leaving the Colts a window of opportunity to bounce back and claim the second best record among division leaders.
With Fantasy Football roster decisions due today in regards to the players taking the field tonight, let’s take a look at some of the pertinent information about the Colts and the Titans.
Except for the huge season ending knee injury suffered by Reggie Wayne a few weeks ago, the Colts are relatively healthy at the fantasy skill positions. The defense, especially the secondary, is pretty nicked up but the Titans do not have that scary of a passing attack.
The biggest news for the Titans is that Jake Locker is done for the season with a foot injury that will require surgery soon. Locker wasn’t a fantasy starter but he was a safe backup to cover for bye weeks and injuries. His injury thins out an already depleted quarterback position.
Wide receiver Damian Williams is also out for tonight’s game with a sore quad. He probably wasn’t on your fantasy roster anyway.
THURSDAY NIGHT START ‘EM, SIT ‘EM
The Titans do have one of the better pass defenses in the league as they only allow 211 yards a game through the air, which is eighth best in the NFL. Combine this with the fact that Andrew Luck only averages 244 yards a game, which is 16th in the league, and it is obvious he should not start the week. Luck is not a top 10 or 12 fantasy quarterback at this time but he is not far off either. Unless your depth is wiped out, you probably have a better option this week.
There is no reason to be starting either of the Colts’ running backs at this time, unless injuries and byes leave you no choice. Trent Richardson isn’t performing any better for Indianapolis than he was in Cleveland, and Donald Brown isn’t getting enough action to be worth a roster spot. Look elsewhere for running help.
T.Y. Hilton is turning into a fine receiver both in real life and fantasy. He is worth a start just about every week. Darrius Heyward-Bey is a fringe starter at this point, maybe in a flex role. Tight end Coby Fleener now has Luck’s confidence and has been productive. He is a possible starter as well, at a shallow position.
You would have to play in a very deep league if you are considering Ryan Fitzpatrick. Don’t waste a roster move with this inconsistent quarterback.
Speaking of inconsistent, Chris Johnson is the poster boy. Two weeks ago, he racked up 150 yards against the Rams but last week, against the worst rush defense in the league by far, he could only manage 30 yards on the ground. His longest run was 6 yards in 12 carries.
The Colts don’t have a very good rush defense either, but their is no telling what Johnson will produce for you. Go ahead and start him because there probably aren’t 20 better backs in the league right now, but don’t count on big numbers.
Kendell Wright is a good young receiver and with 50 receptions, has earned a start for your fantasy team. He doesn’t score many touchdowns (just one one the season), but he does get yards and catches.
Nate Washington is also a candidate but only if you are out of other options. He is strictly depth at this point.
Despite being at home, it doesn’t look good for the Titans this week. The loss to Jacksonville has really soured the outlook for this team. With Jake Locker out for the year, and Chris Johnson under performing more often than not, it is difficult to see this team having much more success this season.
The Colts haven’t played very well since beating Denver a few weeks ago but they play in maybe the weakest division in football. A win tonight just about locks up the division title, and they still have a good chance at a first round bye if they play more consistently. A loss by the Colts and this division is back up for grabs.