Welcome to your Week 12 TNF Fantasy Start/Sit!
Welcome to your Week 12 Thursday Night Football preview! Last week’s skirmish to close out the game left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. I hope this week’s matchup has a little more class and shows why we really love to watch football; the divisional battles.
The Texans and Colts are all tied up at 6-4 at the top of the AFC South, with the Colts currently reigning on top. This week, they’ll be hosted by the Houston Texans, who are still reeling from a brutal beating they received Sunday, courtesy of Lamar Jackson. The winner of this game will take a full game lead on the AFC South title, and will be one step closer to a postseason berth.
As always, here’s my master key to better give you a sense of how I break these players down:
Start: These are players who have an enticing matchup, and could prove a massive asset to your fantasy team due to a vulnerability by an opposing defense or a breakout performance.
Flex Start: Players in a flex position are also usually controlled by a game script, but this opportunity benefits them (such as a WR2 receiving less attention than the WR1, thus increasing odds for a good performance).
Sit: Players in this category have a poor matchup and could be rendered completely useless by game script or a digression in opportunities.
Sleeper: For players that fly under the radar, the sleepers are potential breakouts for this particular matchup. Players that are not considered as big of a threat but have an increase in things such as targets or snap counts are ideal for this category. They could surprise you for the week with a big game.
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
Start: Jacoby Brissett (QB)
It almost feels like the Colts are losing weapons by the week. Brissett enjoyed a quiet game back, and while they got the W over the Jags, he didn’t pull through for Fantasy.
He has a chance to make good on that performance with a matchup with the Texans. Houston, who just got completely ran over by the Ravens (or really just Lamar Jackson), has given up the 5th-most passing touchdowns in the league (22) and are allowing the 3rd-most points to quarterbacks on average (23.3). Brissett it currently only rostered in half of ESPN leagues, making him probably one of the best streaming options this week.
The pass-catching back has some extra opportunities flying his way with Marlon Mack out with a hand fracture. His usefulness comes in PPR, with Jordan Wilkins and Jonathan Williams expected to split the ground carries.
Pascal also has a chance to bounce back nicely, as Houston is allowing an average of 39 points a game to wideouts.
Until we know who has the main carry role, it’s hard to trust which running back will be taking the majority of the snaps on the ground. This is also a challenging matchup for tight ends; the Texans are 10th against opposing tight ends (10.3 ppg).
Start your superstars. Despite a bad matchup, Deshaun Watson has only not bounced back from a bad game only once in his career – Weeks 6 & 7 last year against Buffalo and Jacksonville. This is a premier opportunity for the young signal-caller. He can do some real damage against a defense that’s probably going to be on the field aaaaaaaalot.
Hopkins still has a great game. After a slow start to the season, he’s back to his top-tier self. Leave him in your starter spot and enjoy.
You’re taking a real shot with either of these guys. Hyde’s value will come in on the goal-line. He’s probably one of the biggest boom-or-bust players out there right there. He’ll handle the majority of groundwork, but I’m expecting more of an air raid this time around rather than a forward ground-attack from Hyde and Duke Johnson.
I had Fuller penned in as a flex start last week, but he was downgraded to inactive and with him my hopes of fantasy retribution. He might actually find the field this week, warranting him flex consideration. The Colts have been fairly middling again at wide receivers. His speed and YAC make him a weapon for long-bomb touchdowns downfield.
This isn’t a game for the 4th or 5th options. If Fuller is out, move Stills up into that flex spot. Otherwise, leave him and these other guys out for this decisive divisional matchup.
Zach Hargis is a writer for Dynasty Football Digest. He enjoys playing the drums, doing voice impressions, and quoting The Office. If any of those things interest you, he welcomes you to follow him on Twitter @ZachFFDrummer and to check out his personal interests on Instagram @zakktastic.