The Indianapolis Colts will face the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night, and both teams could use a win as they look to put some awful Week 10 losses behind them. The Colts are coming off an embarrassing 38-8 loss to the St. Louis Rams. The Titans are reeling from a season-ending injury to quarterback Jake Locker along with a loss to the once winless Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts lead the AFC South, but a loss to the Titans could put their lead within reach of their division rival.
As usual, we're here to discuss how Thursday's rivalry affects your fantasy teams for Week 11.
Andrew Luck: He's a shaky QB1 against a Tennessee defense that has allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks all season. Considering how poorly Luck played against the St. Louis Rams in Week 10, he was still able to keep fantasy owners afloat with double digit fantasy numbers. If you're unable to take advantage of a better matchup on your roster, stick with Luck and avoid the temptation of streaming a quarterback on your waiver wire.
Running backs: Trent Richardson has done very little for fantasy owners since he faced the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4. He isn't getting many carries, and he isn't doing much with the few opportunities that he has. Frankly, he's a dud. He isn't worth dropping just yet, and he won't get owners much trade value. Chuck Pagano has emphasized their desire to run the ball more. However, Donald Brown could just as easily be the beneficiary of a more focused running attack. The Titans have been generous to running backs all season. Richardson is a desperate flex play. Brown can also be considered a flex play in Week 11.
Wide receivers: Since the season-ending injury to Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton has emerged as a legitimate WR1 both on the Colts roster and on fantasy rosters. He currently has 14 receptions, 251 yards, and three touchdowns since Wayne left. Tennessee is the toughest defense to face for fantasy wide receivers, but Hilton is a must-start receiver moving forward. Darrius Heyward-Bey hasn't been able to produce even with the absence of Wayne. He's been targeted 12 times over the past two weeks and has caught just four passes. He shouldn't be started until he shows some consistency.
Tight ends: Coby Fleener is another player that was expected to step up during Wayne's absence. So far, his numbers have been disappointing. Aside from Hilton, Fleener should be one of the more favored fantasy players on the Colts offense. That said, he's at the top of the TE2 list until he shows more. He's a low-end TE1 in PPR formats.
Defense/ Special teams: The Colts went through a small stretch where they were an appealing fantasy defense, but that time may be behind us. Regardless of how you view the Colts defense for the rest of the season, the Titans are able to put points up on the board even with Ryan Fitzpatrick. During his last three games, the Titans are averaging 19 points on offense. He'll likely turn the ball over several times, but there are better match ups to exploit in Week 11.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: The Colts have been slightly above average in limiting fantasy quarterbacks all season, and Fitzpatrick is a slightly below-average fantasy option. The Titans will likely be moving forward with Fitzpatrick as their starter for the rest of the season with Jake Locker out for the year, making him an immediate grab in two-quarterback leagues. He can post good numbers against the Kansas City Chiefs but fall short against a team like the New York Jets. As of now, he's an unpredictable option that owners would be better off benching until he adds to his body of work this season.
Running backs: Chris Johnson seems to be getting into mid-season form. Even with the Titans playing from behind in Week 10, he still managed 74 rushing yards. Over the past three weeks, Johnson has amassed 353 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. He'll be a solid RB2 against a Colts defense that has allowed the 3rd fewest points to fantasy running backs this season. Shonn Greene is only worth starting as a flex when the Titans have a soft match up. It's unlikely the Colts will give Greene a lot of quality work.
Wide receivers: Kendall Wright is the team's go-to option regardless of who is under center. Wright has only one touchdown on the season, but his target count makes him great weekly start in PPR leagues. He's a low-end WR3 in standard leagues that will typically rely on yardage for any fantasy production. Nate Washington is more of a WR4 against the Colts and their soft secondary. He hasn't put up a big game since Week 4 and is difficult to trust.
Tight ends: The Colts are stingy with tight ends, making Delanie Walker nothing more than a TE2 option on Thursday. Walker hasn't eclipsed 60 receiving yards all season and is very touchdown dependent. He can add some rushing yards from time to time. Regardless, he's a TE2 this week.
Defense/ Special teams: The Titans have been a good defense for most of the season, but lately they've been more of a streaming option. They fell short of expectations after losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 10, and the Colts aren't exactly an offense worth betting against. There are better match ups worth taking advantage of. They're a shaky start in 12-team leagues.