Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 15: Texans vs. Colts

Bob Levey

The top and the bottom of the AFC South face off Sunday in a matchup of formerly closely matched rivals.

Disappointment comes in many forms. After starting 6-2 with wins over the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, and Denver Broncos, it's disappointing that the Indianapolis Colts have lost three of six and now sit at 8-5 backing into a playoff spot. That odor of disappointment, though, can't hold a candle to that of the Houston Texans, who started 2-0 before losing their last 11 games and sit with a stranglehold on the No. 1 overall draft pick. The two teams face off at 1 p.m. ET Sunday in Indianapolis. Here's a look at the fantasy players of interest:

Texans

Start in every league: Andre Johnson

Start if you're desperate: Ben Tate

Bench: Case Keenum, Matt Schaub, Garrett Graham, Randy Bullock, Defense/special teams

You might recall Johnson's last game against the Colts when he had 229 receiving yards and three touchdowns, mostly in the first half. He's scored double-digit points five times in six games, even though he has touchdowns in only two games this year. He's fairly trustworthy for big yardage.

Look, if you can explain how Tate can score 28 against the Patriots and 10 against the Raiders, but only seven total in two games against Jacksonville, feel free to use that information. From here, he only looks untrustworthy.

So it looks like there was a good reason Keenum didn't project as a big NFL starter, as he's been fairly awful for a month now. It looks like the team will stick with him -- if only for evaluation's sake -- for the rest of the year, but he's only another step or two from Schaub getting the job back. And no, Schaub is not worth use either.... Graham has stumbled into the occasional big game this year, but he's had some awful games around them. There's no sense in trusting him.... Bullock has improved from his quasi-disastrous spate in the middle of the season -- he hasn't missed a field goal since Week 10 -- but there's still no sense going to him unless it's necessary.... The Texans' defense has only scored in the double figures twice this season, none since Week 4, and the max was 11. Steer clear.

Colts

Start in every league: Andrew Luck, Adam Vinatieri

Start if you're desperate: Coby Fleener

Bench: Donald Brown, Trent Richardson, T.Y. Hilton, Da'Rick Rogers, Defense/special teams

He wasn't great last week, his team didn't score in the first half, he lost by 14, and Luck still managed 32 fantasy points Sunday, by virtue of four touchdown passes. He's only scored in the single-digits once all season and he ranks as the No. 5 fantasy quarterback. The team has struggled, but still, Luck's worth it.... Since the Colts started struggling, Vinatieri hasn't been quite the stud kicker he was early in the year, but he still has 15-plus fantasy points twice in his last four games.

Fleener had big back-to-back games in Weeks 11 and 12, but his numbers fell off in the last two. His targets, though, have stayed high since Reggie Wayne's injury, and he's probably a low-end TE1.

It looks like being named the teams' starter was the worst thing for Brown, who has averaged only 22 rushing yards a game in his last three and has two or fewer fantasy points in two of the three.... Strangely, Brown's struggles haven't really boosted Richardson's numbers, as the purported workhorse hasn't rushed for more than 60 yards in a game all season.... Hilton still has huge upside -- see his 30-point performance against Houston in Week 9 -- but he's been so awful of late that he ought to be benched until he shows he can perform again.... Meanwhile, Rogers had a huge game Sunday, and the team has said he's earned more looks, but people have said that about Tiquan Underwood, Kevin Ogletree, all sorts of wide receivers. There's reason for optimism, but wait for one more big game before buying all the way in.... It's easy to overstate the impact of facing a bad offense has on a defense; teams tend to score well against Houston, but the Colts' defense has done so little of late that it would be foolish to buy in.

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