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Fantasy football advice, Week 13: Who to start/sit for Titans vs. Texans

Neither of these teams looks like they'll be challenging for a 2014 playoff spot, so welcome to the interesting-in-fantasy-only bowl.

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Things were looking just a little up for the Houston Texans. They had won two of three, getting a win from a brand new quarterback who looked competent, and were within a game of first in the AFC South. And then they lost in Week 12, that new quarterback got injured, and they're right back to struggling to remain relevant in a conference where they are not one of the 11 teams over .500. Meanwhile, the only time when things were looking up for the Tennessee Titans all season was after their Week 1 win; since then, the team has gone 1-9 and become a complete afterthought. Sunday, the two teams play one another.

The Titans come into Sunday's game basically healthy from a fantasy perspective. Running back Dexter McCluster has yet to be cleared from a concussion, but as he is the team's No. 3 running back at best, it's hard to worry too hard about that either way. For the Texans, they of course lost quarterback Ryan Mallett to a torn pectoral muscle, and he's done for the year. The team also had two long-time veterans on the week's injury report, in running back Arian Foster and wide receiver Andre Johnson. Johnson doesn't appear to have much to worry about, while Foster, who has missed the last two games with a groin injury, appears likely to make his return Sunday.

The Texans will play host Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. Let's look at the fantasy names to consider:


Start 'em: With more than 150 yards fresh off a concussion in Week 12, Delanie Walker showed he's still a No. 1 tight end.

Start 'em?: These would be desperation plays, but against a Houston team that is a sieve against opposing wide receivers, Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter could be interesting flyers Sunday.

Sit 'em: His production has improved the last three weeks, leading to a career-high 19 fantasy points in Week 12. Zach Mettenberger has at least made himself look like he could be the Titans' quarterback down the road. For Week 13, though, he doesn't have nearly the upside you look for. He could be justified as a super-low QB2, but that's about it. ... Right after his nine-point Week 11, when it looked like Bishop Sankey might start getting the touches to be a fantasy factor, he fell right back to two points in Week 12. Just avoid him. ... Ryan Succop has one game of more than six fantasy points kicking since Week 1. There's got to be a better option out there for you. ... The Titans' defense is bad, and only a fantasy-playoff stretch against the Jets and Jaguars will keep them above water.


Start 'em: You have to be a little scared by his groin injury, but against the Tennessee run defense, you're still starting Arian Foster if you have him, and hoping for the best. ... DeAndre Hopkins has been the top Houston wide receiver this year, and it hasn't been very close. He's a strong flex play at worst.

Start 'em?: Considering his entirely underwhelming season, you'd have to be pretty desperate to run Andre Johnson out there in fantasy. Caveat emptor. ... Randy Bullock is a low-end fantasy option, but he's had a handful of productive kicking games this season, so if you're in a pinch, he would work. ... The Texans' defense hasn't been great, but it's been good enough to be a fine next-tier fantasy option.

Sit 'em: The Texans turned away from Ryan Fitzpatrick a few weeks ago for a reason. He just wasn't getting it done. Don't be surprised if we hear from rookie Tom Savage before all is said and done this season. ... Foster's return sends Alfred Blue right back to handcuff territory. ... Garrett Graham's production has improved a little of late, but it almost had to. He's still not a fantasy option.


Start in every league: Delanie Walker, Arian Foster, DeAndre Hopkins
Start if you're desperate: Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter, Andre Johnson, Randy Bullock, Houston defense
Bench: Zach Mettenberger, Bishop Sankey, Ryan Succop, Tennessee Titans, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alfred Blue, Garrett Graham