The Indianapolis Colts look for a bounce-back this week as they travel to the Lone Star State to take on the AFC South rival Houston Texans Sunday.
While the Colts struggled in last week’s 45-26 home loss to Tennessee, fantasy owners who had shares of Colts players also struggled as the team limped through a shorthanded affair with five sidelined starters.
A week later, things are looking a little better for the Colts in their lineup, as well as their quality of opponent.
From a fantasy football perspective, here are the best starting fantasy options from the Colts for owners this week.
(Weekly positional rankings from FantasyPros.com, based on Half-PPR scoring. Ranks as of Thursday of game week.)
RBs Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines
— Last game: Taylor - 22 carries, 90 yards, 4 receptions (4 targets), 24 yards = 13.4 FP | Hines - 10 carries, 29 yards, 8 receptions (10 targets), 66 yards
— Last three-game average: Taylor - 11.7 carries, 43 yards, 2.7 receptions (2.7 targets), 18.7 yards, 1 total TD = 9.5 FP | Hines - 9.3 carries, 33.7 yards, 5.3 receptions (6.7 targets), 47.3 yards, 2 total TD, 1 total 2PC = 15.4 FP
— FantasyPros Week 13 Position Rank: Hines RB19, Taylor RB22
— 2020 Texans vs. RBs: 31st (26.2 FPPG)
Taylor was set up for a quality matchup before landing on the Reserve/COVID-19 list the day before the game. Now off the list, it’s time for Taylor to get back on track. Likewise, Hines is set to continue his voluminous role.
The Texans have surrendered eight performances to running backs this year of at least 15 fantasy points. In those matchups, the running back averaged 22.8 touches for 136.4 yards and 1.4 touchdowns per game, resulting in 22.6 fantasy points per game.
In his last game, the Colts turned back to Taylor as a workhorse, as he totaled 26 touches for 114 yards from scrimmage. Hines, meanwhile, has been averaging 14.7 touches for 81 yards per game over the last three weeks.
WR Michael Pittman Jr.
— Last game: 2 receptions (9 targets), 28 yards = 3.8 FP
— Last three-game average: 4 receptions (6.7 targets), 65 yards, 1 total carry, 21 total yards, 1 total TD = 11.2 FP
— FantasyPros Week 13 Position Rank: WR26
— 2020 Texans vs. WRs: 27th (25.8 FPPG)
After two straight big games, Pittman didn’t deliver fantasy numbers against the Titans, but the single-game career-high nine pass targets is a big factor to circle.
Pittman is blossoming into the Colts’ most consistent pass-catcher and a reliable target (team-leading 20 targets in last three games) for quarterback Philip Rivers.
The Texans have allowed seven opposing wide receivers to reach at least 15 fantasy points, averaging 7.4 receptions for 112.9 yards and 1.3 TDs for 23 fantasy points per player.
Look for Pittman to bounce back against a generous Texans secondary that is now without cornerback Bradley Roby, who was suspended for performance-enhancing drugs.
Note: It’s not been his best season, but Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton averages 5.4 receptions (9.1 targets) for 115.1 yards (21.1 avg.) and has scored seven TDs, resulting in 18.9 FPPG in nine career games in Houston.
Colts Defense/Special Teams
— Last game: 449 yards allowed, 45 points allowed, 1 sack
— Last three-game average: 370 yards allowed, 31 points allowed, 1 sack, 1.3 takeaways, 1 total blocked kick, 1 total D/ST TD
— FantasyPros Week 13 Position Rank: DST14
— 2020 Texans vs. DST: 13th (4.7 FPPG)
The Colts defense has begun to come back down to earth the last few weeks as a whole, although they’ve put up three straight solid performances in the second half. This is a favorable matchup with Houston.
Leading receiver Will Fuller V was suspended for the remainder of the season due to PEDs, so the cupboard isn’t as stocked for quarterback Deshaun Watson, especially with starting running back David Johnson still on injured reserve.
In 11 games, the Texans have given up multiple sacks in nine of them, including five games with at least three. Watson, however, has not thrown an interception since Week 5.
Still, the body of work that the Colts have put together this season makes them startable most weeks. They got defensive lineman Denico Autry off the COVID list this week. If they can get DeForest Buckner back from it as well, they’re a must-start.
Boom or Bust
The “Boom” players are outside of the top 10 at their position in FantasyPros’ Week 13 rankings, yet have high upside this week. The ”Bust” players are inside the top 15 at their position, but could fall short of expectations.
— Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (QB11) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
— Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams (WR12) @ Arizona Cardinals
— DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (WR15) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
— Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (QB5) vs. Indianapolis Colts
— Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team (RB10) @ Pittsburgh Steelers
— DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals (WR11) vs. Los Angeles Rams
Who I’m Adding This Week
Here are some players worth acquiring from the waiver wire. They are owned in 40% or less of Yahoo! leagues.
— WR Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers (39%)
— WR T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (38%)
— RB Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams (31%)
— TE Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts (20%)
— WR Breshad Perriman, New York Jets (13%)
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