Houston @ Indianapolis
Seriously, this is the best the NFL network could come up with? I hope they strongly consider flex scheduling next year because of this kind of ugliness. The Texans clinched the AFC South two weeks ago, and then summarily laid a fat egg last week against the Carolina Panthers, at home no less. The Colts on the other hand decided they can still get Andrew Luck plus win a game to avoid being mentioned in the same breath as the 2008 Detroit Lions, shocking the world by thoroughly dominating the Titans to get their first win last week. This is another game that the Colts could win, apparently, as the Texans looked like a team ready to mail in the rest of the season judging by their awful showing against a Panthers team that isn’t that good.
After three weeks of looking pretty competent, TJ Yates went back to more of what we expected from a third string rookie quarterback, as he looked pretty bad against an unimpressive Panthers defense. Of course, Yates has played in only one road game so far, and in that game he hung a 300 yard passing day with multiple scores. Yates probably won’t get close to that again, as the Texans are likely to run the ball as much as possible, but he shouldn’t repeat his dismal 200 yard showing he had last week. I’d expect something in the realm of 220-250 yards, with one if not two scores; not great, but not horrific either.
While Chris Johnson couldn’t really take advantage of the pillowy soft matchup against the Colts last week, you can bet your league championship that Arian Foster will. Unlike CJ1K, Foster isn’t pillowy soft to match the defense, he should slash and burn this group for well over 100 yards and at least one score; in fact, Foster has had no less than 167 yards against the Colts, so I’d bank on him dropping 150 total in this one, at least. With so much running going on though, I wouldn’t trust anyone from the Texans passing game, save for perhaps Owen Daniels, who has at least been serviceable most of the year.
For the Colts, this matchup isn’t as good as the one against the Titans and their fading defense, but there could be a little bit of fantasy goodness to be had. Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne both may be worth a start here as a WR3 or Flex play, as you could certainly do worse than this pair; Wayne is the best bet for a touchdown from the receivers, but Garcon has averaged around nine targets a game with Orlovsky under center, so that amount of targeting could mean at least useful stats for Garcon.
RB Arian Foster, TE Owen Daniels, WR Reggie Wayne
Middle of the Road:
QB TJ Yates, WR Kevin Walter, RB Donald Brown, WR Pierre Garcon
RB Ben Tate, WR Jacoby Jones, QB Dan Orlovsky, WR Austin Collie, TE Dallas Clark