The Duel

Thursday Night Football Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit' Em for Colts vs Texans

Jason Schandl
Jacksonville Jaguars v Indianapolis Colts
Jacksonville Jaguars v Indianapolis Colts / Stacy Revere/Getty Images
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Thursday Night Football games aren't always the most well-played NFL contests, since both teams are on short weeks, but that doesn't reduce their importance when it comes to fantasy football. With only a couple of days to think about start em, sit 'em options, they are often some of the toughest decisions of the week.

With that in mind, here's some start 'em, sit 'em advice for Thursday's Week 12 matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans.

Who Should I Start Fantasy Football

Start Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts: The big storyline heading into this game is that Marlon Mack is on the shelf, vacating 19.8 carries per game (in nine full games) from the Colts' offense. Jordan Wilkins is returning from a two-game absence, but before he got hurt he had out-carried Jonathan Williams 27-to-zero, making him the best bet to take over lead back duties. Hines contributes mostly as a receiver, but the Colts' coaching staff has said they expect to get him some additional carries on the shelf as well. Both make for solid stopgap starting options if you're in need of an RB option this week.

Start Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis Colts: Jacoby Brissett hasn't posted huge fantasy numbers this season, ranking as QB18 with 15.8 fantasy points per game, but he can get it going in the right matchup, topping 20 fantasy points in three of his last seven games. The Texans rank 25th in Football Outsiders' pass defense DVOA rankings and have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs, and this could very well be 'the right matchup.'

Who Do I Start Fantasy Football

Sit Jonathan Williams, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Williams was a popular waiver wire pickup this week after exploding for 116 yards on 13 carries in relief of Mack last week. He does carry some upside, as that performance may have earned him an expanded role and Wilkins may not be 100 percent, but the fact that he's likely to be playing second-fiddle to Wilkins in the rushing game and that Hines will soak up all of the receiver work really holds back his fantasy value.

Sit Duke Johnson, RB, Houston Texans: Duke Johnson has not made much of an impact in the Texans' backfield this season, averaging 6.0 carries and 3.4 targets per game, compared to 15.8 carries and 1.1 targets for Carlos Hyde. The Texans are 3.5-point favorites over the Colts, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, suggesting that they have a good chance of playing with a lead, causing a relatively run-heavy game flow. That dings the value of a back like Johnson that offers most of his value catching passes out of the backfield, and he doesn't crack the top-36 at RB in our Week 12 PPR fantasy football rankings.


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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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