Colts vs. Titans - Week 9
Colts @ Titans
49.5 O/U -2 (TEN)
This AFC South matchup pits the top two teams from the division in a battle that will likely end up being pivotal for the divisional race. These teams will also be gearing up to play in two weeks’ time, as their second game will be in week 12. This first game is in Nashville, and the Titans get a slight advantage from Vegas as the home team.
Through the Air
The Titans have had an effective, balanced attack on offense so far this season, and Ryan Tannehill has benefited. He is currently the QB10 on the year, with almost 21 points per game. This week, however, he draws a tough matchup against the Colts, who have been effective against the pass this season, although less so in recent weeks. Tannehill is a top-end QB2 option this week, and is a decent streaming choice if you’ve got someone like Mahomes on bye. His leading target on the season, despite missing two games, is AJ Brown. He’s locked into your starting lineup going forward. Other options at WR include Corey Davis and Kalif Raymond, with Adam Humphries in the concussion protocol and unlikely to play. It’s hard to trust anyone but AJ Brown at WR, and TE is a tough sell, as Jonnu Smith has been quiet lately, and it’s tough to see him improving against the Colts, who haven’t allowed a TE TD all season. I’d keep him on the bench for now.
On the Ground
Derrick Henry is one of the most effective pure runners in the game. Don’t overthink it, just slot him into your starting lineup. While the Colts have been able to hold 5 of their opponents under 100 yards, and have yet to allow over 125 yet this season, they’ve allowed 6 TDs on the ground, including to Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon, with Kareem Hunt also getting a receiving TD. The good RBs find a way to score against this defense, and this week shouldn’t be any different.
Through the Air
Philip Rivers has not been a good fantasy option at QB this season and has not been able to support a fantasy-relevant passing attack. WR TY Hilton may end up playing this week, but he has been ineffective so far this season, with under 50 yards per game, no games over 70 yards, and no TDs on the year. The other WRs haven’t fared much better, as of the 10 passing TDs for the Colts so far this season, 5 have been to TEs, 3 to RB Nyheim Hines, and only 2 to WR Zach Pascal. Sit this whole WR corps for now. TE isn’t a picnic either, as Trey Burton and Mo Alie-Cox are both going to steal targets away from each other. Jack Doyle is unlikely to clear the concussion protocol before Thursday night, so at least you won’t have to worry about him stealing even more looks. Burton and Pascal are probably the only ones here that you can even consider starting, and they’re really desperation plays at best.
On the Ground
Jonathan Taylor has been struggling since the team’s week 7 bye, with games of just 22 and 27 yards in those weeks. Jordan Wilkins has seen far more carries and production in that time, which is a big concern for Taylor managers. It’s tough to recommend either one against a solid Titans run defense that has averaged fewer than 100 yards over the past 5 weeks. Nyheim Hines has seen more targets than carries in the same time span, so he’s not a threat to production in the same way, but he certainly cuts into the PPR relevance of the other two. I’m sure someone is going to score, but I just don’t know who it’s going to be, and I can’t recommend any of these guys because if they don’t score, I don’t see how they’re going to have a fantasy-relevant day. Jonathan Taylor is coming in ranked as an RB2, but this smells like it’s turning into a full-blown committee. I’d avoid the whole mess this week.
While the game isn’t expected to be a shootout, neither offense has shown a proclivity for turning the ball over, so the defensive points could be limited. Both D/STs are likely in the lower half of options, and you can pass on both this week. At Kicker, more of the same with both Rodrigo Blankenship for the Colts and Stephen Gostkowski of the Titans expected to be limited in opportunities, and are in the bottom half of choices for the week.