The NFL season is entering Week 12, a make-or-break time for many teams on that playoff bubble. The same is true for most Fantasy Football squads. Week 12 will likely be a huge week for you and your playoff hopes, regardless of what type of league you’re in.
Every lineup decision counts and some tough ones will be made regarding Thursday Night Football, when the Indianapolis Colts take on the Houston Texans. The Colts are a bit of an enigma on the short week, suffering injuries to several key offensive contributors. But there’s no need for fantasy managers to panic as there are plenty of start-worthy Colts this week.
Let’s start with the ground game. Starting running back Marlon Mack went down with a fractured hand in Week 11, so there’s quite a void to fill. Mack was the workhorse of this offense, and no one player can take on his workload alone.
After Mack went down, fourth-year running back Jonathan Williams shouldered the load. He took 13 carries for a ridiculous 116 yards. Those numbers are too good to replicate in any situation. Another concern with starting Williams is the presence of Jordan Wilkins. Wilkins is a constant presence who was always included in the game plan when Mack was healthy.
Expect Wilkins to be a presence in the run game and continually take carries from Williams. The best course of action is to keep both on the bench against a decent Texans run defense.
While the Colts’ run game is muddled, the aerial attack is even more confusing. Indianapolis will likely be without receivers T.Y. Hilton, Parris Campbell, and Devin Funchess on Thursday night. The backups will no doubt get a chance to shine, it’s just a matter of figuring out which one.
Wideout Zach Pascal is a safe bet, as he’s been targeted at least six times in every game since Hilton was injured. After Pascal things really get hairy. Chester Rogers will see time in the slot, but he’s a fantasy afterthought. Marcus Johnson is the more appealing option after notching a touchdown in Week 11. While Johnson has some potential, he belongs on the fantasy waiver wire.
To round out the Colts’ pass-catchers, we have to touch on the Indy tight ends. Eric Ebron was a revelation last season, but hasn’t looked the same without quarterback Andrew Luck. In a week with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers on bye, you may have to start Ebron. If that’s the case, just hope for a touchdown. The same goes for Jack Doyle, who has been extremely inconsistent.
Let’s not forget about the guy throwing the ball. Jacoby Brissett has been superb as the Colts’ starter this season, and he should continue his ways on Thursday. The Texans have been awful against the pass, ranking 25th worst in terms of passing yardage allowed. If Brissett is on your waiver wire for some reason, scoop him up and start him.