Last updated: November 29th at 8:15am ET
Team Totals: Colts 23, Titans 20.5
At least from a usage standpoint, the Titans visit Lucas Oil Stadium as one of the NFL’s simplest offenses to parse. Derrick Henry is Tennessee’s clear-cut offensive focal point, and Ryan Tannehill has added decisive playmaking ability predecessor Marcus Mariota did not. Henry’s three-game rushing line versus the Colts since Matt Eberflus became defensive coordinator is 40/221/1 (5.53 YPC) with 200 combined total yards in their last two meetings. With 16-plus touches in 11-of-11 games, Henry is a usage-secure fringe RB1 even against an Indy front that shut down enemy backs for 73/248/0 (3.40 YPC) rushing over its last four games. The Colts’ skill-player depletion – which we’ll get to in a minute – works in Henry’s favor by lowering Indy’s scoring expectation and raising Tennessee’s chances of controlling clock and feeding the big dog. … Tannehill’s five-start hot streak likely ends against Indianapolis’ zone coverage, which will keep eyes on Tannehill as a rusher and over the course of the season has allowed the NFL’s tenth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. Eight of the last ten signal callers to face the Colts finished with fantasy scores of QB12 or worse. Held under 20 pass attempts in consecutive games, Tannehill’s low-volume usage will catch up to him soon. He’ll catch a better matchup in Week 14 against Oakland.
Tannehill’s 2019 target distribution: A.J. Brown 29; Corey Davis 25; Adam Humphries and Jonnu Smith 22; Anthony Firkser 12; Tajae Sharpe and Dion Lewis 11; Henry 8. … Brown’s stat lines are all over the place in Tannehill’s five starts (4/135/1 > 1/17/0 > 4/81/0 > 2/11/1 > 6/64/0) on a run-based team that doesn’t design plays to feature an individual receiver. Regardless of matchups, Brown’s usage renders him a dicey WR3 despite immense talent. Brown ranks No. 8 in yards per route run among 90 qualified receivers. … Conversely 64th in yards per route, Davis has cleared 50 yards twice over his last 15 games. He’s a Hail Mary WR4 option at this point. … Humphries has drawn eight targets over the past three weeks and has one touchdown over his last 15 games. … Delanie Walker’s (ankle) placement on I.R. locks in Smith as Tennessee’s primary tight end after Smith emerged from Tennessee’s Week 11 bye playing a season-high 94% of the offensive snaps. Smith was the odd man out of the Titans’ passing game on a day where Tannehill attempted just 18 throws but will command more opportunity most weeks as a newly-promoted full-time player. Indianapolis’ zone defense can be susceptible to tight ends – it’s allowed the NFL’s tenth-most catches to the position (57) – and Smith was fantasy’s TE8 in PPR leagues across Tannehill’s first four starts. Smith looks like a very underrated streamer against the Colts.
The Colts come off a mini-bye following last Thursday night’s loss to Houston for another divisional bout against Tennessee. Missing T.Y. Hilton (calf), Marlon Mack (hand), Eric Ebron (ankles, I.R.), and Devin Funchess (collarbone), the extremely shorthanded Colts figure to struggle to score on a Titans defense allowing the NFL’s ninth-fewest points per game (19.7). Sporting a bulky knee brace that restricts his mobility with fantasy results of QB26 > QB17 > QB16 in Weeks 10-12, Jacoby Brissett only belongs in two-quarterback-league consideration. … Jonathan Williams sewed up Indy’s feature back job for at least another week by pounding the Texans for 121 yards and a touchdown on 29 touches in last week’s defeat, playing 67% of the Colts’ offensive snaps on usage that would make Mack jealous. Williams is a volume-driven RB2 play. … Although Tennessee has held enemy backs to 4.03 yards per carry, DC Dean Pees’ defense permits the NFL’s second-most running back catches per game (6.5), giving Nyhiem Hines PPR-specific flex life after the Colts’ receiving specialist handled a season-high 11 touches in Week 12.
Brissett’s 2019 target distribution: Hilton 52; Ebron 38; Jack Doyle 34; Hines 32; Zach Pascal 30; Chester Rogers 19; Parris Campbell 15; Mack 13; Williams 4. … With so much opportunity freed up by Hilton, Ebron, and Funchess’ absences, Doyle deserves to be a popular DFS play against a Titans defense that’s allowed the NFL’s 11th-most fantasy points to tight ends. Doyle isn’t going to come off the field, and his passing-game role projects to spike considerably with Ebron done for the year. When Brissett made 15 starts for the 2017 Colts, he targeted (105) and completed more passes (78) to Doyle than anyone else on the team. … Pascal, Rogers, and Marcus Johnson figure to make up the Colts’ three-wide set with Campbell (hand) tentatively due back for No. 4 usage. Pascal is an underrated flex option against a Titans secondary that struggles versus perimeter receivers, most notably Mike Evans (11/198/2), Tyreek Hill (11/157/1), D.J. Moore (7/101/0), D.J. Chark (4/76/1), Courtland Sutton (4/76/0), John Brown (5/75/0), Odell Beckham (7/71/0), Curtis Samuel (3/64/1), Mecole Hardman (1/63/1), T.Y. Hilton (4/43/1), and Duke Williams (4/29/1). Probably available on most season-long-league waiver wires, Pascal should be added quickly after Hilton’s calf-injury setback. The Colts play the Bucs in Week 14.
Score Prediction: Titans 24, Colts 17