Kickoff: Thursday, November 12th at 8:20 PM ET
Location: LP Field, Nashville, TN
Betting Odds: TEN -2, 48.5 total via Oddsshark
Network: FOX, AMZN, NFLN
Philip Rivers (Sit, low-end QB2)
Philip Rivers had two quality fantasy starts in Weeks 7 and 8 before reverting to 2020 form against Baltimore in Week 9. Rivers threw six TD passes to just one INT in those two quality starts but has mustered just four passing TDs with six INTS in his other six games. Tennessee has been generous to opposing QBs so far this season allowing 275 yards and 2+ passing TDs per game but Indianapolis seems content to rely on their suffocating defense and solid run game to grind out victories. Rivers has a matchup he can take advantage of but he is too unreliable to recommend for fantasy managers in Week 10. Rivers should still find his way to a QB2 finish but can be benched in traditional leagues.
Jonathan Taylor (Start, Flex), Nyheim Hines (Start, Flex), Jordan Wilkins (Start, Flex)
Despite the early-season excitement for Jonathan Taylor to assume a workhorse-like role once Marlon Mack was lost for the season to injury it appears as if the Colts are in full RBBC mode with their trio of RBs. Heading into Indianapolis’s Week 7 BYE Taylor was clearly the lead back garnering more than 56% of the team’s snaps but seeing less than 20 opportunities (carries and targets) in each contest. Taylor was out-snapped by Jordan Wilkins in Week 8 (36-29) and by both Wilkins and Nyheim Hines in Week 9 (23-21). The Colts offensive line is so good, however, that each RB has a chance to put up decent numbers in any given week. I expect a similar workload split against Tennessee in Week 10 who has allowed 11 combined TDs to RBs this season. All three RBs have enough talent and opportunity to make for viable options as a flex starter for fantasy managers tonight.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Zach Pascal (Sit), Michael Pittman (Sit), T.Y. Hilton (Sit), Marcus Johnson (Sit), Mo Alie-Cox (Sit), Trey Burton (Sit)
It’s seemingly been a rotating door at WR for the Colts this season as injuries have swept through the position thus far this season. All signs point to T.Y. Hilton returning after missing Week 9, likely at the expense of Marcus Johnson. Indianapolis also likes to utilize Zach Pascal and Michael Pittman along with a solid group of TEs. The sheer number of options at the receiving positions makes it tough to recommend anyone as a viable starting option. Pascal and Hilton are the team leaders at targets, so fantasy managers who are forced to start a Colts WR should look there first but don’t expect much more than a low-end WR3 finish.
At TE, Jack Doyle looks like he’s going to be ruled out meaning Trey Burton and Mo Alie-Cox will be tasked to man the TE position tonight. Alie-Cox has shown he has TE1 upside but Burton has received the larger workload since his return from injury. Burton possesses more upside given his advantage in target share but both of these guys will likely have to score a TD to accrue enough fantasy points to make a difference for fantasy managers. I’d recommend passing on both tonight.
Ryan Tannehill (Start, high-end QB2)
Ryan Tannehill has been ultra-efficient this season as he has tossed 19 TDs on just 254 attempts; an almost unsustainable 7.4%. Much like Rivers, Tannehill is on a team that prefers to rely primarily on the running game but doesn’t have the defense to back it up as Indianapolis does. As such, Tannehill has a bit more upside than Rivers tonight but still has a low ceiling. Tannehill has faced Indianapolis just once as a member of the Titans, Week 13 of 2019, and was able to throw for just 182 although he did toss two TDs in that game. Indianapolis is one of the best pass defenses in the NFL allowing just 206 yards per game and only 10 TDs on the season. Tannehill is best viewed as a solid QB2 given the expected low volume and extremely difficult matchup.
Derrick Henry (Start, low-end RB1), Jeremy McNichols (Sit)
I mentioned last week that Derrick Henry has alternated games of 100+ rushing yards with games of sub-100 yard games and that trend continued last week as Henry was held to just 68 yards last week against Chicago. It won’t be any easier this week as Indianapolis is one of just three teams to allow fewer than 85 rushing yards per game. Henry has found success against the Colts, however, as he compiled 149 yards and one TD against them in Week 13 of 2019 – the last meeting between the teams. Henry is the clear-cut option at RB for Tennessee and his floor is high enough to declare him an RB1 tonight for fantasy managers despite the less than ideal matchup.
Jeremy McNichols is strictly a change-of-pace option for Tennessee and rarely sees enough work to warrant fantasy consideration. Fantasy managers can safely ignore McNichols tonight.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
A.J. Brown (Start, low-end WR1), Corey Davis (Start, low-end WR2), Adam Humphries/Khalif Raymond (Sit), Jonnu Smith (Start, low-end TE1)
Since Tennessee’s Week 4 BYE, A.J. Brown has scored in five consecutive games and has reaffirmed his status as Tannehill’s favorite option. Brown has seen at least seven targets in every game in which he’s been active this season and has such good run after catch ability he’s a threat to score any time he makes a reception. Brown faces a tough matchup against Indianapolis’s top-three defense and is a victim of a relatively low-volume passing offense but should still creep into the WR1 tier for fantasy managers tonight.
Corey Davis was arguably one of the biggest disappointments both in real-life football and for fantasy managers last week. Davis saw just three targets against Chicago and was unable to catch any of them for a goose-egg on the day. Davis had 10 targets in each of Tennessee’s two games prior, but that is the top-end of his opportunities and a more realistic 5-7 targets should be expected going forward. Davis has shown this season he can be productive and playing opposite Brown means less attention from opposing defenses. Davis can’t be trusted to approach his stats from Weeks 7 and 8 but he still can provide WR2 numbers for fantasy managers tonight.
As of this writing, it is unknown if Adam Humphries will be able to play after suffering a concussion in Week 8. If Humphries misses, Khalif Raymond will draw the start in his place. Regardless of who suits up for Tennessee tonight, neither moves the needle for fantasy purposes. Both can remain on benches for Week 10.
The biggest question for fantasy managers who have been relying on Jonnu Smith this season is how much of Smith’s recent struggles are a result of the ankle injury suffered in Week 6. Smith did salvage a decent fantasy day last week with a late TD but the volume is suddenly concerning as his first target didn’t occur until midway through the fourth quarter. The fantasy landscape at TE is so barren past the top three or four guys, however, that Smith still provides TE1 value despite the recent struggles for fantasy managers tonight.
Snap counts courtesy of Fantasy Data.
-Bryan Sweet (@FantasyFreakTN on Twitter)