There aren’t many tough fantasy calls in this game.
You’re starting Arian Foster if you own him. Hopefully you’re not reduced to starting Reggie Wayne or Pierre Garcon.
The most interesting question concerns Donald Brown: Is he worth a flex play against Houston’s fifth-ranked rush defense?
PFF’s Gordon McGuinness notes Brown (+1.3) was having a good game vs. Tennessee before his 80-yard TD run turned it into a great one. “He finished the game averaging 10.1 yards per carry while scoring that touchdown and forcing three missed tackles–the most he’s forced since Week 16 of his rookie year in 2009. But his game was defined with 3:43 left. Breaking free of Akeem Ayers’ (+0.1) tackle in the backfield, he got to the outside via a block from Dan Orlovsky before sprinting down the sideline for the score.”
The Texans allow just 96.8 rushing yards per game.
But Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, not to mention Cam Newton, all enjoyed decent success against Houston. The Panthers ran for 166 yards on 34 carries (4.9 yards per carry).
The week before, Cedric Benson ran 21 times for 91 yards against Houston. So this is no Steel Curtain.
Joseph Addai remains the starter in Indy, but that’s a technical distinction. He gained just 20 yards on 11 carries against a beatable Titans defense.
Brown carried 16 times for 161 yards and is finally looking like the first-round pick he was in 2009. He’s the biggest reason why the Colts are no longer winless.
I like Brown on Thursday in part due to Houston’s offense. With Andre Johnson out another week and T.J. Yates having some rookie struggles, the game figures to be competitive. That should enable Indy to stick to its plan to run the ball.
PFF’s B.H. Lucas notes that Yates (-3.1) showed signs last Sunday of his limitations. “Yates was intercepted by Senn on a pass that seemed to have no chance of being complete and contributed significantly to their halftime deficit. In the second half, he brought them back well and had a chance to pull them within a score midway through the fourth quarter, but then forced a throw back across his body and was intercepted at the goal line by James Anderson. Yates was also at fault for two sacks and fumbled once.”
Ben Tate is a riskier flex play than Brown, even against Indy’s 28th-ranked run defense. He gained only 30 total yards last week as the Texans fell behind. And he was limited in Monday’s practice with a hamstring injury.