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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fantasy football: Start-and-sit for Thursday's Texans-Colts game

It's championship week in fantasy, and as a Christmas gift, Arian Foster owners get a Week 16 matchup against a Colts run defense that is allowing 138.7 rushing yards per game and has given up 18 touchdowns on the ground.

Aside from Foster going bananas tonight, it should be a rather uneventful game for fantasy purposes. Because of the Texans' injuries (Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson are out) and the Colts' ineptitude without Peyton Manning, we have only four players on the start list. Only two or three more should be considered fringe candidates to play for a fantasy title -- Pierre Garcon, Donald Brown and Owen Daniels.

Let's break it down.


Texans: RB Arian Foster, K Neil Rackers, defense and special teams

Colts: WR Reggie Wayne

Quick slants: Foster has been terrific after giving us a predraft scare because of a hamstring injury. In 12 games, he has 11 TDs, 1,066 rushing yards and 50 receptions for 601 yards. ... Rackers is averaging 8.2 points per game and has made 26 of 32 field-goal attempts. ... The Texans' defense has been vastly improved. Houston ranks second overall (277.9 yards per game), is third in points allowed (16.9), second vs. the pass (181 yards) and fifth against the run (96.8). ... Wayne is a risky start post-Manning (59 receptions, 781 yards and three TDs), but we'll give him the nod after scoring twice in his last four games. Maybe he'll rack up some garbage-time points.


Texans: QB T.J. Yates, RB Ben Tate, TE Owen Daniels, WR Kevin Walter, WR Jacoby Jones

Colts: QB Dan Orlovsky, RB Donald Brown, WR Pierre Garcon, TE Jacob Tamme, K Adam Vinatieri, defense and special teams

Quick slants: Yates had a big game at Cincinnati on Dec. 11 (300 yards, two TDs, one interception), but he came back to earth last week against Carolina (212 yards, zero TDs, two picks). ... Tate has rushed for 846 yards and is averaging 5.5 yards per carry, but he has only 31 attempts the last four games and hasn't scored in that span. He could get 12 to 18 carries in a blowout, but playing him involves too much risk in the postseason. ... Daniels has been limited by a knee injury and hasn't reached the end zone in his last 10 contests. ... Jacoby Jones hasn't scored in his last four games, and Walter has one productive game in his last six (Dec. 11 at Cincy). He had six catches for 76 yards and a TD in that contest, and has a combined seven receptions for 64 yards and zero scores in the other five games in that span. ... Orlovsky threw for 353 yards, two TDs and a pick on Dec. 4 at New England. In two games since, he has a combined 218 yards passing, two TDs and one interception. ... Brown rushed for 161 yards and a TD last week, and as we wrote Tuesday, he's an intriguing keeper option assuming the Colts have a productive QB in 2012. But he's an iffy play against a very good Texans defense. ... The same goes for Garcon, who has had three huge games (at least 125 yards and two TDs in each contest) and 11 in which he hasn't done much (a combined 46 catches for 454 yards and zero TDs). ... Tamme has a combined two catches for 16 yards and a TD in his last two games. ... The Colts' struggles have limited Vinatieri to 20 field-goal attempts. ... Indy's defense ranks 28th overall, 28th vs. the run and 24th vs. the pass. The Colts are allowing 28.2 points per game, which ranks 30th in the league.

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