Week 14 of the NFL season, which is week one of the playoffs for many fantasy football leagues, was another one mired in injury. League MVP candidate Carson Wentz went down with an season-ending torn ACL. Let’s be clear, he sustained an injury on a goal-line carry, returned long enough to throw another touchdown, then went to the medical tent. There’s a guy to draft next season.
The surprisingly fantasy productive Josh McCown also saw an injury that ended his season, and quite possibly fantasy relevance for a receiver or two. He sustained a broken hand that will require surgery. He has been one of the more consistent streaming quarterback options this season.
Fantasy Focus Week 15 Thursday Night Football: Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts
Fantasy football doesn’t stop with the injuries. We take our lumps, wish our star players the best for full recoveries, and move on. Let’s move forward to week 15 and take an analytical approach to the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts and break down who starts, and who sits for this matchup.
Denver Broncos (4-9)
Trevor Siemian – Quarterback
Trevor Siemian started the season as a productive fantasy quarterback. He compiled seven total touchdowns to two interceptions in the first two games of the season. Since then, with several weeks off, he has seven more touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
The Colts are giving up the 11th most fantasy points to the quarterback position. Only Tom Savage, Marcus Mariota, and the Nathan Peterman/Joe Webb combo had less than 16 fantasy points against the Colts.
It’s a plus matchup, but Siemian is not a recommended start for teams involved in playoffs. Outside of two-quarterback leagues, or leagues that allow a super flex, Siemian should remain on benches or the waiver wire.
C.J. Anderson – Running Back
C.J. Anderson has been one in a group of several running backs that have disappointed owners this season. It has been either lack of involvement or lack of production. Anderson has only logged one game this season over 100 rushing yards, and that was week two. He’s only had four games this season where he’s seen 20 or more touches and has only hit pay-dirt twice.
This week is a juicy matchup, and with Anderson seeing 15 or more touches in both of the last two games, he should remain involved. He remains a volume RB3/Flex play based on the positive matchup.
Devontae Booker – Running Back
Devontae Booker rushed nine times for 22 yards last week and had two receptions. He’s been more of a change-of-pace back with some passing game work.
Booker is hard to trust as anything more than a risky, PPR flex play, even in a plus matchup.
Demaryius Thomas – Wide Receiver
Demaryius Thomas has remained the top target in the Broncos passing offense. While seeing his ups and downs through multiple quarterbacks, he’s still averaging nine targets per game.
Thomas is safe to roll out as a WR2 in PPR formats and WR3 with upside in standard scoring leagues. He’s been hampered somewhat by inconsistent quarterback play, but it’s a great matchup for receivers.
Emmanuel Sanders – Wide Receiver
Emmanuel Sanders is averaging seven targets per game this season. The surprising stat is that Sanders hasn’t topped more than 16 yards in the last four games. Last week against a beatable New York Jets defense, he absorbed one catch for 16 yards on four targets.
The matchup is good, but it’s difficult to trust that Sanders can deliver. He’s a risky flex start with a limited ceiling.
Indianapolis Colts (3-10)
Jacoby Brissett – Quarterback
Jacoby Brissett was never meant to the be the season-long starter for the Colts. The unfortunate status of Andrew Luck‘s shoulder thrust him into a larger role than anyone was expecting. At times, he’s flashed brilliance from the position. He had a three week stretch of multiple touchdown games, and has thrown two games of over 300 yards this season. However, he hasn’t topped 200 yards passing in the last three games and now faces a Broncos defense that can be very tough to throw on.
It’s difficult to expect anything but mediocrity from Brissett this week in a tough matchup. He’s not a recommended start in most formats.
Frank Gore – Running Back
Frank Gore is the ageless wonder of the running back position. Last week in a game that appeared to be played in a snow-globe shaken by an enthusiastic child, the 34-year-old runner managed 130 yards on 36 attempts. This marks the first time this season he rushed for over 100 yards.
Denver allows the tenth fewest fantasy points to the running back position. After a huge workload, temper expectations for Gore’s nearly predictable stat-line. Gore is a risky flex play this week and would probably be better left on fantasy benches.
Marlon Mack – Running Back
Marlon Mack has flashed multiple times this season and seems to be a big-play threat when given the opportunity. What he’s lacked has been the opportunity. This week may see an expanded role for the rookie.
Mack would be a risky flex play in a tough matchup but may see more volume than normal.
T.Y. Hilton – Wide Receiver
T.Y. Hilton has been the ultimate boom-or-bust wide receiver this season. He’s had two games of 175 or more receiving yards, and three games with fewer than 20 total yards. Hilton has the hands, the talent, and the speed to be in the WR1 conversation, but has failed to do so consistently with the absence of Luck.
Even with the start-your-studs mentality, it’s difficult to trust Hilton as anything more than a boom-or-bust WR3/4 especially in a difficult matchup against Aqib Talib and company.
Chester Rogers – Wide Receiver
Chester Rogers has operated as the number-two receiver with Donte Moncrief sidelined. Rogers hasn’t done much to be fantasy relevant and doesn’t look likely to make that jump this week in a tough matchup. He’s not on the fantasy radar this week.
Jack Doyle – Tight End
Jack Doyle has been one of the more consistent receiving options in this Colts offense. The Broncos rank 29th in yards allowed to the tight end position.
If there’s a player on this Colts offense that one could feel safe starting this week, Doyle is probably it. The tight end position has been bleak overall this year. Doyle is in the TE1 conversation this week.