Thursday night’s matchup between the Titans and Colts will be a battle of wills between a fearless Tennessee offense and a stingy Indianapolis defense. Not only are these two teams divisional foes fighting for the AFC South crown, a title the Titans haven’t held since 2008, but the matchups on both sides of the ball are sure to pique the interest of many fantasy football players across the nation.

This Thursday Night Football showdown in the first game of Week 10;  a week in which many fantasy owners are fighting for their playoff lives. With injuries across the league continuing to mount, along with bye weeks that are causing many owners headaches each week, every game in the NFL holds a significant amount of value for fantasy teams.

The Colts enter Thursday night with one of the best defenses in the league. The hard-nosed Indianapolis defense is holding opponents to a league-best 290 yards per game. Their defensive line features terrors such as Justin Houston, DeForest Buckner, and Denico Autry. While that unit might not have the same star power as the Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis Colts defenses of the past, they have played a significant role in bottling up opposing rushers and consistently getting after the quarterback.

Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill will have his hands full going up against one of the NFL’s stingiest pass defenses which has only allowed 206 yards through the air (3rd in the NFL). Despite throwing for six touchdowns in his last three outings, Tannehill’s numbers have tapered off as of late. The Titans’ quarterback has not thrown for more than 233 yards in the last three games and has only eclipsed the 300-yard mark twice this season.

Pass defense was an enormous weakness for the Colts last season, but they have since upgraded their secondary by signing three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Xavier Rhodes in the offseason. Unless your quarterback position is facing perils of the likes few fantasy owners have ever encountered, Tannehill should find a spot on the fantasy pine this week.

Derrick Henry

In last week’s win against the Bears, Henry was handed one of his lighter workloads of the season with just 21 carries. Of that number, he was only able to rack up a measly 68 yards on the ground and was shut out of the endzone. While the Bears’ defense is no slouch itself, Henry might be facing an even more stout run defense. The Colts are holding opponents to just 83 rush yards per contest. In fact, Indy has yet to allow a single rusher to run for over 72 yards on the season.

Looking at Henry’s volume over the last two weeks, the decrease in touches might have been tactical. The Titans are heading into their most challenging three-game stretch of the season with the Colts on Thursday, followed by a trip to Baltimore and closing out with their second clash with the Colts in Lucas Oil Stadium. Henry should be feeling refreshed heading into this short week against a defense that might be struggling to catch its collective breath.

A.J. Brown & Corey Davis

A.J. Brown continues to produce for the Titans and fantasy owners. Brown posted his second 100-yard effort of the season against Chicago with four catches, 101 yards, and one touchdown. Brown appears to be hitting his stride as the second-year wideout has now eclipsed the century mark in two of his last three games while also finding the endzone in each of his last five outings. Start A.J. Brown or else the fantasy football authorities will be notified.

Corey Davis presents a tough decision for fantasy owners this week. Davis’ brother, Titus Davis, passed away tragically after a battle with cancer on Wednesday. One can only imagine what is going through Davis’ mind this week. The Titans’ No. 2 pass catcher was shut out last week against the Bears, and doesn’t appear to be a viable option in Week 10.

Jonnu Smith

After completely falling off of the fantasy radar for three weeks, Smith worked his way back into the fold with two grabs for 32 yards and a touchdown against the Bears. It has been nearly one month since Smith reeled in more than two catches, which is deeply worrisome for fantasy owners. But Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith has shown time and time again that he values the versatility of the team’s No. 1 tight end.

The disappointment is understandable after Smith’s last few games, but it is not time to abandon him yet. In fact, this matchup against the Colts might just be the right time to plug him back into starting lineups. Look for the Titans to target Smith early and often to keep this Colts defense on its toes.

 

Featured image courtesy of Wesley Hitt/Getty Images


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