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AFC South Player Analysis
Matt Wilson, FantasySharks.com, Staff Writer

Tennessee Titans (vs Jacksonville Jaguars)

QB Charlie Whitehurst: Since Jake Locker (shoulder) is out for the rest of the season and rookie Zach Mettenberger (shoulder) is still ailing, Whitehurst is expected to make his eighth career start Thursday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The ninth-year journeyman passer is a weak play versus a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that surrendered only 214 passing yards per game and just three touchdown passes during the last month. ( 196 yds pass with 1 TD and 1 Int; 12 yds rush )

QB Zach Mettenberger: As of late Wednesday morning, Mettenberger (throwing shoulder) was expected to miss his second straight game.

QB Jordan Palmer: With Jake Locker (shoulder) lost for the season and Zach Mettenberger (shoulder) still unable to play, Palmer is penciled in as Charlie Whitehurst's backup. Palmer signed with the Titans earlier this week. He has not taken a regular-season snap since 2010. If Palmer is forced into the starting lineup, he obviously is not a fantasy option. ( 43 yds pass and 1 Int; 2 yds rush )

RB Bishop Sankey: Sankey rarely receives goal-line touches, and his role in the Titans' passing attack is tiny at best. Now the rookie apparently is back to sharing early-down touches in a 'hot-hand' committee with Shonn Greene. Last week, Greene unexpectedly out-touched Sankey by a count of 17 to four. Even though he has a favorable matchup versus a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that gave up 111.5 rushing yards and 1.3 rushing touchdowns per game to enemy running backs during the last month, Sankey's shaky role in the Tennessee offense makes him a dicey play. ( 26 yds rush; 1 catch for 7 yds )

RB Shonn Greene: The sixth-year pro touched the ball a season-high 17 times last week, but don't expect a repeat of that fluky workload. Greene is a weak play Thursday night versus a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that ceded 111.5 rushing yards and 1.3 rushing touchdowns per outing to opposing tailbacks during the last month. ( 35 yds rush; 1 catch for 8 yds )

RB Dexter McCluster: McCluster (knee) has been ruled OUT for Week 16.

RB Leon Washington: Since Dexter McCluster has been ruled OUT for Week 16, Washington likely will replace him as Tennessee's third-down back. However, Washington won't receive enough touches to have standalone fantasy value. ( 8 yds rush; 2 catches for 11 yds )

WR Kendall Wright: THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE: Wright (hand) is ACTIVE for Thursday Night Football. However, you should consider him a weak fantasy WR3 play with Charlie Whitehurst throwing him passes against a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that yielded the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers during the last month. ( 1 yd rush; 5 catches for 54 yds )

WR Justin Hunter: Walker (ruptured spleen) has been placed on season-ending injured reserve. Nate Washington is starting in his place.

WR Nate Washington: Since Charlie Whitehurst is expected to start for the Titans Thursday night, fantasy owners shouldn't chase Washington's 100-yard game from last week. Consider him a weak play against a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points to enemy wideouts during the last month. ( 3 catches for 50 yds )

WR Derek Hagan: Filling in for the injured Kendall Wright (hand) during the last two weeks, the 30-year-old journeyman receiver followed up his surprising 6-62-0 outing in Week 14 with a goose egg in Week 15. Hagan is too unreliable to trust as a fantasy starter. ( 2 catches for 27 yds )

WR Kris Durham: ( 1 catch for 8 yds )

TE Delanie Walker: THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE: Walker (knee) is ACTIVE for Thursday Night Football. Since fill-in Charlie Whitehurst is expected to lean on Walker as a safety blanket, consider him a decent play against a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that ranked only 17th in fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends during the last month. ( 4 catches for 51 yds )

TE Chase Coffman: ( 1 catch for 4 yds )

PK Ryan Succop: Tennessee's anemic 29th-ranked offense rarely generates a large number of scoring chances for Succop. He has tallied six or fewer points in 11 games so far this season. Consider him a weak play as usual. ( 2 XPs, 1 FG )

Def Tennessee Titans: Despite the favorable matchup against a struggling and mistake-prone Jacksonville Jaguars offense, the Titans defense should not be trusted as a starting option. It's very doubtful that Tennessee can play well enough to exploit this plus matchup. During the last four weeks, the Titans allowed 35 points per contest. They also averaged just 1.3 sacks and only 1.0 turnover per outing. In the same time frame, the Jaguars scored 10.3 points per game. They also yielded a whopping 5.8 sacks per contest and committed 1.0 turnover per outing. ( 2 sacks, 1 INT )



Indianapolis Colts (vs Dallas Cowboys)

QB Andrew Luck: Don't overreact to Luck's dud Week 15 outing. Even the elite quarterbacks have a bad day at the office once in a while. Luck should remain locked and loaded in your starting lineup against a Dallas Cowboys defense that have allowed 287 passing yards and 1.5 touchdown passes per game during the last month. FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is listed as QUESTIONABLE for Week 16 and will be a GAME-TIME DECISION. ( 320 yds pass with 3 TDs and 1 Int; 20 yds rush )

QB Matt Hasselbeck: ( 15 yds pass )

RB Dan Herron: Herron's lack of scoring continues to hurt his value. The third-year pro still handles the bulk of the third-down duties and still tops Trent Richardson in early-down carries, but Herron has hit pay dirt just once since he took over for Ahmad Bradshaw in Week 12. The Dallas Cowboys defense has yielded the seventh-most fantasy points to enemy running backs during the last four weeks. Despite the touchdown drought, you should consider Herron a decent overall play this week, particularly in PPR leagues. ( 66 yds rush; 4 catches for 35 yds )

RB Trent Richardson: With a matchup on tap against a Dallas Cowboys defense that yielded the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs during the last month, it's probably tempting to give T-Rich another chance. However, keep in mind that he has flopped in most of his favorable matchups this season. In addition, Richardson has averaged just nine combo touches and 24.7 combo yards per game with no touchdowns scored since Week 13. Consider him a weak play as usual. ( 33 yds rush; 2 catches for 21 yds )

RB Zurlon Tipton: ( 5 yds rush; 1 catch for 2 yds )

WR T.Y. Hilton: FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Hilton (hamstring) missed all practices this week. He is listed as QUESTIONABLE for Week 16 and will be a GAME-TIME DECISION. Since the Colts have clinched a playoff spot, they would have little to gain by playing a less-than-100-percent Hilton. The Colts/Cowboys game kicks off at 4:25pm EST, which complicates matters. Right now, we think the odds are against Hilton playing. If you own him, have another option in mind. We'll update Hilton's status Sunday morning. ( 1 yd rush; 6 catches for 88 yds and 1 TD )

WR Reggie Wayne: The banged-up Wayne continues to contribute next to nothing. The 36-year-old wideout has amassed stat lines of 3-10-0, 4-31-0, 1-5-0 and 4-24-0 during the last four weeks, respectively. Even though he draws a favorable matchup against a Dallas Cowboys defense that ranked just 19th in fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers during the last month, Wayne is a very unsafe play for any fantasy bowl team. ( 6 catches for 56 yds )

WR Donte Moncrief: Even though Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks have been largely ineffective, the Colts have refused to give the athletically gifted Moncrief more than four targets per game during the last month. Unless somebody in the Colts receiver corps is cut down by an injury, the rookie will continue to operate as a boom-or-bust fantasy WR4 option. FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: If T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is unable to play, Moncrief would be in line for extra targets, but he would remain a risky hit-or-miss option for your playoff fantasy team. ( 1 yd rush; 3 catches for 33 yds )

WR Hakeem Nicks: FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: If T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is unable to play, Nicks would be in line for more targets. However, the sixth-year pro still would be a risky play for your playoff fantasy team. ( 2 catches for 28 yds )

WR Josh Cribbs: ( 1 yd rush; )

TE Dwayne Allen: Now fully recovered from the ankle injury that forced him to miss two games, Allen has re-asserted himself as Indianapolis' No. 1 tight end. Consider Allen a strong play versus a Dallas Cowboys defense that has ceded the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends since Week 12. ( 3 catches for 45 yds and 1 TD )

TE Coby Fleener: He usually plays second fiddle to Dwayne Allen, but Fleener's favorable matchup against a Dallas Cowboys defense that yielded the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends during the last month, makes him a solid starting option. ( 4 catches for 63 yds )

TE Jack Doyle: ( 1 catch for 5 yds )

PK Adam Vinatieri: Vinatieri is a strong play versus a Dallas Cowboys defense that ranked only 16th in fantasy points allowed to enemy kickers during the month. The Cowboys/Colts matchup promises to be high scoring. ( 3 XPs, 2 FGs )

Def Indianapolis Colts: Indianapolis has been a nice streaming option all season, but, even if DeMarco Murray (hand surgery) is sidelined, you should park this unit on your bench. The productive and efficient Dallas Cowboys offense hasn't coughed up many fantasy points lately. During the last month, the Colts surrendered 16 points per game. They also notched 3.0 sacks and 1.8 takeaways per contest. In the same time span, Dallas scored 30 points per game. In addition, the Cowboys allowed only 2.5 sacks per contest and committed 1.3 turnovers per outing. ( 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 Fumble )



Jacksonville Jaguars (vs Tennessee Titans)

QB Blake Bortles: THURSDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Bortles (sprained foot) will start tonight against the Tennessee Titans. During Bortles' last six starts, the rookie averaged only 215.33 passing yards, 0.67 touchdown passes and 0.8 interceptions per game. He threw multiple touchdown passes in just one of those contests. Bortles obviously is not playing well enough right now to exploit a Titans defense that allowed 276 passing yards and 2.3 touchdown passes per game during the last month. ( 178 yds pass with 1 TD and 2 Ints; 16 yds rush )

QB Chad Henne: THURSDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Blake Bortles (sprained foot) will start tonight against the Tennessee Titans. Henne will operate as his backup as usual. ( 61 yds pass; 2 yds rush )

RB Toby Gerhart: Since Week 12, the Tennessee Titans defense has been gashed for 120.5 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown per contest by enemy running backs, so this matchup is obviously favorable for the new lead dog in Jacksonville's committee backfield. Should you trust Gerhart? The 54 rushing yards that he racked up last week was a season high, and the fifth-year pro has scored just once (back in Week 4) all season. Consider him a risky low-ceiling fantasy RB3 play for Thursday night. ( 56 yds rush; 3 catches for 22 yds )

RB Jordan Todman: The fourth-year pro is buried on the depth chart behind Toby Gerhart and Storm Johnson. Last week, Todman touched the ball just four times in Jacksonville's Denard Robinson-less committee backfield. ( 14 yds rush; 2 catches for 18 yds )

RB Storm Johnson: Operating as the backup to starter Toby Gerhart last week, Johnson toted the rock just six times for 19 yards. As long as Gerhart is the lead dog in Jacksonville's committee backfield, Johnson, a rookie seventh-round pick, lacks standalone fantasy value. ( 13 yds rush; 1 catch for 4 yds )

WR Cecil Shorts: The Blake Bortles to Cecil Shorts connection has been wildly inconsistent since Week 12. Even though Shorts will square off against a Tennessee Titans defense that gave up the eighth-most fantasy points to enemy receivers during the last month, it's hard to trust Shorts as anything more than a boom-or-bust fantasy WR4 play for Thursday night. ( 6 catches for 63 yds )

WR Allen Hurns: From Week 13 through Week 15, Hurns' production has been pedestrian but consistent, and he hit pay dirt once during that time frame. Consider the big-play threat a boom-or-bust fantasy WR4 play Thursday night against a Tennessee Titans defense that yielded the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts during the last month. ( 5 catches for 52 yds )

WR Marqise Lee: Lee (elbow) has been Jacksonville's most productive receiver during the last month. He averaged 4.5 receptions and 52 receiving yards per game with one touchdown scored. The rookie looks like a middling fantasy WR4 play for Thursday night, despite a favorable matchup against a Tennessee Titans defense that gave up the eighth-most fantasy points to enemy receivers since Week 12. THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE: Lee (elbow) participated in all of Jacksonville's full practices this week. He is listed as PROBABLE for Thursday Night Football. ( 1 yd rush; 3 catches for 57 yds )

WR Ace Sanders: ( 2 catches for 14 yds )

WR Tommy Streeter: ( 1 catch for 1 yd )

TE Marcedes Lewis: Averaging just 3.3 targets per game since Week 12, the little-used Lewis (dislocated thumb) is a weak play versus a Tennessee Titans defense that allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to enemy tight ends during the last month. ( 3 catches for 37 yds )

TE Nic Jacobs: ( 1 catch for 3 yds )

TE Clay Harbor: ( 2 catches for 23 yds )

PK Josh Scobee: The Tennessee Titans defense has surrendered the most fantasy points to enemy kickers during the last month, but Jacksonville's anemic offense won't generate an adequate number of scoring chances for Scobee as usual. He is a weak play. ( 1 XP, 2 FGs )

Def Jacksonville Jaguars: If you're desperate for a streaming option, Jacksonville is actually a solid play for Thursday night against a struggling, mistake-prone Tennessee Titans offense that likely will have Charlie Whitehurst starting under center. During the last month, the Jaguars allowed 23.5 points per game. They also racked up 2.5 sacks and 1.8 takeaways per contest. In the same time span, the Titans scored just 12.5 points per game. In addition, they allowed 4.3 sacks per outing and committed 2.8 turnovers per contest. ( 3 sacks, 1 INT, 2 Fumbles )



Houston Texans (vs Baltimore Ravens)

QB Tom Savage: Savage (knee) has been ruled OUT for Week 16. According to media speculation, the rookie fourth-round pick could miss the rest of the season.

QB Thaddeus Lewis: FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Although the Texans still haven't named their Week 16 starting quarterback, there is growing speculation that Case Keenum will get the nod over Lewis. However, if Lewis starts, this would be his first game action since Week 17 of the 2013 season. Despite a favorable matchup against a Baltimore Ravens defense that gave up 310 passing yards and 1.8 touchdown passes per game during the last month, we don't recommend using either Lewis or Keenum as a starter for your playoff fantasy team. ( 176 yds pass with 1 TD and 1 Int; 9 yds rush )

QB Case Keenum: FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Although the Texans still haven't named their Week 16 starting quarterback, there is growing speculation that Keenum will get the nod over Thad Lewis. If Keenum starts, this would be his first game action since Week 15 of the 2013 season. Despite a favorable matchup against a Baltimore Ravens defense that gave up 310 passing yards and 1.8 touchdown passes per game during the last month, we don't recommend using either Keenum or Lewis as a starter for your playoff fantasy team. ( 35 yds pass; 1 yd rush )

RB Arian Foster: Since either Thad Lewis or Case Keenum will get the start for the Texans, the team obviously will lean on Foster (hip) as much as possible. However, his matchup against a Baltimore Ravens defense that gave up just 57 rushing yards per game and only one rushing touchdown to opposing running backs during the last month is a toughie. Based on the high number of combo touches that Foster usually receives, he still should compile a decent fantasy outing. Fantasy owners will need to dial down their expectations though. FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Foster (hip) took part in a full practice today. He is listed as PROBABLE. ( 73 yds rush; 3 catches for 21 yds )

RB Alfred Blue: Arian Foster's handcuff usually receives only a high single-digit number of touches per game when Foster is healthy. Blue's workload could increase a little bit since the Texans likely will go run heavy with either Thad Lewis or Case Keenum under center. However, Blue still won't receive enough work to have standalone fantasy value. ( 33 yds rush; 1 catch for 6 yds )

RB Jonathan Grimes: Houston's third-string tailback has touched the ball just seven times in the last month. ( 9 yds rush; 1 catch for 5 yds )

WR Andre Johnson: Good news: Johnson (concussion), who was inactive last week, is tentatively expected to return to the starting lineup in Week 16. More good news: The Baltimore Ravens defense has surrendered the third-most fantasy points to opposing receivers during the last month. Bad news: Either Thad Lewis or Case Keenum will be throwing passes to Johnson. Despite the less-than-stellar quarterback situation, 'AJ' still should do some damage. FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Johnson (concussion) has received medical clearance to play. He is listed as PROBABLE. ( 7 catches for 71 yds )

WR DeAndre Hopkins: FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Hopkins (ankle) has missed all practices this week. He is listed as QUESTIONABLE and is considered a GAME-TIME DECISION. The second-year pro's chances of playing don't look very promising. We'll provide an update on his status Sunday morning. If Hopkins does play, he would be a weak start with either Thad Lewis or Case Keenum throwing to him, despite facing a Baltimore Ravens defense that gave up the third-most fantasy points to enemy receivers during the last four weeks. ( 5 catches for 64 yds )

WR Damaris Johnson: Houston's No. 3 receiver has caught more than three passes in just one game this season. Johnson lacks fantasy appeal. ( 2 yds rush; 3 catches for 23 yds )

WR DeVier Posey: Since Andre Johnson (concussion) is expected to play in Week 16, Posey will slide back down the depth chart into fantasy irrelevance. ( 1 catch for 13 yds )

WR Keshawn Martin: ( 1 catch for 11 yds )

TE Garrett Graham: Graham (ankle) has been inactive two weeks in a row. Even if he returns for Week 16, Graham has lacked fantasy appeal all season, because the Texans rarely use their tight ends as receivers.

TE C.J. Fiedorowicz: Fiedorowicz and Ryan Griffin have been operating in a timeshare while Garrett Graham (ankle) has been out the last two weeks. Even if Graham sits again, blocking-specialist Fiedorowicz, who has caught just two passes this season, obviously should not be on your fantasy radar. ( 2 catches for 25 yds )

TE Ryan Griffin: He has been playing in a timeshare with C.J. Fiedorowicz while Garrett Graham (ankle) has been sidelined the last two weeks. The little-used Griffin has caught just six passes this season and obviously lacks fantasy appeal. ( 1 catch for 10 yds )

PK Randy Bullock: Even though Bullock's matchup against a Baltimore Ravens defense that allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing kickers during the last month is clearly favorable, he should be considered a very risky play. Not much scoring is expected from the Thad Lewis/Case Keenum-led Houston offense. ( 2 XPs, 2 FGs )

Def Houston Texans: Lower your expectations for Houston against a productive Baltimore Ravens offense that has been playing some very efficient football. During the last month, the Texans allowed 18.3 points per game. They also notched 2.3 sacks and 2.0 takeaways per contest. In the same time frame, the Ravens scored at a decent clip (27.3 points per game), and they allowed just two sacks and committed only three turnovers. ( 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 Fumble )



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