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

Indianapolis Colts (vs New York Giants)

QB Andrew Luck: The must-start Luck has averaged 341.4 passing yards and 2.8 touchdown passes per game. During the last month, the New York Giants defense has allowed 281 passing yards and 2.0 scoring strikes per contest. Look for yet another monster outing from Luck on Monday Night Football. ( 279 yds pass with 2 TDs and 1 Int; 20 yds rush )

QB Matt Hasselbeck: ( 15 yds pass )

RB Trent Richardson: THURSDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Richardson (hamstring) is no longer listed on the Colts' injury report, so he is good to go for Monday Night Football. Since Week 5, the New York Giants have allowed an average of 142 rushing yards and 1.0 rushing touchdowns per contest to enemy running backs. Consider Richardson a decent play as a fantasy RB2. ( 50 yds rush; 3 catches for 29 yds )

RB Ahmad Bradshaw: It's a favorable Monday night matchup for the must-play Bradshaw. During the last month, Bradshaw's former team surrendered an average of 142 rushing yards, 1.0 rushing touchdowns, 6.0 catches and 64 receiving yards yards per game to opposing running backs. The eighth-year pro has hit pay dirt in four straight contests and has found the end zone at least once in six of his team's first eight outings. ( 51 yds rush; 4 catches for 35 yds and 1 TD )

RB Dan Herron: THURSDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Trent Richardson (hamstring) has been removed from Indianapolis' injury report, so he is a lock to play Monday night. Since Richardson is healthy, we won't be seeing much of Herron. ( 12 yds rush; 1 catch for 2 yds )

WR T.Y. Hilton: The Luck-to-Hilton connection continues to sizzle like bacon in a hot frying pan. The must-start Hilton either scored or racked up 100-plus receiving yards in four of his last five contests with one 200-yard game mixed in. The New York Giants rank a misleading fourth in fantasy points allowed to enemy receivers during the last month. They gave up a monster outing to Dez Bryant back in Week 7. ( 1 yd rush; 8 catches for 112 yds )

WR Reggie Wayne: FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Wayne (elbow) took part in a full practice. However, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said he wanted to see if Wayne could get through Saturday practice in good shape before making a decision on the veteran wideout's availability for Monday Night Football. We'll provide an update when it's warranted. ( 5 catches for 51 yds )

WR Hakeem Nicks: He flopped spectacularly while starting in place of the injured Reggie Wayne (elbow) last week, catching just one pass for 27 yards on six targets. The plodding Nicks was replaced on a large number of snaps by rookie third-round pick Donte Moncrief, who broke out with seven catches for 113 yards and one touchdown on 12 looks. With the emerging Moncrief now pushing the largely ineffective Nicks for snaps, the veteran wideout should drop off your fantasy radar if he hasn't already. ( 3 catches for 28 yds )

WR Donte Moncrief: Playing 40 of a possible 66 snaps in a backup role against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, the rookie third-round pick compiled seven catches for 113 yards and one touchdown on 12 targets. It's not clear whether Moncrief passed the ineffective Hakeem Nicks on the depth chart. Assuming Reggie Wayne (elbow) returns Monday night, Moncrief, at best, would be the Colts' No. 3 receiver. If Wayne sits for the second straight week, Moncrief could have intriguing flier value in an expanded role. We'll leave Moncrief's projections alone for now and provide an update later in the week. ( 1 yd rush; 2 catches for 22 yds )

WR Griff Whalen: ( 1 catch for 10 yds )

TE Dwayne Allen: The third-year pro has caught a touchdown pass in two straight games and has hit pay dirt in six of Indianapolis' first eight contests. Allen has a very nice matchup this week against a New York Giants defense that surrendered the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends during the last month. ( 3 catches for 47 yds and 1 TD )

TE Coby Fleener: If you need a bye-week replacement, the admittedly touchdown-dependent Fleener against a New York Giants defense that gave up the third-most fantasy points to enemy tight ends during the last four weeks, could be your man. ( 3 catches for 36 yds )

TE Jack Doyle: ( 1 catch for 7 yds )

PK Adam Vinatieri: He has outscored every kicker in the NFL except Stephen Gostkowski (Patriots). Kicking for one of the league's hottest offenses, Vinatieri is a solid play against a New York Giants defense that yielded 8.0 points per game to enemy kickers since Week 5. ( 3 XPs, 2 FGs )

Def Indianapolis Colts: Considered by many to be an up-and-coming unit, the Indianapolis team defense was totally obliterated by Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers offense last week. However, based on a favorable matchup with the New York Giants offense, we think you should give the Colts another chance. During the last month, Indianapolis gave up an average of 23 points per game. The Colts also racked up 3.3 sacks and 1.8 takeaways per contest. In that same time frame, the New York offense racked up 17 points per game. The Giants also gave up 3.0 sacks per outing and turned the ball over 1.67 times per contest. ( 3 sacks, 1 INT, 1 Fumble )



Jacksonville Jaguars (vs Cincinnati Bengals)

QB Blake Bortles: With six games (five starts) under his belt, the rookie has tossed just six touchdown passes against a league-worst 12 interceptions (four were pick-sixes). Even though he draws a favorable matchup against a Cincinnati Bengals defense that surrendered an average of 278.8 passing yards and 1.5 touchdown tosses per contest during the last month, Bortles' lack of consistency makes him too risky to trust in your starting lineup. ( 222 yds pass with 1 TD and 2 Ints; 23 yds rush )

QB Chad Henne: ( 64 yds pass; 2 yds rush )

RB Denard Robinson: Coming off two consecutive 100-yard outings, 'Shoelace' owns the Jacksonville backfield right now. The Cincinnati Bengals defense has allowed 128 rushing yards and 1.3 rushing touchdowns per game to enemy running backs during the last four weeks, but the Bengals haven't allowed more than 70 rushing yards to a runner on their home field. Nonetheless, Robinson belongs in your lineup for Week 9. ( 70 yds rush; 3 catches for 20 yds )

RB Toby Gerhart: Operating in a backup role last week, a now-healthy Gerhart carried just four times for 10 yards and caught one pass for three yards. He is no threat to Denard Robinson's starting job right now and obviously lacks fantasy appeal. ( 23 yds rush; 2 catches for 13 yds )

RB Storm Johnson: The rookie seventh-round selection was a healthy inactive last week. Johnson is buried on the depth chart behind Denard Robinson, Toby Gerhart and Jordan Todman. ( 15 yds rush; 1 catch for 4 yds )

RB Jordan Todman: Jacksonville's third-string runner has averaged just 2.4 touches per game. Todman should not be on your fantasy radar. ( 11 yds rush; 1 catch for 10 yds )

WR Cecil Shorts: The struggling Shorts has averaged just three catches and 26.5 receiving yards per game in his last two outings. The fourth-year pro hasn't hit pay dirt since Week 3. During the last month, the Cincinnati Bengals defense yielded the fewest fantasy points to enemy receivers. Consider Shorts a weak play in this very tough matchup. FRIDAY EVENING UPDATE: Shorts (groin) took part in a full practice today. He is listed as PROBABLE for Week 9. ( 5 catches for 53 yds )

WR Allen Robinson: Averaging 4.5 receptions, 71 receiving yards and 1.0 touchdown grabs per game, Robinson has been the Jaguars' most productive receiver during the last two weeks. However, facing a very tough matchup against a Cincinnati Bengals defense that allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing wideouts during the last month, Robinson is a weak play in Week 9. ( 6 catches for 56 yds )

WR Allen Hurns: Operating in a backup role most of the time during the last month, Hurns averaged just 2.5 receptions and 25 receiving yards per contest with no touchdowns scored. The rookie should not be on your fantasy radar right now. FRIDAY EVENING UPDATE: Hurns (ankle) took part in a full practice today. He is listed as PROBABLE for Week 9. ( 3 catches for 32 yds )

WR Ace Sanders: Jacksonville's No. 5 receiver has caught just three passes in the last month. ( 2 catches for 16 yds )

WR Marqise Lee: Sitting behind Cecil Shorts, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns on the Jacksonville receiver depth chart, Lee has caught just four passes in the last three weeks. The rookie lacks fantasy appeal. ( 1 yd rush; 1 catch for 13 yds )

WR Mike Brown: He has been inactive three weeks in a row. ( 2 catches for 28 yds )

TE Clay Harbor: Harbor racked up his two most productive fantasy outings of the season (8-70-0 in Week 4 and 3-91-1 in Week 6) on the road. He draws a very favorable road matchup against a Cincinnati Bengals defense that yielded the second-most fantasy points to enemy tight ends during the last month. There is some upside but he clearly is a risky play. ( 4 catches for 54 yds )

TE Nic Jacobs: ( 1 catch for 4 yds )

TE Marcedes Lewis: FRIDAY (10/31) UPDATE: Lewis (high ankle sprain) resumed practicing on a limited basis this week. He remains on track to come off the injured-reserve/designated-to-return list in Week 12.

PK Josh Scobee: The Cincinnati Bengals have allowed the most points to enemy kickers during the last month, but you shouldn't count on the NFL's 30th-rated offense to generate an adequate number of scoring chances for Scobee. ( 2 XPs, 2 FGs )

Def Jacksonville Jaguars: As strange as it may sound, the quietly improving Jacksonville defense is a low-end starting option. During the last month, the Jaguars allowed 13 offensive points per game. They also racked up 3.3 sacks and 1.3 takeaways per outing. In the same time frame, the Cincinnati Bengals offense scored 20.3 points per contest. The Bengals also allowed 2.0 sacks per game and committed 1.8 turnovers per outing. ( 3 sacks, 1 Fumble )



Houston Texans (vs Philadelphia Eagles)

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: Fitzpatrick draws a great home matchup versus a Philadelphia Eagles defense that surrendered an average of 305 passing yards and 1.67 touchdown passes per contest during the last month. As you know, the Texans routinely have used him as a game-manager in their run-first attack. Fitzpatrick has notched no 300-yard games, and the 10th-year pro has tossed multiple touchdown passes in only two contests. However, with six teams on bye this week, he looks like a decent backup option. ( 240 yds pass with 1 TD and 1 Int; 11 yds rush )

QB Ryan Mallett: ( 21 yds pass )

RB Arian Foster: During the last month, the must-play Foster (knee) averaged 150.3 total yards and 2.0 total touchdowns per game. The Philadelphia Eagles have yielded only 83 rushing yards per contest and two rushing touchdowns during the last four weeks, but they didn't face any runners as talented as Foster. FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Foster (knee) was limited in practice, but he is listed as PROBABLE for Week 9 and will start as usual. ( 96 yds rush and 1 TD; 4 catches for 27 yds )

RB Alfred Blue: Don't expect a repeat of the heavy workload that Blue received during Houston's blowout victory over the Tennessee Titans last week. Most of the rookie running back's season-high 15 touches came in junk time with starter Arian Foster resting on the sideline. As long as Foster is healthy, Blue lacks fantasy appeal. FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Blue (ankle) is listed as PROBABLE for Week 9. Arian Foster's understudy is ready for action if needed. ( 26 yds rush; 1 catch for 9 yds )

RB Jonathan Grimes: Houston's little-used third-string tailback compiled just two carries for seven yards in the last five weeks. As long as Arian Foster and Alfred Blue are healthy, Grimes lacks fantasy appeal. ( 7 yds rush; 1 catch for 3 yds )

WR Andre Johnson: The Texans' most heavily targeted wideout draws a great home matchup versus a Philadelphia Eagles defense that allowed the third-most fantasy points to enemy receivers during the last month. So far this season, the 33-year-old Johnson has scored just once and has failed to rack up any 100-yard games. But, on paper, he still has solid option with some upside this week. FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Johnson (ankle) was limited in practice, but he is listed as PROBABLE for Week 9 and will start as usual. ( 8 catches for 91 yds )

WR DeAndre Hopkins: Even though teammate Andre Johnson leads Houston in targets, Hopkins tops the Texans with three touchdown grabs and two 100-yard games. The second-year pro has nice upside against a Philadelphia Eagles defense that yielded the third-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts since Week 5. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Hopkins break a long one for a score against an Eagles defense that was burned on big scoring plays by Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown last week. ( 6 catches for 78 yds )

WR Damaris Johnson: ( 1 yd rush; 2 catches for 24 yds )

WR DeVier Posey: ( 1 catch for 9 yds )

WR Keshawn Martin: ( 1 catch for 11 yds )

TE Garrett Graham: With just two catches in the last three weeks and only 12 grabs on the season, Graham remains a non-factor in the Houston offense. The Philadelphia Eagles defense has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the tight end position since Week 5. ( 3 catches for 31 yds )

TE C.J. Fiedorowicz: The rookie has caught just two balls so far this season. ( 1 catch for 4 yds )

TE Ryan Griffin: The second-year pro has notched just two receptions in 2014. ( 1 catch for 6 yds )

PK Randy Bullock: Facing a very tough matchup against a Philadelphia Eagles defense that gave up the fewest points to enemy kickers during the last month, Bullock is a weak play. ( 2 XPs, 2 FGs )

Def Houston Texans: The Texans defense is a good-but-not-great play. During the last four weeks, Houston surrendered 24.8 points per game. J.J. Watt and company also notched 2.3 sacks and 2.0 takeaways per contest. From Week 5 through Week 8, the Philadelphia Eagles offense scored 27 points per outing. The Eagles also committed 2.0 turnovers per contest, but they allowed only a single sack in that time frame. ( 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 Fumble )



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