Injuries and poor play are certainly mounting for the Houston Texans. But they play the Indianapolis Colts Thursday night and there just has to be points to be had by someone out there on the Texans, right?
That someone could be tight end Joel Dreessen, and he might be the only player on the Texans you can start besides stud running back Arian Foster.
The team’s best receiver, Andre Johnson, is out. You can’t trust quarterback T.J. Yates. You can’t trust the receiving corps that’s left in Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones. Backup running back Ben Tate has been limited in practice this week with a strained hamstring and is coming off a 3.5-point day against woeful Carolina. Owen Daniels is going to try and “give it a go” against the Colts with a knee issue.
That leaves just Dreeseen, who’s also dealing with a strained knee — not as bad as Daniels’ bruised knee — and has been a proven target for Houston QBs throughout the entire season.
Foster is going to get his, of course; he always does. The Colts, ranked 30th against fantasy running backs for the entire season, are actually seventh best against fantasy running backs over the last three weeks — 252 yards rushing, 2 TDs and 120 yards receiving on 13 catches.
So if the two receivers can’t be trusted, the back up running back and the No. 1 tight end are limited, it will come down to Foster and Dreessen to help produce a majority of the numbers. Of course Jones and Walter could come out of nowhere and do just that against this Colts defense, but if we’re talking proven commodities then only Foster and Dreessen can get the nods into a starting lineup in Week 16.
The Colts are ranked 29th this season against tight ends in Athlon’s half-PPR scoring format and are tied for the third-most TDs allowed (7). In the five of the last eight games, Indianapolis has allowed Jared Cook 103 yards on nine catches, Dennis Pitta three catches, 29 yards and a touchdown, Rob Gronkowski five catches, 64 yards and a two scores, Tony Gonzalez four catches, 36 yards and a score and Jimmy Graham six catches 54 yards and two scores.
Dreessen leads the Texans’ pass catchers with six touchdowns, and until last week against Carolina he had caught a TD in three straight games. Traditionally the yardage has not been there for Dreessen and neither have the targets — although he did have a nine-target, five-catch, 112-yard, 1-TD day against Oakland in Week 5 — but if the Texans’ offense is going to be this depleted, then maybe Thursday’s a night where he repeats Week 5. Even cut Week 5 in half, and you still have a 10-point day from a tight end — numbers I would take if I were struggling at a position.
Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter