Thursday Night Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 12 (2019): Which Indianapolis RB Should You Trust, Does T.Y. Hilton Return To Must Start Status & More


Thursday games are always tricky, though that’s not groundbreaking news.  Let’s take a quick look at some of the more questionable decisions for tonight’s game and try to decide who we should trust and who should be avoided:

Is there a RB to trust in Indianapolis…

Jonathan Williams put on a show after Marlon Mack’s injury, taking 13 carries for 116 yards against the Jaguars. You would think that would lock him in as the lead runner for Week 12, though the return of Jordan Wilkins (who was removed from the injury report) could throw a little hitch in that plan. Wilkins, who missed Week 11 with an ankle injury, has performed well in his limited opportunities this season:

27 carries, 165 yards, 0 TD

Of course looking at the overall numbers is a little bit misleading. Wilkins had 82 yards on 5 carries in Week 1, so if you take that out he has 22 carries for 83 yards from Week 2 forward (3.8 YPC). Sure he’s going to play a role on early downs (Nyheim Hines is going to be the third down pass catcher), but it makes some sense for the Colts to ride the hot hand. It’s easy to forget that Williams, who ultimately was a fifth round draft pick in ’16, was always considered a high upside option. Just look at what Mark Dulgerian of said all the way back then:

The draft slot does not match the talent here, but with his injury history, it makes sense. With exceptional feet, balance, power, and quickness Williams was among the best RBs in the SEC before sitting out 2015 with a foot injury. This could be a long-term steal if he stays healthy.

It’s been a long time coming, but Williams should get the opportunity to continue proving he’s healthy and he was seen as having the talent (obviously a lot has changed from now to then, but it still shows the upside). The Texans were torched by the Ravens’ running backs in Week 11 (178 rushing yards, 1 TD), and Williams should look like a solid RB2 (with Hines being a PPR FLEX option and Wilkins being more of a stash).

What to do with the banged up pass catchers…

The Colts are a banged up team, and the Texans have some questions as well, so how should fantasy owners proceed with the questionable options?

  • T.Y. Hilton (WR) – He’s missed the past three games and even when he was playing he was purely a TD dependent option as he averaged just over 5 catches and 60 yards per game (it’s skewed, because he did score 5 TD). In his first game back, and all signs point towards him dressing, can we depend on him finding the end zone? The matchup is favorable and he’d be a WR2, though there’s still a lot of boom/bust risk.
  • Eric Ebron (TE) – He didn’t practice early in the week, as he was listed with an ankle injury but also was ill on Sunday. Could his absence from practice be more tied to that? It’s possible, and assuming he plays he’s a viable TE1 (and this appears to be the case). If he sits Jack Doyle would rise up and take his spot as a potential option, so monitor the news.
  • Will Fuller (WR) – He has a long history of injuries and is working his way back from a hamstring injury. Even if he plays there’s the risk of a setback, plus it’s possible he’s limited and eased back into the mix having missed a month of action. There’s simply too much risk to consider utilizing him.

Indianapolis Colts Start/Sit Guidelines:

  • Jacoby Brissett (QB) – Sit ‘Em (Ranked #13, so borderline Start ‘Em depending on alternative)
  • Jonathan Williams (RB) – Start ‘Em (viable RB2)
  • Jordan Wilkins (RB) – Sit ‘Em
  • Nyheim Hines (RB) – Sit ‘Em (usable only as a FLEX in PPR)
  • T.Y. Hilton (WR) – Start ‘Em (viable WR2 if he plays)
  • Zach Pascal (WR) – Sit ‘Em
  • Eric Ebron (TE) – Start ‘Em (if he plays)
  • Jack Doyle (TE) – Sit ‘Em (changes to Start ‘Em if Ebron is forced to sit)

Houston Texans Start/Sit Guidelines:

  • Deshaun Watson (QB) – Start ‘Em
  • Carlos Hyde (RB) – Start ‘Em (best as FLEX)
  • Duke Johnson (RB) – Sit ‘Em (usable FLEX for PPR, but not recommended)
  • DeAndre Hopkins (WR) – Start ‘Em
  • Kenny Stills (WR) – Sit ‘Em
  • Will Fuller (WR) – Sit ‘Em
  • Darren Fells (TE) – Sit ‘Em

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 12 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends


  1. Hi, Prof. I’m in a 14-team deep league, which awards 0.5 PPR.

    I’m leaning towards starting Nyheim Hines For today’s game against HOU. I have Kalen Ballage and Jordan Howard on my bench. What do you think?

    Other viable options on the waiver wire are: Chris Thompson, Brian Hill, Raheem Mostert, and J. D. McKissic. Should I pick up any of these RBs instead?


  2. 10 team, 1/2PPR my RBs (not great..Ekeler is on bye) Samuels, Guice, Cohen, Mckissic, Williams. … do I try Williams tonight? Right now I’ve got Samuels and Guice starting…

  3. What’s up man? 1-Singletary or johnathan Williams in PPR?
    2- Please pick 2 from Singletary, Guice and Jonathan Williams for PPR?
    3- Please pick 1 Flex from McLaurin, Johnathan Williams, Josh Gordon or Harry? Again all are PPR. THANKS


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