Colts vs. Browns start/sit advice: Andrew Luck and Josh Gordon in a superstar showdown
In a game full of potential storylines, the biggest one is that both teams could make the playoffs.
You could call it the Trent Richardson Bowl or the Connection-To-Baltimore Bowl. But Sunday’s Indianapolis Colts-Cleveland Browns game, with both teams entering with winning records and a shot at a playoff berth, doesn’t really need any outside factors to make it an interesting game.
The Colts are expected to get tight end Dwayne Allen back Sunday after he missed the previous two games with an ankle injury. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is also on the week’s injury report with a hamstring issue, but he’s not a concern for Sunday. As for the Browns tight end, Jordan Cameron’s status as he attempts to return from a concussion is still a question mark; he hasn’t yet cleared the league’s protocol. And running back Isaiah Crowell was limited in practice this week with a hip issue, but he’s expected to play.
Indianapolis will travel to Cleveland for the 1 p.m. ET game Sunday. Here’s a look at the fantasy considerations:
Start ‘em: The Browns don’t allow many fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, but Andrew Luck has proven to be basically matchup-proof, and needs to be started in all leagues. … T.Y. Hilton will likely have Joe Haden on him for much of the game, but he’s talented enough to still be under WR1 consideration. … Adam Vinatieri: Still the oldest player in football, still great.
Start ‘em?: His fumble issues are concerning, but Dan Herron is the best running back on a strong offense; he’s a justifiable RB2 play. … Dwayne Allen makes his return and should be fine, but he also is coming off of an ankle injury that could limit him, and he’s touchdown-dependent as is. … Meanwhile, Allen’s return really hurts the upside of Coby Fleener, who falls to TE2 status, albeit a higher-end one. … The Colts’ defense has been reasonable, but not great, of late. But with Vontae Davis out and against a Cleveland offense getting a lot of pieces back, it could be a rough time. On the other hand, Cleveland has been turnover-prone of late.
Sit ‘em: How can you run Trent Richardson out there? Even when he gets full-time play, he’s not done anything with it. … Donte Moncrief is fast supplanting Reggie Wayne as Indianapolis’ number-two wide receiver, but it’s hard to imagine he’ll be a consistent performer yet at this point in his career.
Start ‘em: With Davis out for the Colts, Josh Gordon should be able to run all over the field. He’s a strong play.
Start ‘em?: Between his injury and inconsistent performance, Isaiah Crowell is a defensible fantasy start, but not a definite one.
Sit ‘em: Even when he was playing well earlier this season, Brian Hoyer wasn’t offering much in the way of fantasy production. Lately, he’s been worse. Bench him, drop him everywhere. … The Browns appear to be losing taste for Terrance West a bit; he has two one-point games in his last three outings. … Andrew Hawkins will continue to get short looks, and he looks better in PPR, but overall Gordon’s return makes Hawkins tough to use. … Even if Jordan Cameron makes it back Sunday, his long absence and penchant for injury makes him a fantasy stay-away. Let’s see him perform a week. … Billy Cundiff‘s kicking numbers have taken a dive of late. … The Browns’ defense is mediocre for fantasy, but the Colts’ offense is elite. Not a great mix.
Start in every league: Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Adam Vinatieri, Josh Gordon
Bench: Trent Richardson, Donte Moncrief, Reggie Wayne, Brian Hoyer, Terrance West, Andrew Hawkins, Jordan Cameron, Billy Cundiff, Cleveland defense