September 9, 2022, 5:31 pm
Colts (-315) @ Texans (+7); Total of 46
The new-look Colts with Matt Ryan now under center will make their regular season debut in Houston, where the Texans begin their post-Deshaun Watson era under new head coach Lovie Smith. Both teams have some exciting rookies on offense in Texans running back Dameon Pierce and Colts wide receiver Alec Pierce who will be watched closely in fantasy circles. Even though the Colts are seven-point favorites, the underrated Texans offense should keep up against the top-five fantasy defense of Indy.
Yes, Matt Ryan is entering his age-37 season coming off of his first sub-4k passing yard season since 2010 and his first sub-91.0 QBR since 2015, but he’s only one year removed from back-to-back Top-10 fantasy QB finishes and begins his Colts tenure on the superflex high-end QB2 radar against a Texans defense that gave up the 7th-most fantasy points to opposing QBs in 2021. The last time Ryan played in Houston was October 2019, when he posted an excellent 330-3-1 line and even punched in a TD on the ground.
After a 2021 WR21 finish in half-PPR, Michael Pittman Jr.’s lack of depth chart competition and ostensible QB upgrade from Carson Wentz (ie. much better across catchable pass metrics) has skyrocketed him into borderline Top-10 WR territory for the season but also for Week 1 in this juicy opening matchup. CB Tavierre Thomas (Top-10 graded corner by PFF last year) is on short-term IR with a quad injury, leaving the Texans very short-handed in trying to contain Pittman with Steven Nelson and Desmond King II (who was among the league worst in coverage last year), both of whom are more than five inches shorter and 20-plus pounds lighter than Pittman.
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