Matchup Analysis: Denver Broncos at Houston Texans

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Broncos 16, Texans 25

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Denver Broncos Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Broncos Offense16.5 (-5.9) (30)108 (-2) (16)187 (-47) (31)
Texans Defense22.6 (+0.2) (17)112 (+0) (19)262 (+27) (28)

Houston Texans Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Texans Offense24.4 (+2.0) (10)130 (+18) (7)243 (+8) (12)
Broncos Defense19.8 (-2.7) (9)114 (+2) (20)211 (-24) (5)

Broncos Rushing offense

Good matchup vs. the Texans defense.

The Broncos rushing offense struggled to put up points and yards as their running backs have been kept out of the end zone and failed to exceed 80 rushing yards for the second straight week. This rushing offense does rank around the league average with 108.3 rushing yards per game (16th), but there hasn’t been much of a ceiling with anyone in this rushing offense as a runner has crossed the 100 rushing yard mark just once this season. Phillip Lindsay has led the backfield pretty much all year, but he has been the decisive leader on the ground over the past three weeks with 46 carries to just 15 from Royce Freeman. With that said, Lindsay still has averaged a meager 3.9 yards per rush attempt with no touchdowns in those three games in which he has been given the reigns. Poor play from this offensive line continues to plague Lindsay and Freeman, to the point where left tackle Garrett Bolles may be in danger of losing his starting job if Ja’Wuan James can make it back into the lineup this week. An addition of James back from injury would be an upgrade, but this offensive line would remain a below-average unit that fuels a very mediocre rushing offense.

The Texans run defense has been dreadful since their Week 10 bye. This team has given up an average of 192 rushing yards per game in the past three weeks. To caveat, that does include a 256-yard performance from the league’s top rushing offense (Baltimore). However, quarterbacks aside, the Texans have given up at least 130 rushing yards to running backs in all three games while couching up the most fantasy points per game to the position over that span. In contrast, this defense had allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs through Week 9. There were no notable personnel changes or injuries that sparked the change, just lackluster play from an otherwise talented defense. D.J. Reader is a top-notch run-stopper while both linebackers Zach Cunninnnngham and Bernardrick McKinney are team leaders in tackles with range and ability to make big plays against the run. The Texans also got starting safety Justin Reid back from injury last week, which helps out a secondary that was otherwise weak (and still relatively weak) at tackling opposing runners. It is tough to ignore the past few weeks, but this Texans defense does have the talent to turn things around and stop a mediocre Broncos ground game.

Broncos Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Texans defense.

Drew Lock’s NFL debut went reasonably well as he led the Broncos to a win with 134 passing yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He made some great plays last week, but he also took few risks with just 4.8 passing yards per attempt while throwing an ugly interception in the fourth quarter. This pedestrian passing performance was nothing new for this Denver offense that ranks 31st in the league with just 187.4 passing yards per game and is tied for last with only 11 passing touchdowns. Courtland Sutton, on the other hand, had a huge day last week as he made up over half the total passing yards for this offense (74 of 134) while catching both touchdowns. Sutton has not consistently found the end zone by any means this season but he has been a consistently targeted option for this passing offense and has posted over 70 receiving yards in 8-of-12 games on the year. Beyond Sutton, it is tough to rely on anyone else for consistent production in this passing offense.

The Texans own one of the worst passing defenses in football, giving up the fifth-most passing yards per game (262.9) and touchdowns (25). Quarterbacks have passed for three or more touchdowns against Houston in six of their last eight games, while the only two outliers with fewer than three touchdowns came against struggling Colts and Raiders passing offenses. They are lacking consistent pressure on quarterbacks with one or fewer sacks in five of the last seven games as this defensive line is indeed struggling without star edge rusher J.J. Watt. Play from their defensive backs has also been quite disappointing, especially as three of their starters continue to play through relatively recent injuries. Courtland Sutton will have a clear advantage in this one as the Texans should give Drew Lock a decent chance to excel in his second career start.

Texans Rushing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Broncos defense.

The Texans rushing offense has been a top tier group for most of this season, ranking seventh in the league with 129.8 rushing yards per game. Last week, however, was one of their worst showings of the season as Carlos Hyde was held to just 17 yards from 10 attempts while Duke Johnson gained 36 rushing yards from nine attempts. The workload split between Hyde and Johnson was as close as it has been this year, but that mainly came from a pass-heavy game script with the Texans trying to keep up with New England. Hyde has dominated this backfield all year, averaging 4.6 yards per rush attempt and a steady 71.1 rushing yards per game. While last week was his worst game of the season, Hyde will continue to give this Texans backfield the best chance at success as he has shown the ability to shoulder the majority of this workload with relative ease and a high ceiling. Johnson has yet to see double-digit carries or more than 60 rushing yards this season, so his upside will remain limited barring a Hyde injury. Deshaun Watson has been quiet on the ground in recent weeks with fewer than 15 rushing yards in three straight games after exceeding 30 rushing yards in five straight outings from Week 5 to Week 9.

Denver’s defense has been pretty strong against the run for most of this season, allowing an opposing running back to exceed 85 yards just three times. However, two of those games came within the past two weeks as Devin Singletary ran for 106 while Melvin Gordon put up 99 rushing yards last week. Injuries have played a part in their recent lapses against the run, with interior lineman Shelby Harris getting banged up in Week 12 and Von Miller actually missing last week’s game with a knee injury. Harris is back on the field, but Miller’s status will be worth watching in case he also has to miss this week. If this group can field its entire starting front seven, they should match up well against most rushing offenses in football as they are stacked with talent--notably, linebacker A.J. Johnson who has been playing very well and had another couple of tackles for losses on running plays last week. Looking at quarterbacks, this defense did give up 56 rushing yards to Josh Allen two weeks ago and 34 rushing yards to Jacoby Brissett in Week 8. However, they have played pretty well against other mobile quarterbacks such as Marcus Mariota, Patrick Mahomes, and Aaron Rodgers earlier in the season, and no quarterback has scored a touchdown on this defense to date.

Texans Passing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Broncos defense.

Deshaun Watson has shown the ability to carry this Texans team on multiple occasions this season, including last week in what was a stellar performance despite only putting up 234 passing yards. Watson was accurate all over the field, throwing for three touchdowns while actually completing four of his six pass attempts when targeting receivers 10 or more yards downfield. Deandre Hopkins finished with a nice game last week, but he actually saw a dip in playing time with just 84 percent of the snaps compared to playing at least 93 percent of offensive snaps in all previous weeks. This is nothing to be concerned about at this point though, as Hopkins continues to lead this team in targets while offering a strong fantasy scoring floor and ceiling alike. Both Will Fuller and Kenny Stills remain more boom or bust options, while Darren Fells simply continues to amaze with his seventh touchdown of the season last week. Fells has seen three or fewer targets in all but three games this season and has exceeded 50 yards in just two games, but his size makes him an impeccable red zone target who will continue to be in sight for Watson.

Denver’s passing defense has played fairly well this season, ranking fifth in passing yards allowed (210.6) while giving up the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game (PPR scoring) to both quarterbacks and wide receivers. The past three weeks have been a slight regression though, as opposing quarterbacks have passed for multiple touchdowns in all three games while two wide receivers have exceeded 115 receiving yards--the only two to exceed that mark all season against Denver. Chris Harris is their lock-down cornerback and should see most snaps shadowing DeAndre Hopkins, but these other two cornerbacks are very beatable in coverage, leading to plus matchups for Will Fuller and Kenny Stills. Play from the Denver safeties has been stellar though, which has led to a limitation of big plays by opposing passing offenses. The Broncos pass rush has been inconsistent all season, especially after their dreadful start. While they have improved as the season progressed, this team still has generated two or fewer sacks in three of their last six games with a below-average 10 percent pressure rate. Von Miller is banged up and at risk of missing this week after he was sidelined for last week’s game. In addition, the team’s sack leader Derek Wolfe was placed on injured reserve this week and will miss the remainder of the season. Limited pressure on Deshaun Watson plus a healthy Will Fuller could lead to more big plays in this game than the Defense has been accustomed to dealing with.

Texans vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)31 (+4.7)31 (+4.8)27 (+3.5)29 (+4.7)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)31 (+5.8)31 (+5.7)31 (+6.2)31 (+6.2)
11Lamar Jackson61172422240986035.735.733.533.5
12Jacoby Brissett67162512900420114.514.513.213.2
13Tom Brady87244732631113028.628.625.328.3

Drew Lock (FanDuel: $6800, DraftKings: $5100)

13vs LAC57182813421315015.215.213.913.9
14PROJ-Dodds20332201.113100.1161616.0 (H=35)16.0 (H=47)
14PROJ-Tremblay22362461.11.1280.1171717.0 (H=39)17.0 (H=53)
14PROJ-Bloom16301641.413140.114.814.814.8 (H=31)14.8 (H=41)

Texans vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24 (+1.9)28 (+3.8)26 (+3.1)27 (+3.7)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)32 (+15.6)32 (+15.9)32 (+15.9)32 (+17.3)
11Mark Ingram33134804337220.523.522.023.5
11Gus Edwards2981121000017.
12Jonathan Williams452610413317018.121.119.624.1
12Nyheim Hines229510321006.
13James White681479011898229.737.733.737.7
13Sony Michel151045000004.

Phillip Lindsay (FanDuel: $6400, DraftKings: $5300)

11@ MIN521667022.0807.
12@ BUF271357031.01106.
13vs LAC251758033.0406.
14PROJ-Dodds16690.32.716010.31311.7 (H=22)13.0 (H=32)
14PROJ-Tremblay16720.32.819010.913.712.3 (H=24)13.7 (H=35)
14PROJ-Bloom14550. (H=17)11.2 (H=24)

Royce Freeman (FanDuel: $5300, DraftKings: $4000)

11@ MIN24831011.01404.
12@ BUF28220022.0902.
13vs LAC32511044.01302.
14PROJ-Dodds6230.12.91804.77.66.2 (H=8)7.6 (H=16)
14PROJ-Tremblay5220.12.92004.87.76.3 (H=9)7.7 (H=17)
14PROJ-Bloom5140.12.0100. (H=5)5.6 (H=9)

Devontae Booker (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

11@ MIN514020.0000.
12@ BUF300000.000000.00.0
13vs LAC000000.000000.00.0
14PROJ-Dodds0000.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
14PROJ-Tremblay0200.8600.81.61.2 (H=0)1.6 (H=1)
14PROJ-Bloom0000.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Texans vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)21 (+1.7)21 (+1.8)21 (+1.9)21 (+2.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)2 (-9.1)3 (-13.1)3 (-11.1)3 (-13.2)
11Seth Roberts46111510007.
11Marquise Brown38422300002.
12T.Y. Hilton25631800001.
12Chester Rogers41111200001.
13Julian Edelman8012610611-7015.921.918.924.9
13Jakobi Meyers61734600004.

Courtland Sutton (FanDuel: $7300, DraftKings: $6400)

11@ MIN7295.01130210014.219.216.321.8
12@ BUF5081.02700002.
13vs LAC5654.074200019.423.421.423.4
14PROJ-Dodds4.9770.400010.11512.6 (H=22)15.0 (H=34)
14PROJ-Tremblay5.8880.402011.417.214.3 (H=27)17.2 (H=43)
14PROJ-Bloom4.0700.700011.215.213.2 (H=23)15.2 (H=34)

Tim Patrick (FanDuel: $5100, DraftKings: $3300)

11@ MIN5984.07700007.711.79.711.7
12@ BUF3231.0300000.
13vs LAC3220.000000000.00.0
14PROJ-Dodds2.5360.20004.87.36.1 (H=8)7.3 (H=18)
14PROJ-Tremblay3.3450.20005.797.4 (H=12)9.0 (H=27)
14PROJ-Bloom2.0290.20004.16.15.1 (H=6)6.1 (H=13)

DaeSean Hamilton (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3200)

11@ MIN4200.000000000.00.0
12@ BUF3310.000000000.00.0
13vs LAC3732.01200001.
14PROJ-Dodds1.4140.100023.42.7 (H=2)3.4 (H=5)
14PROJ-Tremblay1.0120.10001.82.82.3 (H=1)2.8 (H=3)
14PROJ-Bloom2.0130.10001.93.92.9 (H=2)3.9 (H=6)

Texans vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13 (-0.8)13 (-0.9)13 (-0.7)13 (-0.9)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24 (+2.2)24 (+3.1)24 (+2.6)24 (+2.9)
11Mark Andrews254475113.517.515.517.5
12Eric Ebron29544404.
13Matt LaCosse53212402.

Noah Fant (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $3400)

11@ MIN70114.06005.
12@ BUF3753.01401.
13vs LAC4131.0500.
14PROJ-Dodds3.0320. (H=9)7.4 (H=18)
14PROJ-Tremblay2.7310.24.375.7 (H=8)7.0 (H=17)
14PROJ-Bloom2.0220. (H=4)4.8 (H=8)

Jeff Heuerman (FanDuel: $4200, DraftKings: $2600)

11@ MIN000.000000.00.0
12@ BUF1600.000000.00.0
13vs LAC2853.01501.
14PROJ-Dodds1.3120. (H=2)3.1 (H=5)
14PROJ-Tremblay1.8170. (H=3)4.1 (H=8)
14PROJ-Bloom2.0130. (H=3)3.9 (H=8)

Andrew Beck (FanDuel: $4200, DraftKings: $2500)

11@ MIN2500.000000.00.0
12@ BUF911.01801.
13vs LAC1611.01101.
14PROJ-Dodds0.7700.71.41.0 (H=0)1.4 (H=1)
14PROJ-Tremblay0.5500.510.8 (H=0)1.0 (H=0)

Texans vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)17 (+0.1)17 (+0.1)14T (+0.3) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)18 (+0.2)18 (+0.2)14 (-0.2) (+0.0)
11Justin Tucker2355111112.012.0
12Adam Vinatieri1122555.05.0
13Kai Forbath1112444.04.0

Brandon McManus (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

11@ MIN3422111113.013.0
12@ BUF1100334.04.0
13vs LAC3322111115.015.0

Texans vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)9 (-1.5)9 (-1.5)9 (-1.3)9 (-1.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12 (-1.7)12 (-1.7)15 (-0.9)15 (-0.9)
11Baltimore Ravens723271100111115.015.0
12Indianapolis Colts2039611000334.04.0
13New England Patriots2827630000332.02.0

Denver Broncos (FanDuel: $3800, DraftKings: $2500)

11@ MIN27.0032150200999.09.0
12@ BUF20.0042411000334.04.0
13vs LAC20.0035931100778.08.0
14PROJ-Dodds24.603642.60.90.500. (H=16)7.3 (H=25)
14PROJ-Tremblay25.503742.20.90.500. (H=13)6.6 (H=21)

Broncos vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)5 (-4.2)5 (-4.3)5 (-3.9)4 (-4.6)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)26 (+2.7)26 (+2.6)25 (+2.2)24 (+2.5)
11Kirk Cousins6329353193021028.128.122.926.9
12Josh Allen80152518521956021.921.920.020.0
13Philip Rivers6620292652100020.320.317.617.6

Deshaun Watson (FanDuel: $7700, DraftKings: $6500)

11@ BAL5718291690131208.
12vs IND59193029821310022.922.919.919.9
13vs NE561825234304-1030.231.228.428.9
14PROJ-Dodds22332541.80.75250.424.124.124.1 (H=64)24.1 (H=76)
14PROJ-Tremblay22342591.70.95230.3232323.0 (H=59)23.0 (H=70)
14PROJ-Bloom20292602.30.63110.223.923.923.9 (H=63)23.9 (H=75)

Broncos vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)14T (-0.5)16 (-0.3)14T (-0.6)15 (-0.6)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)20 (+0.9)21 (+0.4)17 (-0.5)19 (+0.2)
11Dalvin Cook51112616531011.716.714.216.7
11Ameer Abdullah8150221101.
12Devin Singletary57211060218011.412.411.915.4
12Frank Gore231565000006.
13Austin Ekeler3591605451112.716.714.716.7
13Melvin Gordon43209903211011.

Carlos Hyde (FanDuel: $6000, DraftKings: $4500)

11@ BAL21965110.00012.512.512.512.5
12vs IND291667000.0006.
13vs NE211017011.0502.
14PROJ-Dodds14580.30.64088.68.3 (H=13)8.6 (H=18)
14PROJ-Tremblay13560.30.6507.98.58.2 (H=12)8.5 (H=18)
14PROJ-Bloom16700.50.000101010.0 (H=17)10.0 (H=23)

Duke Johnson (FanDuel: $5600, DraftKings: $3900)

11@ BAL36640022.0404.
12vs IND30522011.080343.54.0
13vs NE38936065.0541152017.520.0
14PROJ-Dodds8370.22.9240.17.910.89.4 (H=17)10.8 (H=31)
14PROJ-Tremblay7320.22.8240.17.410.28.8 (H=15)10.2 (H=28)
14PROJ-Bloom6320.23.0270.38.911.910.4 (H=20)11.9 (H=37)

Broncos vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)8 (-3.6)5 (-5.4)6 (-4.4)5 (-5.7)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)22 (+3.6)22 (+3.4)22 (+3.5)22 (+4.2)
11Stefon Diggs6255121100018.123.120.626.1
11Olabisi Johnson51963500003.
12Cole Beasley659676100013.619.616.619.6
12John Brown74423910009.911.910.911.9
13Keenan Allen636668100012.818.815.818.8
13Mike Williams5875117000011.716.714.219.7

DeAndre Hopkins (FanDuel: $8300, DraftKings: $7400)

11@ BAL57127.080000081511.515.0
12vs IND5986.094200021.427.424.427.4
13vs NE4785.064000010.715.713.115.6
14PROJ-Dodds6.6780.500010.817.414.1 (H=23)17.4 (H=38)
14PROJ-Tremblay6.6750.500010.517.113.8 (H=22)17.1 (H=36)
14PROJ-Bloom6.0780.7000121815.0 (H=26)18.0 (H=40)

Will Fuller (FanDuel: $6600, DraftKings: $5500)

11@ BAL000.000000000.00.0
12vs IND53117.01400000142117.524.0
13vs NE4221.0800000.
14PROJ-Dodds4.8690.40009.314.111.7 (H=21)14.1 (H=35)
14PROJ-Tremblay5.1720.40009.614.712.2 (H=23)14.7 (H=38)
14PROJ-Bloom5.0740.6000111613.5 (H=27)16.0 (H=44)

Kenny Stills (FanDuel: $5000, DraftKings: $3700)

11@ BAL6074.02700002.
12vs IND3721.0600000.
13vs NE3843.061100012.115.113.615.1
14PROJ-Dodds2.6340.20004.67.25.9 (H=8)7.2 (H=16)
14PROJ-Tremblay2.4350.20004.77.15.9 (H=8)7.1 (H=16)
14PROJ-Bloom3.0430.30006.19.17.6 (H=13)9.1 (H=24)

Broncos vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)14 (-0.8)16 (-0.4)14 (-0.6)15 (-0.6)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)22 (+1.5)22 (+1.7)22 (+1.6)22 (+1.6)
11Kyle Rudolph555567112.717.715.217.7
12Tyler Kroft25111401.
13Hunter Henry50321001.

Darren Fells (FanDuel: $4700, DraftKings: $3200)

11@ BAL4231.01801.
12vs IND5221.02402.
13vs NE4232.02318.310.39.310.3
14PROJ-Dodds2.2260. (H=8)6.6 (H=16)
14PROJ-Tremblay2.3250. (H=8)6.6 (H=16)
14PROJ-Bloom2.0250. (H=7)6.3 (H=15)

Jordan Akins (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $2800)

11@ BAL3621.01501.
12vs IND2843.02602.
13vs NE3111.01901.
14PROJ-Dodds1.8210. (H=4)5.1 (H=12)
14PROJ-Tremblay2.0240. (H=5)5.6 (H=14)
14PROJ-Bloom1.0130. (H=1)2.9 (H=4)

Broncos vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)25 (+1.0)25 (+1.0)27 (+1.5) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)14T (-0.1)14T (-0.1)13 (-0.5) (+0.0)
11Dan Bailey0033333.03.0
12Steve Hauschka2222888.08.0
13Mike Badgley2322889.09.0

Kaimi Fairbairn (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

11@ BAL0111111.01.0
12vs IND2222888.08.0
13vs NE0044444.04.0

Broncos vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12 (-0.6)12 (-0.6)21 (+0.6)21 (+0.6)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7T (-3.3)7T (-3.3)13 (-1.6)13 (-1.6)
11Minnesota Vikings2339421000444.04.0
12Buffalo Bills3134410006613.013.0
13Los Angeles Chargers2321801000222.02.0

Houston Texans (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3300)

11@ BAL41.004911000011-3.0-3.0
12vs IND17.0029610000112.02.0
13vs NE22.0044831000555.05.0
14PROJ-Dodds16.303382.41.10.800.612.112.112.1 (H=32)12.1 (H=45)
14PROJ-Tremblay16.003512. (H=33)12.2 (H=46)