Fantasy Football: Should You Start Vick Ballard This Week?

Ryan LesterSenior Writer IDecember 7, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 08:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts hands off to Vick Ballard #33 during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on November 8, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts running back Vick Ballard is popular in fantasy football circles thanks to Donald Brown being ruled out for this week's game against the Tennessee Titans.

The two backs had been operating in roughly a 60-40 split in recent weeks. On the season, Ballard has 141 touches to Brown's 117.

There were four games in which Ballard has had significantly more touches than Brown.

In Week 6, it was a train wreck for the Colts in general as they got pounded by the New York Jets, 35-9. Ballard had 10 touches that day for 42 yards as Brown was out of action.

Brown also missed Week 7 and Ballard capitalized with 103 total yards.

Brown was barely used in Week 11 against the New England Patriots. Ballard had 79 yards on 17 touches.

The Colts are first and foremost a passing team. They rank 14th in the NFL in rushing attempts and third in passing attempts. Andrew Luck has thrown 17 touchdown passes. The Colts have just nine touchdown runs. Luck has five and Delone Carter has a pair.

Ballard should have a solid workload, but don't go expecting a monster day from him despite a favorable matchup.

The Titans rank 27th in the league in rushing defense, allowing 129.4 yards per game on the ground. They are one of 11 teams to have allowed 11 or more rushing touchdowns. Ballard has two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) on the year and both were longer than 10 yards.

Ballard certainly has the look of a low-end RB2 or a quality flex option this week. Just don't think that Brown's absence is going to lead to top-10 production. He'll likely compile between 75-100 total yards with a low probability of getting in the end zone.

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