Each week this season, I will provide fantasy football advice about which Detroit Lions to start or sit. Even if you don't have any Lions on your fantasy team(s) or really just don't care to have another opinion messing with your ultimate decisions, this could very well serve as a preview of sorts for what to expect come game day.
QB Matthew Stafford
LAST WEEK: Stafford started extremely slow, again, but finished with an above average fantasy day thanks to another late comeback. In all, he had 311 yards, a rushing and a passing touchdown with one interception.
THIS WEEK: The Bears are one of the best defenses in the NFL -- they're first against the run and 14th against the pass, having only allowed four passing touchdowns in five games. The Eagles were supposed to be a worse matchup for Stafford, though. Stafford's worst fantasy performance last year came in Chicago, but this one's on Monday Night Football, and I really think he's going to find the end zone more than once through the air for the first time this season.
VERDICT: Yes, especially if you started him last week.
RB Mikel Leshoure
LAST WEEK: Leshoure ran for 70 yards on 15 carries (4.7 ypc) and added another 24 yards on three receptions (four targets).
THIS WEEK: The Bears are the best in the NFL against the run, having only allowed over 100 yards once and just one rushing touchdown so far this season (Week 1). The Lions' passing game could potentially open up some running lanes again this week, but even if it does, the Lions probably won't dole out enough carries to make it worthwhile.
Leshoure should continue to see a handful of targets out of the backfield, though.
VERDICT: Deep FLEX option in PPR.
WR Calvin Johnson
LAST WEEK: Megatron had 135 yards on six catches against the Eagles, the result of being targeted a season-high 13 times.
THIS WEEK: It's Calvin's worst matchup since Week 2 against San Francisco, but it's not quite as bad. It doesn't really matter -- if he's healthy, you play him.
VERDICT: You play him.
WR Nate Burleson
LAST WEEK: Burleson continued to see WR2 targets (nine) and now has more touchdowns than Johnson. Burleson had four catches for 24 yards to go along with his TD in Week 6. He also ran two times for 22 yards.
THIS WEEK: This is actually Burleson's third best matchup of the season. With Johnson potentially getting locked up, Burleson may once again be the beneficiary in the end zone. Last year in Chicago, Burleson had eight catches for 63 yards -- strong for PPR leagues -- but he only has two touchdowns in 12 career games against the Bears and averages just 38 yards per game against them.
VERDICT: Go elsewhere.
WR Titus Young
LAST WEEK: Young caught two passes on five targets for six yards.
THIS WEEK: Titus could finally have a complete game on MNF, full of targets and yards and fun from the start, but it's kind of a blind gamble at this point.
TE Brandon Pettigrew
LAST WEEK: Pettigrew had three catches for 38 yards on seven targets.
THIS WEEK: This tight end matchup is no worse than the last few weeks, but Stafford's inconsistencies and Pettigrew's drops make Pettigrew's production unpredictable. You know Pettigrew is going to see targets, though. Chicago has allowed two tight end touchdowns this year and allowed the Cowboys' Jason Witten to go off on them a couple weeks ago. I foresee Pettigrew getting a touchdown this week.
VERDICT: Automatic start.
TE Tony Scheffler
LAST WEEK: Scheffler caught three passes for 81 yards on five targets. Two of his catches and most of the yards came in the final minutes of the game.
THIS WEEK: Scheffler should see more targets earlier in the game this week against a defense that's susceptible to giving up points to opposing tight ends. Scheffler found the end zone against the Bears last year and I'm willing to bet he gets a red zone target or two this week.
VERDICT: Could be a good play this week; depends on who you have besides him.
LAST WEEK: The defense was great last week in coming up with three takeaways and three sacks.
THIS WEEK: The Bears offense is averaging 29.8 points per game (second in the NFL), but their offensive line is weak at best and Jay Cutler is kind enough to gift wrap a couple interceptions every now and then. I guess it depends on whether or not you think the Lions will win this game, because if they win, I think it'll have a lot to do with another strong defensive performance.
VERDICT: On paper, there are much better matchups on the waiver wire, but this could be a gutsy good play.
K Jason Hanson
LAST WEEK: 4/4 FGM/FGA and two extra points. A lot of butter.
THIS WEEK: As I said last week, the Lions offense is good enough to guarantee Hanson a couple opportunities at the very least each week. He's a top NFL kicker on an offense that is more than capable of getting into field goal territory. He'll probably see between 7-12 points.
VERDICT: Steady play.
What do you think? Have any fantasy questions? Comment below.