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 rewarded his loyal fantasy owners with his best week, start to finish. In fact, Stafford was the best quarterback in Week 8. Stafford threw for over 350 yards, ran for another 12, totaled four touchdowns and threw just one interception. In my fantasy league, there have only been four quarterback totals better than Stafford's Week 8 performance.
THIS WEEK: Jacksonville did a good job last week against Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau -- remember, fantasy speaking -- so it's possible they could shut down Stafford at home. They did hold another Matt, Matt Schaub, to under 10 fantasy points at home in Week 2.
I just don't see it happening this week. The Jags are 23rd against the pass and it seems the Lions offense finally has it figured out to hopefully roll in Jax. Stafford might not light up the fantasy stat sheet again, but he'll get his.
RB Mikel Leshoure
LAST WEEK: Leshoure carried 10 times for 46 yards and had three catches out of the backfield (on five targets) for nine yards.
THIS WEEK: Leshoure continues to pick up adequate yardage per carry, but the Lions ordinarily do not give it to him enough to allow him to gain starter fantasy points on the ground. Luckily, in PPR leagues, he sees a fair number of looks out of the backfield, even though the Lions prefer to use Joique Bell on passing downs.
Now, I'm not privy to the Lions' game plan, but this could be a week in which they try to establish a ground game, seeing as Jacksonville's defense is even worse against the run (25th). Fantasy running backs average nearly six points more against the Jags than any other team, although a large chunk of those points in the equation come from the Jags giving up big points to Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster in Weeks 1 and 2.
VERDICT: Yes in PPR and probably the safe play in non-PPR leagues.
WR Calvin Johnson
LAST WEEK: He dropped a couple more balls against the Seahawks and had one go off his hands in the end zone late in the game. He caught three passes for 46 yards, which isn't a crippling week in PPR leagues, but you expect much, much more from a keeper or first-round pick.
THIS WEEK: Johnson hasn't practiced all week and is listed as questionable for Sunday, although there hasn't been any real indication that he won't play. Obviously, you need to keep an eye on this when setting your lineups Sunday morning.
VERDICT: If he plays, I still think you have to play him.
WR Titus Young Sr.
LAST WEEK: Young has officially broken out. He scored twice while catching nine passes for 100 yards. He saw the most targets (nine) with Brandon Pettigrew.
THIS WEEK: If Young was able to do what he did last week against a pretty good Seahawks defense, he should have a similar week against the Jaguars. Coming into the season, this was Young's one "green" game, and with Johnson ailing, he should be the go-to guy again.
WR Ryan Broyles
LAST WEEK: Broyles caught another touchdown, thanks to the heavy attention Calvin Johnson attracted in the end zone. Broyles caught three passes on five targets for 37 yards.
THIS WEEK: Broyles' production will depend on Johnson again. If Johnson plays, I don't think Broyles will be worth a play unless you think he'll manage to find the end zone for a third straight week. If Johnson doesn't play, then Broyles could become a safer play in relatively deep leagues.
VERDICT: PPR FLEX option
TE Brandon Pettigrew
LAST WEEK: Pettigrew saw nine targets and caught seven passes for 74 yards.
THIS WEEK: The Jaguars have allowed the second fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, but tough matchups before haven't stopped Stafford from targeting Pettigrew early and often. In non-PPR leagues, you still have to like how often Pettigrew is targeted, crossing your fingers that one of those targets is in the red zone. I think Pettigrew catches a touchdown for the first time since Week 2.
TE Tony Scheffler
LAST WEEK: Scheffler saw eight targets and caught four of them for 46 yards.
THIS WEEK: No.
VERDICT: Too unpredictable. No.
LAST WEEK: I thought the Lions would be a hot play last week and they let me down by only scoring three points. In giving up 24 points, they had zero sacks, an interception and a fumble at the end of regulation.
THIS WEEK: I'm considering doing a double or nothing this week given the Jaguars are 28th in points allowed to opposing defenses (+4). Plus, the Jags have the fewest interceptions in the NFL, which is way too good to be true.
VERDICT: Copy and pasted from last week -- this could be a hot matchup play off waivers.
K Jason Hanson
LAST WEEK: Four extra points.
THIS WEEK: Another week without a Jason Hanson field goal! How long can that possibly last?
VERDICT: Steady play. I REALLY mean it this time.
What do you think? Have any fantasy questions? Comment below.