Before each game this season, I will provide fantasy football advice about which Detroit Lions you should start or sit. Even if you don't have any Lions on your fantasy team(s), this might still be useful in projecting how the week will pan out for the Honolulu Blue and Silver.
Of course, same caveats as last year apply: I'm just a regular NFL fan who has an armchair where I like to sit and read a lot and develop opinions.
These are some of my opinions for Week 6 at the Cleveland Browns.
QB Matthew Stafford
LAST WEEK: I said to start him and to expect a Top 10 finish, with most every other fantasy ranking having him Top 5, but Stafford fell outside that range and into the teens with a ho-hum 262-yard, 1-touchdown performance.
THIS WEEK: He didn't have his best receiver last week, but if he couldn't crack the Top 10 against the Packers' soft pass defense, he might have a harder time doing it in Cleveland against a Top 10 defense. The Browns are giving up only 208 yards per game this season, seventh in the NFL, and 2 passing touchdowns opposite 4 interceptions.
Granted, the Browns haven't had to face an offense like the Lions. The best pass offense the Browns have faced in terms of yards was Baltimore (14th). Ew. Stafford (sixth) is better than Joe Flacco. (It might also be worth mentioning that the Browns have lost both games in which they faced a Top 15 pass offense.)
Keep an eye on Megatron's progress, because if he plays, you have to start Stafford. If he doesn't play, I think you still need to start Stafford.
VERDICT: Start, Top 12.
RB Reggie Bush
LAST WEEK: I was advised by disappointed readers to make Bush an automatic start when he's healthy. I expected better: Bush had 6 points in standard leagues and 10 points in PPR leagues last week against the Packers.
THIS WEEK: The Browns have been every bit as good against the run as they have against the pass, and they have actually faced some pretty good running backs. Lamar Miller, Ray Rice and Gio Bernard were all non-factors against the Browns. These were all low-scoring affairs.
In the two high-scoring games -- imagine that -- running backs performed relatively well against the Browns. Fred Jackson had 2 touchdowns just last Thursday, and the Bills (3 rushing touchdowns total) averaged over 5 yards per carry. Maybe something's giving.
Megatron will have an effect on Bush's productivity, as will the grass, but I do think you should start Bush when he's healthy.
VERDICT: Start. Top 20 PPR.
RB Joique Bell
LAST WEEK: PPR flex play wouldn't have killed you. Bell had 4 catches, 30 yards and ran for another 21 yards.
THIS WEEK: See above. I think Bell could be this week's Fred Jackson in a high-scoring game.
VERDICT: PPR flex.
WR Calvin Johnson
LAST WEEK: A Sunday morning inactive hopefully didn't burn anyone.
THIS WEEK: If he's active, you play him. He sat out practice again on Wednesday, though.
VERDICT: Start, if active.
WR Ryan Broyles
LAST WEEK: Expected to step up even more in Johnson's absence last week, Broyles was again not very productive. He only caught 2 passes for 27 yards, although he only saw 2 targets.
THIS WEEK: He hasn't proven anything yet, but he has to be getting healthier and healthier as time passes. Maybe the Lions start to get him more involved. I don't want to mess with him yet, though, unless he's cuffing Johnson in a PPR league.
WR Kris Durham
LAST WEEK: With Johnson out, I decided and tweeted very close to game time that Durham, not Broyles, was probably the best WR option for the Lions. He rewarded gutsy plays with 3 catches (on a team-high 8 targets), 30 yards and a garbage touchdown.
THIS WEEK: If Johnson is out and you're absolutely desperate in a PPR league.
TE Brandon Pettigrew
LAST WEEK: Pettigrew was voted player of the game last week by Lions fans. What?? He caught 4 passes for 59 yards on 5 targets.
THIS WEEK: Remember that one time the Lions beat the Browns on a last-second touchdown to Pettigrew? Those were the days for him.
K David Akers
LAST WEEK: 9 team points really hurt Akers, who only had one field goal. He didn't even get to kick the extra point on the team's lone touchdown.
THIS WEEK: The Browns defense has been good, but the Lions offense will probably overcome it enough to get their fair share of chances at points, even if they're only field goals.
VERDICT: Play the waiver wire, but not a bad start option.
LAST WEEK: I said to sit because I expected a shootout and, sure enough, the game was 6-3 at halftime. The D still only had 1 sack and no turnovers. Good sit.
THIS WEEK: Brandon Weeden challenges you to start the Lions D.
VERDICT: I say sit, play the wire, but this could be another one of those gutsy rewarding plays.
What say you? Leave your thoughts in the comments.