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 3 at the Washington Redskins, where the Lions have never won. (They beat the Boston Redskins on the road some 77 years ago.)
QB Matthew Stafford
LAST WEEK: I once again said to start Stafford and that he would finish top 8. He finished at No. 11 with 278 yards passing, 2 touchdowns and a fumble. I'm sorrrrrrrry.
THIS WEEK: The Redskins have the worst pass defense in the NFL thus far, allowing over 600 yards in their first two games. (Aaron Rodgers was on pace to throw over 700 yards late in the first half last week!!) Some rankings have Stafford as the No. 1 quarterback this week. I'm conflicted because the Lions have never won in Washington and Stafford may be without a key piece to his offense, who we'll talk about next.
VERDICT: Start, but don't expect him to be No. 1.
RB Reggie Bush
LAST WEEK: I predicted a top 10 finish in PPR leagues, but an injury limited Bush to only 69 total yards and 3 catches. If he had played a full game, he most likely would've been a top 10 back.
THIS WEEK: Bush did not practice on Wednesday and is reportedly "very questionable" for Sunday's game. That's obviously not very good for the Lions or Bush fantasy owners. Even if he's active, I'd be very wary.
VERDICT: Monitor situation until Sunday, but I'd say no right now.
RB Joique Bell
LAST WEEK: I said he'd be a good PPR flex guy and he turned out to be good enough to be PPR RB2 thanks to Bush's injury. Bell finished with 5 catches for 41 yards (on 8 targets) and 31 yards rushing against the Cardinals.
THIS WEEK: Assuming Bush can't go, Bell becomes the go-to bell cow back. More Joique "bell cow" Bell. The Redskins have allowed 209 yards and a touchdown and 142 yards (on half the carries) and a touchdown in back-to-back weeks, respectively, so yeah, they haven't been good against the run either. Bell could be in for a big game.
The dilemma with Bell is that you should already have two starting running backs ahead of him. Me? I have Jamaal Charles and Alfred Morris, too. All three rank right around each other this week with Charles falling the lowest. It'd take some serious balls (not Bells) to not start the RB drafted in the top 10, though. I'm flummoxed.
VERDICT: Re-visit on Sunday when Bush news hits. If you're in my situation, then flip a coin a few times. Automatic flex start. Top 15 finish. I've also decided you should start him over Knowshon Moreno, co-worker.
WR Calvin Johnson
LAST WEEK: I hope you didn't do anything drastic, because he should've been an automatic start. Megatron finished as the No. 4 wide receiver with 2 touchdowns, 6 catches (8 targets) and 116 yards.
THIS WEEK: What usually happens when you put the NFL's best wide receiver up against the NFL's worst pass defense?
WR Ryan Broyles
LAST WEEK: Inactive.
THIS WEEK: There's a chance Broyles will make his debut this weekend, in which case you have a fantasy sleeper lining up against a pass defense that has allowed over 600 yards in two weeks, as we've already gone over. It's simply too early in the week to tell and it'd be a risky play.
VERDICT: Most likely sit, but monitor situation.
WR Nate Burleson
LAST WEEK: I said you should probably sit him, but that he'd be a good play in low-end PPR flex leagues with three wideouts. Burleson finished exactly around there in PPR leagues -- in the 40s -- with 7 catches (8 targets) and 45 yards. He also had -8 yards rushing.
THIS WEEK: It largely depends on Broyles' status, but Burleson could continue to get healthy looks in PPR leagues.
VERDICT: Mostly sit, but I actually think he could salvage a ballsy play by getting a touchdown.
TE Brandon Pettigrew
LAST WEEK: Did you cut him? Pettigrew had 3 catches for 32 yards on 6 targets. He was the 22nd ranked tight end.
THIS WEEK: Looks like Pettigrew is going to continue getting looks despite being bad. The Redskins have allowed a touchdown to tight ends in each of their first two games, so I'll bash Pettigrew really hard here and then he'll probably catch a touchdown and finish in the top 15 for tight ends. I won't hold my breath, though.
VERDICT: Smartest play is to bench. He is backup, bye week tight end material at the very best right now.
K David Akers
LAST WEEK: I called him a safe start and then he missed out on three field goal opportunities (two of which were his fault). If he had made those, he would've been a top 10 kicker.
THIS WEEK: If Bush doesn't play, the Lions offense may not move a whole lot, as evidenced by the second half in Arizona, so Akers suffers. But I'm not concerned about Akers himself. He'll bounce back and the Lions should give him enough field goal opportunities to make him a fine play.
VERDICT: Better options on the wire probably, but should be a top 14 kicker nonetheless.
LAST WEEK: I said not to gamble on the Lions again in Week 2 and, sure as Sherlock, they get a touchdown and finish in the top 10 again.
THIS WEEK: All the media reports about the Redskins' struggling offense and RGIII not running enough has me thinking the Washington offense flips a switch and RGIII runs wild. "See? He totally needs to run more" is what they'll say after the game.
VERDICT: Better options have to be available.
What say you? Leave your thoughts in the comments.