On a weekly basis, I'm going to focus on one matchup in the upcoming Detroit Lions game and elaborate on why I think that particular player (or the team's defense) would be your best pick at that respective position in fantasy football. I'll also throw in some wrinkles (i.e. some players to avoid, opposing players to look out for, rankings, etc.).
Lastly, in spirit of our sponsor FanDuel, I am going to post my weekly FanDuel team and, like Floyd Mayweather, I will only brag about the times I win money. You should do the same in the comments, where we can talk fantasy football free from ridicule. I will also try to highlight the POD FFL matchup of the week.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK: Lions D/ST vs. Bills
I'm playing both Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson this week where I have them, but another strong play could be the Detroit Lions' defense and special teams. The Lions are at home against a suspect offense running out a perennial backup quarterback, and their fired former head coach will be in the building as the opponent's defensive coordinator. Wouldn't it be amazing for the Lions to show ol' Jim Schwartz what a disciplined defense looks like?
It looks pretty good on paper, too. The Lions' pass defense is a shocking No. 2 in the NFL, and they're taking on the NFL's No. 31 pass offense. And the run defense is No. 6. They might be due for some regression, but for now, the defense is looking as stout as ever.
Buffalo will be starting the mustachioed Kyle Orton, who was golfing with one of my college buddies and doing family stuff in Dallas until being signed by the Bills on Aug. 29. Orton has a good history vs. the Lions (four games, 102 QB rating, four touchdowns, zero interceptions), but he threw two interceptions in his lone start last season and didn't have a single start in 2012. Don't underestimate him, because he has a track record of success, but let's not consider him a big-time upgrade over EJ Manuel. If he was, he would've been rostered long before Labor Day weekend.
The Lions D/ST, the fourth-ranked D/ST, is averaging a respectable 8.5 points per game this season and blanked the Bills during the preseason (a day before they signed Orton). Yes, it was the preseason and barely any starters played, but -- okay, it was the preseason. Still, with this game being at home, where the Lions have forced three turnovers and scored a defensive touchdown this season, you couldn't find any better matchups on the waiver wire this week.
Take the Lions D/ST for a spin.
PREVIOUS MATCHUPS OF THE WEEK:
Week 1: Calvin Johnson vs. Giants - 7 catches (11 targets), 164 yards, 2 touchdowns
Week 2: Golden Tate vs. Panthers - 5 catches (8 targets), 57 yards
Week 3: Reggie Bush vs. Packers - 12 carries, 61 yards, 1 touchdown, 6 catches (8 targets), 38 yards
Week 4: Eric Ebron vs. Jets - 3 catches (4 targets), 34 yards, 1 touchdown
SLEEPER: RB Reggie Bush vs. Bills
This one does not look good on paper, as the Bills are the No. 3 run defense in the NFL (2.9 yards per carry and no touchdowns this season). The way the Lions have run the ball through four games, you figure the Bills will have an easy time with the run and can just focus on shutting down Stafford and Johnson, right?
Maybe, but with Joique Bell and Theo Riddick already ruled out for Sunday, Bush is going to get RB1 touches. Especially in deeper leagues, it'd be hard to bench that. Even if he doesn't produce yards and/or a score on the ground, Bush will also be heavily involved in the passing game considering he already tended to get more targets on turf and the Bills allow the fourth-most receiving yards to running backs.
He's the guy on Sunday, so don't sleep on him.
Week 1: Eric Ebron - No
Week 2: Rain - No
Week 3: Eric Ebron - No
Week 4: Matthew Stafford - YES! (I should've had Ebron and Stafford flipped last week. I thought, given his recent poor performances, that people would sleep on Stafford, but really, he was still a top-five-ranked QB in Week 4 and a top matchup. I also wanted to go bold with Ebron since I missed on him twice as a sleeper. I dropped the ball there, but hey, at least the Lions aren't dropping the ball as much this year!)
POD FFL GAME OF THE WEEK:
As predicted, Tate's Golden Shower (JCruize, 3-1) vs. By Levyathan's Beard (Nate D., 2-2).
Despite Eli Manning putting up big-bro numbers, By Levyathan's Beard came back from a 40-point deficit and staved off a monster DeMarco Murray effort on Sunday Night Football. What a game. (By Levyathan's Beard won 138.12-117.80.)
POD FFL MATCHUP OF THE WEEK:
By Levyathan's Beard (Nate D., 2-2) vs. Motown Madmen (Jettero2112, 4-0)
Can he do it again? He's already down 33.64 points going into Sunday and up against another undefeated squad. Motown Madmen seems to have the better matchups, but the predictions have him only winning by a slim three-point margin.
I won $15 last week, bringing my four-week total to $34.80!
QB Matthew Stafford vs. Bills - $8,800
RB Eddie Lacy vs. Vikings - $7,600 (26.7 points)
RB Rashad Jennings vs. Falcons - $7,200
WR TY Hilton vs. Ravens - $6,700
WR Brian Quick vs. Eagles - $6,000
WR Antonio Brown vs. Jaguars - $9,000
TE Zach Ertz vs. Rams - $5,400
K Shayne Graham vs. Bucs - $4,500
D/ST Detroit Lions vs. Bills - $4,800
Remaining salary: $0
Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $350,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 5's NFL games. It's only $10 to join and first place wins $30,000. Starts Sunday, October 5th at 1pm ET. Here's the link.