MATCHUP OF THE WEEK: TE Eric Ebron vs. Patriots
I was watching Thursday night's North Carolina game on ESPN and thought, I wonder if Ebron is going to go off this weekend to counter Rob Gronkowski. Then, on Friday, I read Jeremy's always-awesome exploiting their weaknesses analysis and learned that the Detroit Lions' best chance at improving their offense this weekend might be by using their tight ends more often.
Gronkowski is going to see a lot of targets for the Patriots. That goes without saying. He's second on his team and in the NFL among tight ends in targets (80) and is generally just a machine who will destroy you. The Lions could learn a thing or two from this style of offense.
Ebron, unfortunately, has seen just over a fourth of Gronkowski's targets in the Lions' offense (24). He has missed a few games, but he has not been involved to the extent one might have expected after the Lions surprised fans by drafting him 10th overall.
As Jeremy mentioned in his post, the Patriots have allowed at least six receptions to tight ends in four of their last five games and over a hundred yards and a touchdown in three of them. They are 26th against opposing tight ends in fantasy, giving up over 20 points in two of the last three.
Ebron did something he hadn't done all year last week in Arizona, catching all of his targets (4-for-4), and he has seen four targets in the last four games he's played. Maybe, just maybe, the Lions are planning to get him more involved.
If they are, this is the week.
PREVIOUS MATCHUPS OF THE WEEK:
Week 1: Calvin Johnson vs. Giants - 7 catches (11 targets), 164 yards, 2 TD
Week 2: Golden Tate vs. Panthers - 5 catches (8 targets), 57 yards
Week 3: Reggie Bush vs. Packers - 12 carries, 61 yards, 1 TD, 6 catches (8 targets), 38 yards
Week 4: Eric Ebron vs. Jets - 3 catches (4 targets), 34 yards, 1 TD
Week 5: Lions D/ST vs. Bills - 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 TD
Week 6: Golden Tate vs. Vikings - 7 catches (12 targets), 44 yards
Week 7: Matthew Stafford vs. Saints - 27/40, 299 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, 1 yard rushing
Week 8: Matthew Stafford vs. Falcons - 24/47, 325 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 9 yards rushing
Week 10: Reggie Bush vs. Dolphins - 4 carries, 20 yards, 1 catch (1 target), 5 yards
Week 11: Matthew Stafford vs. Cardinals - Ew
BURNING ROSTER DEBATES:
What to do with Reggie Bush?
Charles Clay or Ebron?
I give the homer, high-reward edge to Ebron (that's who I'm playing in the POD league, because I'm a homer), but objectively speaking, Charles Clay is the safer play. He receives more targets on a weekly basis, and he's actually going up against a worse defense against opposing tight ends in the Denver Broncos (sixth-worst in the NFL). Factor in that I think the Dolphins will have to throw a lot to keep up with the Broncos and Clay is the better play.
Week 10 Decision: Matthew Stafford (21.10) over Mark Sanchez (25.18) - Wrong, but not burned
Week 11 Decision: Eric Ebron (4 catches, 22 yards) over Jordan Reed (2 catches, 22 yards) - Draw, slightly Ebron
I forgot to show you my team from last week, but I won a 1 p.m. $2-to-win-$50 200-person entry, and I can prove it!
My season total is now $98.80.
I am participating in the POD league this week. I have two hastily put together $2 entries. This is my favorite:
Editor's Note: Pride Of Detroit is hosting its very own FanDuel league this week. It's $5 to join, and first place wins $50. Go here to join.