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Lions fantasy football matchup of Week 2

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Get ready for Week 2 of the season with a fantasy football-focused look at the Detroit Lions' game against the Carolina Panthers.

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Joe Sargent

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.

Last week, I predicted that Calvin Johnson was going to have a big game against the New York Giants. Was I right? Yes, he was the highest-scoring fantasy player on the Lions, edging out Matthew Stafford (in PPR leagues). This week in Carolina, it will be different:

Matchup of the week: WR Golden Tate vs. Panthers

Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson have to be automatic plays, but if you don't have those two and you have Golden Tate, look to slip him into your lineup this week with confidence.

Tate was considered a low-end WR3 with upside before fantasy drafts, so in 2-WR/FLEX leagues he's a weekly consideration but not an automatic play. Well, this Week 2 matchup is where he'll be worth his fantasy salt.

After catching all six of his targets in Week 1 for 93 yards, I'm expecting Tate to at least match that performance and find the end zone for the first time as a Lion (in the regular season).

The Panthers present Tate with one of his four green-rated matchups this season, according to The Football Scientist KC Joyner, which means this is one of the matchups that should be targeted. With the "No-Name" Panthers looking to stay tight on "Mega-tronnnn," Tate will get loose.

Tate is as high as No. 12 in rankings this week. I like him to be top 25, and I would play him over Kelvin Benjamin, especially in PPR leagues.

Sleeper: Rain

There's currently a 40-percent chance of showers on Sunday in Charlotte, which means it could turn into a sloppy game. Make sure you keep an eye on the weather report before you set your lineups on Sunday. In my opinion, if it's raining, Stafford and Reggie Bush (standard scoring) get downgraded a bit in the rankings and the game's kickers should be ignored completely, especially in leagues where you lose points for missed attempts.

POD FFL Game of Week 1:

Moore for Me (Mordecai James-Bradford) 97.54, Blue Suh Crew (DrewsLions) 89.52

Trailing 74.22-63.50 going into Monday Night Football, Moore for Me needed Stafford to outscore Joique Bell, Keenan Allen and Arizona's D/ST by at least 12 points to get a "W." Stafford went off with 34.04 points while Bell, Allen and the Cards only combined for 18.30 points.

POD FFL Matchup of Week 2:

Wide 9ers (projected 104.92) vs. Moore for Me (projected 99.53)

In what's already a tight 15-14 battle with Baltimore's D/ST putting up 15 and Justin Tucker 14, this matchup features Adrian Peterson going up against former backup Toby Gerhart! Moore for Me will have to keep a close eye on his TE spot with Jordan Cameron ailing. Luckily, despite missing out on Owen Daniels on Thursday night, he has a quality backup in Dwayne Allen.

FanDuel:

I won $1.80 last week!

Here's my Week 2 team:

QB - Aaron Rodgers, Packers vs. Jets (13th) at $9,100
RB - Giovani Bernard, Bengals vs. Falcons (32nd) at $7,800
RB - Alfred Morris, Redskins vs. Jaguars (26th) at $7,200
WR - Dez Bryant, Cowboys vs. Titans (2nd) at $8,200
WR - Demaryius Thomas, Broncos vs. Chiefs (26th) at $8,700
WR - Golden Tate, Lions vs. Panthers (6th) at $5,000
TE - Levine Toilolo, Falcons vs. Bengals (30th) at $4,500
K - Shayne Graham, Saints vs. Browns (26th) at $4,700
D - Green Bay Packers vs. Jets (18th) at $4,500

Remaining cap: $100

(Opponent positional rank is listed in parentheses.)

Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $250,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 2's NFL games. It's only $10 to join and first place wins $25,000. Starts Sunday, September 14th at 1pm ET. Here's the link.