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Defenses & Dragons: Week 13 Detroit Lions fantasy pick of the week

Not a whole lot of options here...

NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions are in free fall. The team has last four of its last five and has scored over 20 points exactly once during this stretch. The best wide receiver has been traded away; two of the top three remaining play-makers are currently injured; the quarterback is enduring an awful slump.

With very few weapons remaining, it is difficult to find any sort of Lions player worth using in fantasy anymore. The starting skill players are a bunch of question marks and fantasy dart throws, making any decision pretty risky. Assuming Kerryon Johnson is still out, though, that may leave some points available for the running back position. This week’s Defenses & Dragons player of the week is Theo Riddick.

FantasyPros Ranking: RB30 (0.5 PPR)
FanDuel Pricing: RB44 ($5300)

Riddick, predictably, has suffered a down season after the additions of Johnson and LeGarrette Blount in the offseason. The pass-catching back has averaged just 6.6 points per game this season and has yet to find the end zone despite seeing an elevated number of targets. As Johnson has grown throughout his rookie campaign, the need for Riddick has seemingly decreased.

However, the injury to Johnson opened the door back up, as did the trade of Golden Tate. With fewer options in the short passing game—which the Lions have apparently decided to hammer going forward—Riddick is one of the few familiar faces and known quantities in this space. He has seen at least seven targets each of the past four weeks and is clearly an option for Matthew Stafford.

Blount cannot help in this area, and with more or less random players occupying the second and third receiver spots, do not be surprised if Riddick is the biggest beneficiary from the roster turmoil. Against a team like the Rams, the Lions will be down big and should throw the ball routinely. This simply means more opportunities for Riddick. He is a back-end RB2 at best, but that is not too bad from a roster currently full of vacancies.

Prediction: 1 carry, 4 yards; 9 receptions, 55 yards, 1 touchdown; 16.4 fantasy points