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Defenses & Dragons: Week 16 Detroit Lions fantasy pick of the week

This is the end.

Detroit Lions v Buffalo Bills Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Congratulations! Hopefully those of you reading this are preparing for Championship Weekend of the 2018 fantasy football season. It has been a challenging year for fantasy owners, just as it has been for the Detroit Lions. But while the Lions are limping through two more meaningless games, everything is on the line this week in fantasy.

Finding a Lions player to highlight each week this season has not been easy, and it feels fitting that this might be the toughest week of them all. I avoided picking back-to-back players the whole year, but now is not the time to get cute. League title on the line? Fire up Kenny Golladay, who is the Week 16 Defenses & Dragons player of the week.

FantasyPros Ranking: WR21 (0.5 PPR)
FanDuel Pricing: WR16 ($7100)

Golladay has been on a roller coaster all season long. His first five games had totals of at least 14 fantasy points four times, but the next three weeks were all single-digit performances. Here are the results from the six outings since then: 16.8, 21.3, 11.5, 6.5, 1.5, 18.1. On the whole, this looks encouraging, but another 6.5-point showing could be hugely detrimental in the finals.

In his first matchup against the Vikings, Golladay brought in just three receptions for 46 yards and 6.9 points. Why trust him this week? It just seems hard to believe he will see only four targets again. Since the game in Minnesota, Golladay is averaging 9.3 targets per week. This sort of usage should be enough for a WR2 showing.

A touchdown would be nice, but it may be hard to come by. Very few WR1s have scored against the Vikings, and big wide receiver games in general have been infrequent. Still, this feels like a big opportunity for Golladay. He is coming off a great performance and in a lot of ways is auditioning for a bigger role next season. The Minnesota secondary is no joke, but Golladay will see enough targets to make him worth a start when it counts the most.

Prediction: 7 receptions, 85 yards, 0 touchdowns; 12.0 fantasy points

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.