Few games sting more than the Detroit Lions embarrassment against the Carolina Panthers last year, going down 31-7 before unsuccessfully trying to climb back. That loss — which saw the Panthers run for 350 yards — was one of a few that kept the team out of the playoffs and was absolutely a game that a team with postseason aspirations should be winning.
It is a new season now, though, and while the Lions have reloaded in many places, the Panthers have hit the reset button. An 0-4 start has brought some frustrations, but with a rookie quarterback in place, this is a pure rebuilding year for Carolina. Unfortunately, that has put a big damper on fantasy output from this squad as well.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
What Lions-Panthers start/sit decisions are you making?
My answer: With Detroit expected to win this one, the game script leans heavy on the run. I do think Jahmyr Gibbs still has better outputs ahead of him, but my big takeaway is actually to preach caution on Jared Goff. The Lions never ask him to do more than they need him to, and while hopefully the passing game will open up even more with the return of Jameson Williams, I think the run game is going to control this one the whole way.
On the other side of the ball, there are really no Panthers I feel good about. Miles Sanders is definitely one to avoid with how the Lions have been against the run, but maybe Adam Thielen will sneak into the WR2 range as a safety net for Bryce Young, who projects to be under pressure all game. Carolina will need to throw, but is unlikely going to be a big vertical threat. Thielen is more of a volume play, but that could be enough for him to be startable.