I know it’s Thursday again. Deal with it.
The Lions don’t have a game this weekend, so there’s not much in the way of a fantasy preview. What I thought I’d do instead is take a look back at what some of the top Lions have done in the fantasy realm. You can also consider this your reminder to place your Lion players on the bench this week.
QB – Shaun Hill – No one could have predicted that Shaun Hill would have been a reliable fantasy option at any point this year. Heck, only the most optimistic projections thought Matthew Stafford was deserving of a starting spot, but the backup Detroit came in and put up some very nice numbers. Through six weeks, he ranks 8th among quarterbacks in total fantasy points; he’s ahead of names like Donovan McNabb and Eli Manning. Hill’s fantasy season is likely done. Stafford will return after the bye week, but the broken forearm he suffered last week would have kept him out of action for a while anyway. Hill’s success bodes well for the return of Matt Stafford. Matt should be able to pick up where Shaun left off and put up some good numbers for your fantasy team.
RB – Jahvid Best – Jahvid started out with a bang, but his production has waned a bit in recent weeks. Part of that is due to a turf toe injury though. Best hasn’t put up the rushing yardage totals that I thought he would after the preseason, but he adds value with involvement in the passing game. He’s only rushed for 257 yards, but he’s added 285 through the air. The addition of five total TDs makes him the number ten fantasy running back after six weeks. He looks good to maintain, or even improve on, his totals so far.
WR – Calvin Johnson – I was down on Calvin after he struggled out of the gate, but he upped his performance by scoring over 50 points in the last three weeks. His 76.1 fantasy points put him into the number five spot among wide receivers. The return of Matt Stafford, and his affinity for the deep ball, can only help out CJ’s numbers from here on out.
WR – Nate Burleson – Nate was unproductive early, and then suffered an injury, but he’s been a nice contributor in the offense the last two weeks. I’m not sure if that will change or not going forward, but having options in the passing game is always a plus. I’m still a ways away from recommending him for your fantasy team, but if he clicks with Stafford, he could be a decent option if you’re in a pinch in the future.
TE – Brandon Pettigrew – He’s only scored once, but Pettigrew has been pretty good at staying involved in the passing game. It’s difficult to say whether or not Stafford’s return will hinder his future performance, but he’s a worth fantasy tight end for now.
TE – Tony Scheffler – Like Pettigrew, Scheffler has scored one touchdown, but he doesn’t have the yardage totals that Brandon has. The Lions have looked to the TE at a high frequency and he’s worth keeping an eye on. If Stafford gets comfortable with Scheffler, he may see a spike in value.
K – Jason Hanson – The Lion’s all-time leading scorer is in the process of showing us that age does not affect him the way it affects mere mortals. The venerable one has made more attempts from 50+ yards (3) than any other kicker in the league. His two misses have both been from over 40 yards (one was from over 50). He’s no longer a threat to break the NFL record for distance, but he still has plenty of leg and accuracy to deserve a spot on your fantasy team. So far he’s racked up the fourth most fantasy points of all kickers.
DEF – Detroit – They’re 27th in points allowed, but they’re tied for eighth in sacks, tied for seventh in interceptions, and second in fumbles recovered. The improved line has been instrumental starting to turn this corps around. They’ve come up with sacks, forced fumbles, and forced bad throws. The defense will probably continue to force turnovers at a pretty good rate, but I’d rather have my fantasy defense be one that can consistently prevent points from being scored. I don’t think they’ll stay in the top ten among fantasy defenses for too much longer.