Enough with the bye week already. Let’s get to the game!
- QB – Matthew Stafford – The Lions potent passing attack turned backup Shaun Hill into a viable fantasy player, so so really shouldn’t hesitate to plug in Matt Stafford (so long as he is indeed fully cleared to play). If he’s truly healthy, the numbers in the passing game could go from good to great. It doesn’t hurt that he’ll face the 31st ranked passing defense when the Lions meet the Redskins on Sunday.
- RB – Jahvid Best – The turf toe injury is probably slowing him down a little bit still, but he was allowed to get some rest over the bye week, and he’s expected to be in the lineup against Washington. The Redskins have allowed 114 yards rushing per game, so it could be a favorable matchup for Best.
- WR – Calvin Johnson – Calvin was on a nice tear before the bye week–he scored over 50 points in the previous three weeks–and there’s no reason to expect him to slow down now. The return of Stafford’s strong arm could make CJ an even deeper threat in the passing game.
- K – Jason Hanson – Not much to say here except that Jason has been one of the more reliable fantasy kickers out there.
- WR – Nate Burleson – I really like the added dimension that Nate provided to the aerial attack in weeks five and six (save the fumble late against the Giants). He scored a TD in each of the last two games. Opponents need to key on Calvin Johnson, and Nate sees some of that benefit. I wouldn’t try too hard to get Burleson into your lineup, but he could provide some value if bye weeks are causing you hardship.
- TE – Brandon Pettigrew – I nearly put Pettigrew in the start ‘em category, but there’s really no telling how Stafford will prefer to use his tight ends. Pettigrew was a favorite safety valve of Hill’s, but Matt may not target him as often. I’d try to wait out the TE situation for another week if possible.
- TE – Tony Scheffler – See Pettigrew above. There’s just not much to choose between the two options. They’ve both shown that they’re capable receivers, but they take away some value from each other. I’d watch this week to see how often Stafford looks for each guy. I’d prefer Pettigrew if you need to start one of the two.
Just don’t do it
- DEF – Detroit – If you’re looking solely at fantasy points earned to date, they may not look like a terrible option, but I don’t trust them any further than I could throw them. They have been good at coming up with sacks and finding turnovers, but they’re in the bottom ten in points allowed. It’s probably feast or famine, and as Lions fans know, it’s usually famine with this group. Don’t get tempted to play them.
We’re approximately 38% done with the season, so Pettigrew, Hanson, Johnson, Best, and Scheffler are all pretty good buys. I have all of them in my AX portfolio, and so should you. A big game from one of these fine players would earn you some very valuable fake monies. Happy trading.