Sep 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) warms up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-US PRESSWIRE
Week six is upon us and the Detroit Lions skill positions have been letting fantasy owners down. Though the Lions are coming off a bye week and are looking to turn their season around after a dreadful 1-3 start, fantasy owners should be concerned for their Lions going into Philadelphia.
This week is not the best week for your Lions fantasy players, and this week’s start em/sit em’s numbers may shock you.
Calvin Johnson – It is obvious that you start Calvin Johnson every week but this year he hasn’t had the numbers everyone was expecting and what put him on the Madden cover. Johnson has yet to catch a touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford and that is a concern. His targets are right where they should be at 43, but most of them are short passes and not down the field. Coming off the bye week I expect Johnson to catch his second touchdown of the season but don’t look for huge day with yards.
Matthew Stafford – This week Stafford has something to prove. This season he only has 3 touchdown passes total. At this point last year he had 8, just to Calvin Johnson. Though he is still averaging 295 yards a game, his 3-4 touchdown to interception ratio is not good. He is only averaging about 16 fantasy points a game in standard leagues and that is just not good enough for how high his average draft position was. This week he is going to have his hands full. The Eagles are ranked 9th against the pass in the NFL and only allow 206 yards passing a game. Look for Stafford to come out strong against the Eagles and have a better game than the numbers suggest.
Brandon Pettigrew – Yes, yes he drops the ball but that hasn’t stopped him from being a productive fantasy tight end. He is second in targets on the Lions with 35 behind Calvin Johnson and that trend should stay the same. He has at least 60 yards in three of the four games and if he can fix the drops, it would be a lot more. Now all these numbers may sound like I am saying start him but I’m not. The Eagles have only allowed one touchdown to tight ends so far this season and more than five catches only once. He may be good going forward but not this week.
Titus Young/Nate Burleson – Are these guys even on the field? I was high on Titus Young early in the year but he has just not shown up. Though his numbers that made him fantasy relevant came in the second half of the season last year, in the here and now he has been virtually droppable. Burleson has actually been better than I predicted this season but not this week. Burleson has yet to gain more than 70 yards in a game and he only has one score. He may be a decent play in PPR leagues for the rest of the season but he wouldn’t be in my lineup this week.
Mikel Leshoure – Leshoure doesn’t have the sample size to really put a finger on his skill set but the Eagles make it easy to say he shouldn’t have a good fantasy day. The Eagle defense has only given up two games of over 100 yards rushing and just two touchdowns in five weeks. He may be a good flex play but is not quite number two running back material this week.
If the Lions can start to put up more points in the first half of games, and get the ball to Calvin Johnson in the end zone, the Detroit players will begin to have better fantasy weeks.