3 bold predictions for the Detroit Lions vs. the Carolina Panthers in Week 16
3. Lions hold Panthers’ WR D.J. Moore to less than 10 PPR fantasy points
Moore has had a rebirth since Sam Darnold took over as the Panthers’ quarterback, with a touchdown and over 70 yards in two of three games. Of course the other was a catchless dud he was injured in, but he did not miss much time in that game. It’s also a favorable situation for him against the Lions.
The Panthers would surely prefer to run the ball, and since Darnold stepped back in no team in the league has averaged more rush attempts in the league (36 per game) as he’s thrown the ball just 22 times a game. They’ve gone 2-1 in the games Darnold has started,
To throw the ball a lot, even in a favorable-looking matchup for the passing game especially as the Lions will now be thin on expericence at safety with DeShon Elliott out, would be against that formula. The Lions also won’t make it easy to run the ball either, as they’ve held opponents to 2.9 yards per carry over their last three games (the best in the league over that stretch, via Justin Rogers of The Detroit News).
Be it by having Jeff Okudah travel with him, doubling him regularly or some combination of things, the Lions can and should put a lot of focus on shutting Moore down. If Terrace Marshall Jr., etc. beats them, so be it. But it won’t (or shouldn’t) be Moore, and he won’t get to the combination of five catches and 50 yards to deliver double-digit full PPR points for his fantasy managers in a critical week.