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Fantasy Football: Game of the Week Preview
The running joke from Week 12 is that no team won in the NFC North, yet two teams played each other.
One of the teams that tied last week was Green Bay. After trailing 23-7, Matt Flynn was given the nod to replace the struggling Scott Tolzien and scored 16-straight points in the fourth quarter, sending the game into overtime.
As for Detroit, they faced a former divisional foe last week and were upset at home by Tampa Bay.
The Thanksgiving Day game may be a staple in Lions’ history, but that doesn’t mean they’ve been successful. Detroit is 1-12 in the past 13 Turkey day contests and hasn’t won on the final Thursday in November since 2003 when Joey Harrington defeated Brett Favre, 22-14.
Players to start:
QB – Matthew Stafford and Matt Flynn
Stafford is 0-3 as a starter on Thanksgiving, with two of those losses coming from Green Bay. Last year, he was involved in a shoot-out with Matt Schaub and fell short in overtime, but he threw for 441 yards and two TDs. Against the Bucs last Sunday, Stafford threw four interceptions in a loss. However, he’s thrown for at least two touchdowns in eight games this season. For that consistency alone, I will keep Stafford in the Top 12 for quarterback rankings.
Flynn earned a massive contract in free agency after torching the Lions for 480 yards and six touchdowns in the 2011 season. Since then, he’s been passed around by Seattle, Oakland, and now back to Green Bay. The Lions allow 277 passing yards per game and 21 passing TDs this season.
RB – Reggie Bush and Eddie Lacy
The running attack may seem like an afterthought in this game, but there are two legitimate options to start this week. Bush gets anywhere between 12 to 20 carries per game, along with four receptions per game. He has also found pay dirt in 40 percent of the games this season. I expect 16 points, minimum, and 20 in PPR leagues.
Last week, Lacy eclipsed the 100-yard mark for only the third time this season. However, he has scored a touchdown in five of the past six games. Lacy also had a season-high six receptions against Minnesota. The Lions have the fourth-best running defense, so expect around 90 rushing yards and a couple catches this Thursday, with hopes that he finds the end zone.
Megatron and Nelson are obvious WR1 starts this week against secondaries that have allowed a combined 40 passing TDs this season. The trick will be guessing which players catch the four touchdowns in this matchup. Burleson and Boykin both scored last week even though Burleson was returning from an injury and Boykin was dealing with a quarterback change. With the teams on short-rest, I expect the chemistry between the four listed receivers above and their QBs are enough to warrant a spot in your starting lineup.
TE – Brandon Pettigrew
While the yardage is sporatic, Pettigrew is very consistent with his three receptions per game, minimum. He’s reached that catch total in nine out of 11 games this season. Last week, both Pettigrew and teammate Joseph Fauria caught a touchdown pass. Fauria may only be averaging one catch per game, he has scored six times. In deep, TD-only leagues I’d start Fauria. In all other formats, I’d stick with Pettigrew.
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