This past Monday night the Detroit Lions might have played their first complete game in years. Every aspect of the team showed up and contributed. Passing, rushing, defensive line, secondary, and special teams, they all impressed. However, while they had a complete performance not one player or position stood out when it came to fantasy. That was last week, and now the Lions welcome the Atlanta Falcons to town, so let us look at some fantasy options this week.
Who to start: Quarterback Matthew Stafford
Matthew Stafford is not considered an elite fantasy quarterback, and over for first two weeks he has been a great quarterback, but not a fantasy players dream. Week one he was stellar throwing for nearly 300 yards and four touchdowns, while in week two he had only 122 yards and two touchdowns. His inconsistent play makes him a risk, but this week would be one to start him. The Falcons offense will put up their points, and the Lions will have to match it. Stafford can do just that, with the Falcons strength being there defensive line, the Lions run game could be rendered obsolete. Thus, putting the game of Stafford’s shoulders, and he has proven he can deliver when needed. Also for daily fantasy players, Stafford is a more affordable option, allowing salary to be used on other positions, as well.
Who to sit: Running back Theo Riddick
His season has been difficult, and maybe this benching should be indefinitely. The first two weeks were tough match-ups, both Arizona and New York have strengths upfront, and use that to stop the run. His running mate Ameer Abdullah has not been stellar by any means, but has been better than Riddick. The Lions seem to be trying to get him involved in the game, but it is just not working. His one benefit to fantasy owners has been his pass catching, but that has been nonexistent these first two weeks. The Atlanta Falcons present a similar defense to that of the Giants, so expect a similar game plan to implemented. The Lions patience could run out on Riddick, and he should have another quite week, and more than likely a quite season.
Under the radar option: Golden Tate III
It is difficult to say Golden Tate is under the radar, but after a slow second week some might be hesitant to start him this week. Tate is still looking for his first touchdown of the season, and the Falcons appear to be a tough team to get it against. However, expect the Falcons to shut down the Lions rushing attack, leading them to rely on the screen game and Tate. He dominates with the ball in his hand, and is consistently near the top of the NFL in YAC. The Lions turn to him for those quick bubble screens, and he has the ability to break one for a big gain or even a touchdown. He is Stafford’s favorite target, so expect him to have his chances, and do not be shocked if Tate accumulates a few points this Sunday.
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