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This week's game between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions should be a good one for your fantasy teams - if they have Packers players on them. The Lions' defense is struggling and has allowed the most points per game in the league, implying that Green Bay players should be in line for big games this weekend.
Meanwhile, the Lions have turned the ball over more than any other NFL team, a good sign for the Packers' defense. Here's how we see this game turning out for the key fantasy players on both sides.
Start With Confidence
He's back - at least statistically speaking. Regardless of that fourth-down play where he got "scared", Rodgers put up his best fantasy performance since week three with his 360-plus yard, four-touchdown performance. With a very beatable Lions secondary on deck, Rodgers should be primed for another big performance this weekend.
Like Rodgers, Cobb bounced back in a big way against the Panthers and posted his best game in over a month. With Rashean Mathis out, the Lions will be scrambling in the secondary. Even so, Cobb will get a tantalizing matchup against slot corner Nevin Lawson and should put up a nice day.
This comes with the caveat that he must be active on Sunday - Johnson was listed as questionable on Friday's injury report. If he does play though, Sam Shields is expected to be back, but he has still remained consistently on the right side while Damarious Randall has been getting most of the boundary work on the right. Johnson is a player who has the size to beat perfect coverage anyway, and he has plenty of big games against the Packers in his career - in 14 games against Green Bay, he averages 12 targets, six catches, over 90 yards, and one score per game. That stat line sounds about right this week.
Starks was a huge weapon on screen passes a week ago and will likely be used in a similar capacity against a decent Lions pass rush this weekend. 100 total yards are very much within sight, and a touchdown seems likely for the new starter, who gets to face a Lions defense that is among the worst in the league in allowing fantasy points to opposing runners. If Eddie Lacy's groin injury keeps him limited on Sunday, Starks is a borderline RB1 play.
They haven't recorded a sack in the last two games, so they're due for a few on Sunday. Plus, Matthew Stafford is likely to make a handful of questionable throws and the Lions have the 31st scoring offense in the NFL, all of which make Green Bay a good play this weekend.
Deciding on Stafford's status means you need to decide whether the Packers' coverage issues the past few weeks were just due to playing great quarterbacks and missing key players, or if they're indicative that this is just a bad secondary. I'm leaning towards the former, and I don't think that Stafford is a great QB in general. I'm expecting decent yardage and a pair of scores, but two or three turnovers from the Lions signal-caller as well.
Adams might benefit more from Mathis' absence than Cobb, as Mathis is primarily a boundary corner. Instead of Mathis, Adams will see a combination of Darius Slay, Josh Wilson, and rookie Quandre Diggs, and he's also coming off his best game of the year with seven catches for 93 yards and a two-point conversion. Now that he looks fully healthy, Adams should have a nice game this week with a shot at a touchdown.
Though he doesn't give you much yardage, Rodgers is usually good for a couple of red-zone targets every game, and his value is highly-touchdown-dependent.
Start in Case of Emergency
If Johnson doesn't play, Tate should be elevated into a firm starting role by virtue of a higher target load expected. If Megatron is active though, Tate becomes a borderline flex player. He has averaged fewer than 10 yards per reception this year, with his 9.4 average coming in at four yards fewer than any of his previous three years. He also has just one touchdown on the year, so start him only if you must.
This only goes for PPR leagues; if you're in a standard league, leave Riddick on your bench. He's a boom or bust play even in PPR formats, but the potential for an 8-reception game and a score is there, especially against a Packers defense that has had some trouble defending against receiving backs this season.
In the Packers' offensive resurgence last week (which took place mainly in the fourth quarter), Jones caught just two of six targets. One of them was the big fourth-down conversion, but he has averaged just four targets per game over the past month. He has still put up a few big plays, but the low target volume makes him a very risky play in any given week.
Bell isn't getting enough snaps to make him a worthwhile option at this point. Formerly a PPR stud, Bell has ceded the receiving back role to Riddick and he is still coming off an injury that kept him out of a few games in October. Combine that with a 3.3 yards per carry average and you have a poor option in any format.
Missing a starting corner, the Lions look poised to give up another big game to the Packers' offense. Plus, they're the worst scoring defense in the league. Look elsewhere.