ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions play Monday night in Green Bay, which means that most decisions you’re going to make for fantasy purposes have to be done well before then. Here’s a little bit of help while you’re trying to figure out who to sit and who to start.
QB Matthew Stafford: Despite his 1-5 record on the road against Green Bay, he’s played well there. Stafford has averaged 315 yards passing in his six games in Wisconsin with 16 touchdowns (15 passing, one rushing) and five interceptions. He averages 22.4 fantasy points against the Packers on the road and while he’s struggled in prime time, he’s a realistic QB1 this week.
RB Ameer Abdullah: The running back hasn’t been getting chances on third down or in the red zone, but he’s the best shot at a 100-yard rusher for the Lions. He’s averaging 3.69 yards per carry and has scored just one rushing touchdown this season. So this is an on-a-limb hunch, but I would start Abdullah this week. Green Bay is giving up 125.7 yards per game rushing and 4.23 yards per rush. Look for Abdullah to break Detroit’s 59-game streak without a 100-yard rusher Monday night and score a touchdown.
RB Theo Riddick: He’s still a PPR-only play, but in his last four games against Green Bay, he’s averaged five catches for 31 yards. Not exactly big numbers here. Plus, he’s only scored once. While the Packers' defense is not impressive, I’d stay away from Riddick this week.
RB Zach Zenner: Zenner was inactive last week and is not fantasy relevant.
RB Dwayne Washington: Washington suffered a concussion last week and it’s not clear if he’s going to play. Either way, he doesn’t have much fantasy relevance.
WR Golden Tate: The Lions’ No. 1 receiver typically doesn’t have big games against Green Bay. In seven appearances against the Packers, he’s averaging 8.4 points in standard leagues and 13.1 points in PPR leagues. So if you’re in a PPR league, Tate would be a worthy WR2/WR3 this week. In standard leagues, it might be a week to move away from Tate. He has scored only one touchdown in the last six games against Green Bay, too. His best game against the Packers, though, was on a Monday Night -- a three-catch, two-touchdown game that one might remember as the Fail Mary game.
WR Marvin Jones: Jones had the best game of his career last year against the Packers, a six-catch, 205-yard, two-touchdown performance that elevated expectations for the then-free-agent signing. Now? Those expectations have been lowered, but Jones seems to be finding his receiving stride again. He’s caught six passes in each of the last three games and had 96 yards against the Saints and 128 yards against Pittsburgh. Like Abdullah, taking a shot here, but Jones is going to have another strong performance Monday night and I would place him strongly in the WR2 category this week.
WR Kenny Golladay: You can’t trust him at this point with the hamstring injury that has lingered for weeks and weeks -- especially on Monday night with no other options to pick up if he’s inactive.
WR TJ Jones: Meanwhile, TJ Jones is capitalizing on the added playing time. He had the best game of his career against the Steelers with four catches for 88 yards. He’s had three or more receptions in four of the past five games and if you’re really hurting on byes this week, perhaps pick up Golladay and Jones and make a decision Monday night. Jones was a sneaky decent fantasy play last week and remains so again Monday night.
TE Eric Ebron: He was thought to be on the trading block earlier this week but Ebron is still in Detroit. It doesn’t mean you should use him, though. Ebron had two catches for 58 yards against Pittsburgh and that’s about the best output he’s had this year other than Week 2 against the Giants. That said, he actually had two decent performances against Green Bay last year -- five catches and 69 yards on the road and six catches for 61 yards at home. Now that he knows he’ll be in Detroit the rest of the year, maybe that refocuses him. But it's still too early to really take a chance on that.
TE Darren Fells: Fells is still not a reliable option for you. He’s caught more than two passes in a game only once this season. He’s still involved in the offense and could get some red-zone looks, but playing Fells is an only-if-you-are-desperate-touchdown-or-bust play.
Lions defense: Yes, the Lions are facing a backup quarterback this week in Brett Hundley. But the combination of being on the road and Green Bay’s pass-catching options is still enough to stay away from a Detroit defense that’s struggling to rush the passer.