The Detroit Lions are the Robitussin of the Fantasy World: The cure for all your ills. Bleeding? Rub a little Lions on it. Is a running back not performing up to his expectations? Give him a game against the Lions' porous resistance. Is your defense lacking the resolve to stop anybody? Pit them against the Dan Orlovsky-led offense. But the folks who salivate the most when they see D-Town on the schedule? Quarterbacks.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Gus Frerotte is the only quarterback who has faced the Lions this season who hasn't set a career-high passer rating; so far this year, quarterbacks have a 118.0 QB rating against them. Kind of makes sense why enough Lions fans stayed away from last week's game to force the NFL to black it out in the Detroit area. With that said, let's take a look at the Lions' remaining schedule and what the opposing quarterbacks have to look forward to:
Week 9 at Chicago: Kyle Orton
As if you needed another reason to start the fantasy juggernaut that is Kyle Orton—so far this year, he's tied in fantasy points with Peyton Manning!—Neckbeard gets the Lions at home this weekend. The only downside might be that the Bears spend the second half running out the clock with Matt Forte handed the ball by Rex Grossman. But seeing as how the Bears' defense has been a sieve this year, don't be surprised if Orton is throwing downfield in the fourth quarter. Bonus: Brandon Lloyd, whom Orton seems to have a nice rapport with, may be back in action this week.
Previous Best QB Rating: 121.4, coming in Week 5 of this year against the, surprise, Lions.
Week 10 vs. Jacksonville: David Garrard
After a slow start, Garrard is finally coming around, scoring an average of a tad above 18 points over the past 4 games. And it's only going to get better as he gets to feast on the Bengals' defense this week before heading to Detroit to take his best shot at achieving a perfect QB rating.
Previous Best QB Rating: 136.4, in 2006 game against the Dolphins.
Week 11 at Carolina: Jake Delhomme
Delhomme has been relatively average this year, just outside the top 15 QBs in fantasy scoring. But if you can trade for him, now's the time to do it. He has a very favorable schedule for the rest of the year. Besides this Week 11 contest against the Lions, five of Delhomme's final eight games come against pass defenses that rank in the bottom half of NFL pass defenses.
Previous Best QB Rating: 143.4, against the vaunted Tampa Bay defense in 2004.
Week 12 vs. Tampa Bay: Jeff Garcia or Brian Griese
Although Jon Gruden will probably change his mind by the time this game comes around, it doesn't matter much in the way of fantasy analysis. Either QB should put up comparable stats, the only worry being that the Bucs rely too heavily on Earnest Graham and Warrick Dunn against the Lions' rushing defense, which also isn't very good. Like I said: Robitussin.
Previous Best QB Rating: Garcia put up a 149.3 rating in his 49ers days way back in 2002; Griese experienced a 144.3 rating the day before 9/11 against the Giants.
Week 13 vs. Tennessee: Kerry Collins
While it looks like a good matchup, in all reality this is the most likely case of a quarterback putting up below-average stats against the Lions, although not for reasons that would make Detroit fans happy. At 7-0 in a division where no one else is over .500, the Titans have a legitimate shot of wrapping up the title by Week 13, if not completely then at least enough where they won't risk injuries. If that's the case, Collins will hand off a few times before putting on the ballcap for good. Your fantasy success shouldn't be depending on Kerry Collins anyway.
Previous Best QB Rating: Collins put up a perfect 158.3 rating in a 2002 tilt against the Colts, during which he passed for 366 yards and 4 TDs. I'm guessing most of those points were left on fantasy benches.
Week 14 vs. Minnesota: Gus Frerotte
While he hasn't been lights-out so far, Frerotte has been steadily adequate since taking over in Week 3. Well, except the four interceptions against the Bears last time out. But the real aspect to consider in this matchup is that Week 14 is the first round of the playoffs for most leagues. If you have a team that made the playoffs despite your QB position, you might want to keep a bench spot open for Gus. He should still be available.
Previous Best QB Rating: Gus nearly matched Collins with a 157.2 rating back in 2003 against the 49ers.
Week 15 at Indianapolis: Peyton Manning
Uh, yeah. You're going to want to start Peyton Manning against the Lions, especially since this will be a playoff contest in most fantasy leagues.
Previous Best QB Rating: The Elder Manning has achieved the perfect 158.3 rating three times in his career, the first during a 2000 game against the Patriots, the second in 2002 against the Eagles, and the last coming in 2003 against the Saints.
Week 16 vs. New Orleans: Drew Brees
If you needed an extra reason to finalize that trade for Brees, there's this. If you get this far into the fantasy playoffs—this is historically the championship week for most leagues—you'll have the good fortune of starting a quarterback who leads the most pass-heavy offense in the NFL against the Lions. That'll help. If you have a trade in the works and the Brees owner wants an extra throw-in, don't let that stop you. This matchup is too good not to exploit.
Previous Best QB Rating: 153.1 rating in a 2004 game against the Raiders, so it barely counts. And yet, still perfection to be had!
Week 17 at Green Bay: Aaron Rodgers
While this game won't be have many Fantasy World ramifications, it does bode well for Packers fans if they're still in the playoff hunt, which in turn bodes well for the millions of sportswriters hoping for a Jets-Packers Favre Bowl.
Previous Best QB Rating: While he doesn't have many game logs to search through yet, Rodgers put up his personal best this year with a 117.0 QB rating against, you guessed it, the Detroit Lions.
Player on My Team of the Week: Antonio Gates, who finally lived up to his high draft position by posting 96 yards and a TD. Thank goodness he has a bye week coming up; we Gates owners wouldn't want him getting hot or anything.
How to Heckle One of My Players of the Week: "Hey Ben Roethlisberger, you want to throw to players wearing the same jersey as yours!" (Sorry, that was a real heckle. Dude killed us.)
The Networking Sites Are Not An Accurate Representation Of How Cool You Are Award: Hal Niedzviecki, who decided to alleviate his boredom by inviting all 700 of his Facebook friends out for a casual get-together. One of them showed.
Buy High: Advance tickets to the 2017 release of Saw XIV, after the Saw franchise officially became the top grossing horror series of all time following last week's release of the series' 5th movie.
Sell Low: California's lead in the Novelty Governor standings, after Charles Barkley once again confirmed his plans to run for governor of Alabama in 2014. Alabamans would be foolish to let the Round Mound of Rebound slip through their fingers.