The Lions and Bills nearly made sleeper pickers happy folks last week with near wins against the Jets and the Bears respectively.
Rest easy Lions (2-6) and Bills fans (0-8) a win is in the future for one of these teams. With Steve Johnson’s emergence and the makings of a legitimate offense in Detroit, fantasy fans have plenty to stay interested beyond NFL wins and losses.
More fantasy football previews with projections: BAL@ATL | DET@BUF | MIN@CHI | NYJ@CLE | CAR@TB | HOU@JAX | CIN@IND | TEN@MIA | KC@DEN | DAL@NYG | SEA@ARI | STL@SF | NE@PIT | PHI@WAS | Bye weeks: GB, OAK, NO, SD
Against the vaunted Jets defense, Matt Stafford threw a pair of touchdown passes and Detroit led until there were less than three minutes left in regulation. That’s a team on the rise, especially if Nate Burleson can give them a threat opposite Calvin Johnson in the passing game.
This week, with Stafford injured (out-for-the-season rumors are being spread) and against the Bills squishy run defense, expect to see a lot of Jahvid Best and Kevin Smith, even though they lead the second-worst rushing attack in the NFL. Drew Stanton, the likely starter, has running ability. It’ll be interesting to see if they package that up into something tricky.
The Bills on the other hand, get a Lions defense that has allowed 253 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per contest this season. If Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick can stay healthy in the face of a harsh pass rush, he should post some decent numbers.
He’ll be without Roscoe Parrish, who broke his wrist in the loss to the Bears. Our money’s on David Jones as the new No. 3 in Buffalo.
[Edit: Forgot about Ndamukong Suh attempting that kick this week. Jason Hanson is likely out 2-3 weeks with a knee injury. Dave Rayner was signed and will handle kicking duties. ... Shaun Hill was named the starting QB in Detroit this week. He'll pass for more yards than Stanton would have.]
Shaun Hill, DET: 22-35, 232 yards, 2.1 TD, 0.6 INT, 20 rush yards
Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF: 21-34, 235 yards, 1.6 TD, 1.1 INT, 30 rush yards, 0.1 TD
Drew Stanton, DET: 19-30, 200 yards, 1.1 TD, 0.6 INT, 15 rush yards
Jahvid Best, DET: 90 yards, 0.7 TD, 4 catches, 35 receiving yards, 0.1 TD
Fred Jackson, BUF: 65 yards, 0.6 TD, 1 catch, 5 receiving yards
Kevin Smith, DET: 30 yards, 0.1 TD, 1 catch, 10 receiving yards
C.J. Spiller, BUF: 20 yards, 0.1 TD, 2 catches, 10 receiving yards, 0.1 TD
Jerome Felton, DET: 5 yards
Steve Johnson, BUF: 7-90, 0.9 TD
Calvin Johnson, DET: 5-70, 1.0 TD
Lee Evans, BUF: 5-65, 0.5 TD
Nate Burleson, DET: 3-35, 0.6 TD
Donald Jones, BUF: 2-20
Bryant Johnson, DET: 1-10
Brandon Pettigrew, DET: 5-50, 0.3 TD
Tony Scheffler, DET: 3-25, 0.1 TD
David Nelson, BUF: 2-20
Jonathan Stupar, BUF: 1-10
David Martin, BUF: 1-10
Dave Rayner, DET: 1.8 FG, 2.8 XP
Rian Lindell, BUF: 1.2 FG, 2.2 XP
Lions: 2.7 sacks, 1.1 INTs, 0.3 fumble recoveries
Bills: 1.6 sacks, 0.6 INTs, 0.3 fumble recoveries