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FANTASY FOOTBALL: A look at the Lions vs. Bengals matchup

Posted Oct 17, 2013

Senior writer Tim Twentyman takes a closer look at the Fantasy Football matchup between the Lions and Bengals on Sunday

It’s Week 7 of the Fantasy Football season and this is about the time the good teams separate themselves from those owners who either drafted with their heart or were decimated by injury.

Sunday’s matchup in Detroit will feature some big name receivers, a couple high scoring running backs and a bunch of other players with the potential to have big games.

Here’s an inside look at the Fantasy matchup between Detroit and Cincinnati on Sunday.

LIONS

Calvin Johnson, WR, Start: Johnson practiced both Wednesday and Thursday and looked especially good on Thursday. That sore right knee looks much better. Quarterback Matthew Stafford still targeted Johnson twice in the end zone last week when the knee was bothering him more than it appears to be now. The Bengals defense has only given up one passing touchdown the last three weeks, but I like a healthier Johnson to make an impact. Maybe even get a red zone touchdown.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Start: Stafford had his best Fantasy output of the season last week in Cleveland with 31 points. It’s the fourth time in five games Stafford has scored more than 20 points. The Bengals have allowed two 22-plus performances the last three weeks to opposing quarterbacks. Stafford is reaching must-start status for most owners.

Reggie Bush, RB, Start: It’s a pretty tough matchup for Bush on the ground as the Bengals have given up only two rushing touchdowns all year and rank 10th against the position in Fantasy points allowed. Bush is always going to rack up the total yards, though, and has scored at least 18 points in three of the four games he’s started and finished.

Joique Bell, RB, Sit: Sore ribs on a running back are never good. It just takes one bad hit and his day is done. Bell is going to wear some protective covering over the ribs, but I’d expect a lesser role for him this week to not make a minor injury a lasting one.

Joseph Fauria, TE, Sit: Unless you really need a flex option this week, I wouldn’t go chasing last week’s Fantasy numbers just yet. A healthier Calvin Johnson could steal some of his red zone targets and we still need to see him be able to operate in the middle of the field to get some of those yardage points. He’s the ultimate risk/reward option this week.

BENGALS

Giovani Bernard, RB, Start: Bernard is coming off a nice week when he scored 15 points at Buffalo. He is facing a Lions defense that’s giving up an average of 18.8 Fantasy points per week to the position. The Lions have also given up four runs of 40-plus yards and five rushing touchdowns.

Andy Dalton, QB, Sit: If you’re deciding to start Dalton, you’re either dealing with injuries or the bye week. He's coming off a 30-point performance last week in Buffalo, but don’t let one week cloud your judgment. He hadn't scored more than 19 points in any other week before that. The Lions have held opposing quarterback to 16 Fantasy points or fewer in four of their six games this year.

A.J. Green, WR, Start: Green, like Megatron, is always a start when healthy. It has been feast-or-famine with him this year, though. He opened with a 28-point performance vs. Chicago, but has only reached double digits in two other games. It could be a good week for Green, though. The Lions defense has given up four receiving touchdowns to wide receivers in their last three games.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Start: The Law Firm might not be a bad flex option this week. The Lions have given up the seventh-most Fantasy points to running backs this year and at least one rushing touchdown in four of their six games. Green-Ellis leads all Bengals backs with three touchdowns this year.

Bengals defense, sit: The Bengals have the ninth-best Fantasy defense this year, and have scored in double figures in half of their games, but the Lions are a potent offense at home with a quarterback who’s thrown just four interceptions in six games. The Lions are sixth in points scored and ninth in total yards on offense.

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