LIONS INSIDER

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

Posted Nov 7, 2013

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

It’s Week 10 of the Fantasy Football season and owners are in the stretch run of the regular season.

Sunday’s matchup in Chicago will feature two of the best all-around running backs in the NFL in Reggie Bush and Matt Forte, two of the most targeted receivers in the league in Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall and a number of other players  with the potential to have big games.

There’s a lot to like about this Fantasy Football matchup.

LIONS

Matthew Stafford, QB, Start: Stafford has scored 31, 32 and 28 Fantasy points, respectively, in his last three games. He’ll have Johnson the healthiest he's been since the beginning of the season and the same can be said for Bush. Stafford is on pace to throw for a career-high 5,234 yards and a career-low 12 interceptions and the Bears have allowed at least two touchdown passes in half their games this year.

Reggie Bush, RB, Start: He had 173 scrimmage yards (139 rushing, 34 receiving) and a touchdown in the previous meeting and that’s when the Bears had linebacker Lance Briggs on the field. The Bears defense is allowing the fifth-most Fantasy points to opposing running backs this year. The only caution might be that Bush is averaging 3.8 yards per carry and hasn’t scored when playing on grass this year.

Calvin Johnson, WR, Start: It’s highly unlikely Johnson will match his 14-catch, 329-yard performance from two weeks ago, but who knows with Megatron. Charles Tillman did do a pretty good job Johnson the first time around, limiting him to four catches and 44 yards.

Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Sit: Pettigrew has been used more as a possession receiver since Nate Burleson’s absence and a safety blanket for Stafford. As expected, Bush has kind of cut into Pettigrew's targets in the passing game, too. Not to mention the Bears have allowed only two touchdowns all year to the position and one of those was against New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham.

David Akers, K, Start: Akers might be a pretty good Bye Week start for owners looking for a kicker. The Bears have allowed the third-most Fantasy points to the position and Akers had his most productive game of the season (18 points) against Chicago earlier this season.

Lions defense, Sit: After scoring 37 total Fantasy points in their first four games, the defense has a total of just three over the last four. They’ve struggled to get turnovers and are facing a Bears offense that’s scored the second-most points in the NFL this year.

BEARS

Jay Cutler, QB, Sit: Jay Cutler is going to make the start, but it might be a good idea to look for quarterback play elsewhere. Cutler threw three interceptions the last time he played the Lions and was harassed all game. He’s likely to be a step slow coming off that groin injury, which doesn’t bode well for owners.

Matt Forte, RB, Start: He’s one of those players who’s always a start if healthy. He’s averaging 16.9 Fantasy points per week and has 1,316 total yards (119.9 per game) and nine touchdowns in 11 career meetings with Lions. The Lions defense has help opposing running backs to under 10 Fantasy points in three of their last four games, though.

Brandon Marshall, WR, Start: The Lions held Marshall to seven catches for 79 yards in their first meeting, but he’s scored at least 16 in two of his last three games. He has a favorable matchup against a Lions secondary that’s given up the fourth-most Fantasy points to the position this year.

Martellus Bennett, TE, Sit: Bennett racked up 90 receiving yards against the Lions the last time around, but hasn’t had more than six Fantasy points since. The Lions have allowed only one touchdown this season to the position and forced Dallas’ Jason Witten to his lowest outpoint since early in 2012.

Alshon Jeffery, WR, Start: Jeffery has scored double-digit Fantasy points in four of the last five weeks with two of those being of the 20-point variety. Consider this, the Lions have surrendered the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers over the last four weeks.

Bears defense, Sit: That’s a tough call for a team that is plus-8 in turnover ratio and has scored five times on defense. But Detroit has a potent offense led by Stafford, Johnson and Bush. The Lions are averaging 27.1 points per game and not too many defenses have been able to figure them out this year.

Robbie Gould, K, Start: The Lions have allowed more fantasy points (12 per game) to kickers than any team in the NFL. Five times they’ve allowed double-digit points and three times more than 15.