Note: The opinions expressed here are my takes on the Detroit Lions' key players during the 2012 fantasy football season. As always, use your best judgment and conduct your own research on who to start or bench each week. You know your individual team and/or league situation better than anyone else. All statistics and point totals are based on Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football standard scoring system.
Matthew Stafford, QB
Stafford finished the week earning 18.32 fantasy points against the Tennessee Titans. This week he faces a Minnesota Vikings' defense that has allowed an average of 19.03 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season. There is some concern early in the week as to Stafford's status heading into the game this Sunday due to a muscle strain in his right leg. I would recommend keeping an eye on him as the week progresses. If he does indeed play, look for a 22.00 fantasy point game this week.
Kevin Smith, RB
Smith recorded no catches or carries in Week 3 against the Titans. More frustrating for Smith owners was the success of Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell, giving the impression they will continue to play an active role in the Lions' offense. Assuming roles would return to "normal" this week anticipate Smith earning 9.00 fantasy points against a Vikings defense that is allowing an average of just 10.80 fantasy points per game to running backs this season.
Calvin Johnson, WR
Johnson finished the week earning 22.40 fantasy points against the Titans. This week he faces a Minnesota defense that has given up an average of 25.35 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season. Even with the potential for Shaun Hill under center if Stafford is unable to play he is still one of the best wide receivers in the league. Expect no less than 15.00 fantasy points this week.
Nate Burleson, WR
Burleson finished the week earning 15.60 fantasy points against Tennessee. This week he shares the favorable matchup with Johnson but expecting a repeat of last week's performance is unlikely. If Hill is under center, his chances for a strong game decrease even more. Look for around 5.00 fantasy points this week.
Brandon Pettigrew, TE
Pettigrew finished the week earning just 4.10 fantasy points despite 12 targets against the Titans. This week he faces a Minnesota defense that has allowed an average of 9.55 fantasy points to tight ends this season. He has a good matchup this week and should earn in the neighborhood of 7.00 fantasy points this week against the Vikings.
Earning just 10.00 fantasy points all season and a tough matchup against Minnesota, look for a better option rather than starting Detroit this week.
All data provided by Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football
Paul Rados is an avid fantasy football participant and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @PSRados.
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