The Detroit Lions are taking on the Philadelphia Eagles in a showdown between two teams clawing for a chance to save their seasons. While the Eagles are only 1 game out of first place in the dismal NFC East, the Lions have all but eliminated themselves from postseason play with a 3-7 record. Despite the outlook on their respective seasons, this matchup should prove entertaining. For fantasy owners, here are a few players from these teams that should start and sit.
Start – Matthew Stafford: Stafford seems to be getting himself back on track after a terrible start to the season for his squad. Stafford hasn’t really had a horrible season. He’s averaging well over 200 yards on about 35 pass attempts a game. The problem is that he has had multiple games with multiple interceptions. But, a team winning doesn’t matter in fantasy, only a player’s production numbers. That is good for fantasy owners in a year where quarterback play is very unpredictable; just ask Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck owners. Look for Stafford to bring some holiday cheer to the Lions home crowd and put up some good numbers come Thursday.
Start – Theo Riddick: Riddick hasn’t played much of the season. He is the Lions’ third string running back and yet he has managed to become the leading pass catcher of all running backs in the league. Last week against the Raiders, Riddick pulled in 66 yards in the fourth quarter alone. Riddick wont get much in the running attack, but he’s averaging 8.9 yards per carry. And on a team that has players like Calvin Johnson who are often double teamed, Riddick should be wide open for Stafford to rely on.
Sit – Joique Bell: Bell shouldn’t start in any league this season…ever. He’s averaging 2.8 yards per carry on the season. For the entire season to date, he only has 138 yards total in the rushing category. Those numbers wont due for a running back in the NFL and certainly wont cut if for fantasy owners. His Lions teammate Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick are much more productive and are the ones who owners should start, not Bell.
OUT – Ryan Mathews: Mathews was inactive last game due to a concussion and will NOT play today against the Lions. Philadelphia’s high-tempo offense also fares better for the passing game than the ground attack. Mathews is averaging 5.7 yards per carry, but he has many games this year where he was held to under 20 yards total.