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Here we will analyze a game that features fantasy’s #1 receiver. Calvin J…wait…who? Marvin Jones? You’re kidding me. No? That’s real? Ok, well there you have it. Will Marvin Jones stay atop the fantasy receiver throne for a 2nd straight week? I guess you will have to read on to see if he’s a good play this week when Jones and the Lions take on the Chicago Bears.

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  • Detroit Lions

    The Bears made improvements to their linebacking core in the offseason by signing Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman. The pair have been solid in improving the run defense in Chicago. Despite being rushed on 67 times in the first 2 games, Philadelphia and Houston only managed 3.4 yards per carry. The Cowboys had more success in week 3, albeit with arguably the NFL’s best offensive line and one of the more talented backfields. Unfortunately for the Bears, their offense has been terrible. This leads opponents to keep running the ball to ice victories. Detroit isn’t a high volume rushing offense, and neither Theo Riddick or Dwayne Washington were able to get much going on the ground against an average Packers front. I would keep expectations low for Washington, until he shows he deserves a heavy workload. Keep Riddick’s stock about the same as always, a high volume receiving back, but one of the most inefficient rushers in the league.

    Despite their efficiency against the run, Chicago’s secondary has been depleted by injuries and has looked pretty terrible. They made Brock Osweiler, Dak Prescott, and Carson Wentz look like great players. It looks like that may become a common theme. They haven’t faced anything like Detroit’s offense yet, and they are in for a rude awakening. Matt Stafford and Marvin Jones are going to have a field day against this team. Golden Tate has struggled in the early goings of the season, but this is as good a game as ever for him to get on track. Due to his lack of production, I would think of him as a WR3 until he proves he can be trusted as anything more.

    Eric Ebron has had a solid start to the season, and looks like he will continue to be heavily involved in the passing game. The Bears shouldn’t change that despite keeping tight ends in check this season. Ebron is more talented than any tight end they have yet faced, and Chicago will have their hands full with the other Lions receiving options.

    Players to start for the Lions:

    • Marvin Jones
    • Golden Tate (WR3)
    • Eric Ebron
    • Matt Stafford
    • Theo Riddick (PPR RB2 only)

    Players to sit for the Lions:

    • Dwayne Washington

    Big Questions:

    • What will this defense look like when they face a quality tight end?
  • Chicago Bears

    The Lions have talented players at every level of their defense, but this team lacks the overall depth to be one of the better units in the NFL. They aren’t atrocious against the run, but they aren’t particularly good at it either. They limited Frank Gore to 59 yards on 14 carries, but allowed the Titans (a much better running team) to average almost 6 yards per tote. The moral of these stats are that you can start your talented backs against the Lions without a problem. With Jeremy Langford likely out for a while, and Jordan Howard looking good against Dallas, he would seem to warrant at least some flex consideration this week. When he proves he can carry a full workload with success, we can move him higher up than just a flex play. The problem here is that since Brian Hoyer is likely to start, Detroit may key in on the run and make Hoyer beat them.

    Darius Slay got paid the big bucks this offseason as the top corner in Detroit. A wise man once said, “One good corner does not a whole secondary make.” Slay has been known to shadow sometimes, and can limit opposing WR1’s from having huge days. However, nobody else in the secondary gives opposing receivers much trouble. Normally I would say start your WR2 with confidence against the Lions, but Kevin White still appears to be acclimating to the NFL game. Despite receiving a team-high 14 targets last week, I’m not starting him as anything other than a low-end flex play. If you have Alshon Jeffery, I would start him and expect WR2 returns vs. Slay.

    I love Zach Miller this week. He is coming off a monster 8 catch, 78 yard, 2 touchdown game. The Lions have been susceptible to good tight end play, as the combo of Delanie Walker, Richard Rogers, and Dwayne Allen have combined for 12 catches, 145 yards, and 3 scores vs. Detroit. Keep rolling out the tight ends against the Lions until they figure out how to stop them.

    Players to start vs. The Lions:

    • Jordan Howard (RB2/Flex)
    • Alshon Jeffery (WR2)
    • Zach Miller
    • Kevin White (low-end flex)

    Players to sit vs. The Lions:

    • Brian Hoyer

    Big Questions:

    • Will Jordan Howard have a breakout game?

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