(Week 14: vs. Tampa Bay, Week 15: vs. Minnesota, Week 16: at Chicago)
This is a very middle of the road schedule and nothing in it would scare me off of selecting any Lions player.
New head coach Jim Caldwell is known as a player’s coach, but I have always wondered about his late-game decision-making. He is not someone I trust and I think the Lions will struggle in the fourth quarter. New OC Joe Lombardi comes from New Orleans where he coached under Sean Payton. This is a pretty good fit, as the Saints used multiple schemes to fit their varied offensive talents. Lombardi should be able to do the same thing here.
Repeat after me: Megatron! Calvin Johnson is a sure fire top 5 pick in any Fantasy format.
Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson & QB Matthew Stafford
Under the Radar Guy
When most people think of the Lions running attack, they think of Reggie Bush; however, last year Joique Bell asserted himself as one of the top players at the position too. Bell is blessed with great receiving skills and he also can find the tough yards by the goal line. OC Lombardi is used to shuttling in two and three running backs from his time with the Saints. There should be no problem here finding both Bush and Bell enough touches.
Roto Visionary Sleeper
WR Golden Tate is moving on up! Going from the Seattle offense to the Detroit offense is like going from a small studio to a deluxe apartment in the sky. Tate has sure hands and is a reliable target despite the fact that he is only 5-foot-10. He should really be an upgrade for the Lions at WR2 and is a virtual lock to catch seven TDs.
Ever take a kid to a toy store? All those shiny objects that grab their attention become things they want to buy. Well, for Fantasy owners, those shiny objects are also known as rookies. Fantasy owners tend to overvalue them and think that they will do much better than they actually will. The Lions have a shiny new object in rookie TE Eric Ebron. While I have no doubt that Ebron will turn into a great player one day, I think that it may take a year or two to get there. Pass on him and let someone else draft him too early.
(Week 14: at Atlanta, Week 15: at Buffalo, Week 16: vs. Tampa Bay)
Nothing scary here as the Packers are pretty much impervious to bad matchups. The only potential hiccup might be snow in Buffalo and Green Bay come December.
Mike McCarthy is a terrific coach who knows exactly the right calls to make in pressure situations. The Packers struggles last year were tied to Aaron Rodgers’ injury and not a letdown with the coaching staff.
You don’t get your own “Discount Double Check” commercials if you are not a stud. QB Aaron Rodgers is a top two QB in any Fantasy format.
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
Under the Radar
For some reason Jordy Nelson is often overlooked. Nelson is a reliable target who has caught 30 TDs in the past three years. He deserves more respect and is an excellent pick in the middle of the second round of your draft.
Roto Visionary Sleeper
Some people may call RB Eddie Lacy more of a bust than a sleeper, but I think Fantasy owners are sleeping on him still. In two recent drafts I have done, Lacy was still on the board at pick 11 of the first round. I see in Lacy a bruising RB who can run for 14 TDs with over 1100 yards and at least another 40 receptions for 400 yards. Those numbers make him more of a top five player overall than top 11 or 12. Do the smart thing and take Lacy as the 5th RB off the board in Fantasy leagues this season.
I never really worry about kickers, but Mason Crosby’s FG-percentage back in 2012 was a mere 63.6-percent. This is awful and borderline cut-able. He did improve last year to 89.2-percent, but kickers are strange birds and it would not shock me to be Crosby get the shanks again. I will look elsewhere for my starting kicker this year.