Thursday Night Football
Green Bay @ Detroit
Winners of three straight since their Week 9 bye, the Lions host the Packers as three-point dogs in a game with a 46.5-point total. Detroit's team total is just below 22 points. ... With the Lions' early-season protection woes largely minimized under interim OC Jim Bob Cooter, Matthew Stafford has shown a safe floor and high ceiling since the open date, turning in fantasy finishes of QB14, QB7, and QB2 in Weeks 10-12. Although Green Bay has played above-average pass defense this season -- they're No. 11 in Football Outsiders' DVOA and have allowed the NFL's seventh fewest passing touchdowns (14) -- Detroit's continued inability to run the ball should stabilize Stafford's volume. He also benefits from playing a December game indoors. Fantasy's No. 3 quarterback scorer over the past seven weeks, Stafford has earned mid-range to low-end QB1 treatment against the Packers. ... Green Bay has played stout run defense over its last four games, holding Vikings, Lions, Panthers, and Bears backs to 256 yards and two TDs on 87 carries (2.95 YPC). Detroit RBs combined for 33 scoreless yards on 22 runs when these teams met in Week 10. The lone somewhat playable Lions running back is Theo Riddick, who leads the league in receptions (55) at his position but has topped ten touches in just 2-of-11 games. Although Abdullah has paced the backfield in touches in back-to-back weeks (13, 17), his shortage of passing-game and scoring-position involvement severely caps his weekly ceiling.
Stafford's target distribution since the bye: Calvin Johnson 32; Golden Tate 23; Riddick 14; Eric Ebron 13; Lance Moore 9; Joique Bell and Brandon Pettigrew 7; Abdullah 5. ... Showing a high floor and plenty of upside, Megatron has notched stat lines of 6-81-0, 4-39-2, 6-82-0, 6-101-1, 10-118-0, 5-143-1, and 11-244-1 in his last seven dates with Packers DC Dom Capers' defense. ... The good news for Tate is his role has increased with Ebron struggling, drawing target totals of 8 and 11 the past two weeks. The bad news is Tate has a tough Thursday night draw with Packers slot CB Casey Hayward, PFF's No. 24 overall cover cornerback among 113 qualifiers. In a Lions uniform, Tate's three career receiving lines versus Green Bay are 5-51-0, 3-45-0, and 4-52-0. Tate is just a WR3 option against the Pack. ... The Packers' defense has coughed up lots of production to tight ends recently, but drop-machine Ebron's target counts the past two weeks are 2 and 3 with yardage totals of 28, 0, and 28 over his last three games. His playing time declining, Ebron is not a recommended TE1 streamer on Thursday night.
Favored by three at Ford Field, the Packers' team total is nearly 25 points against a Lions team that upset them 18-16 at Lambeau in Week 10. ... As neither offense is likely to formulate a consistent run game based on the stout recent performance of each team's run defense, this should be a pass-heavy affair on both sides. Aaron Rodgers piled up 61 attempts in the Week 10 meeting, finishing as that week's fantasy QB7. Ups and downs seem likely to persist for a Green Bay passing attack that has struggled mightily versus man coverage, but Rodgers makes for a solid fantasy start on Thursday night. With the weather worsening in winter months, fantasy owners should proactively look to play passing-game members in domed games like this. ... Detroit's run defense has been impenetrable since its Week 9 bye, limiting Packers, Raiders, and Eagles running backs to 148 yards and one touchdown on 57 carries (2.60 YPC) in Weeks 10-12. Eddie Lacy has still earned RB2 recognition by piling up 205 yards on 39 runs (5.26 YPC) in his last two games, and handling consecutive touch totals of 23 and 21 compared to James Starks' 9 and 11. This remains a matchup wherein Lacy's rushing efficiency seems sure to take a hit.
Rodgers' target distribution since the Packers' Week 7 bye: Davante Adams 49; Randall Cobb 47; Richard Rodgers 30; James Jones 27; Starks 23; Lacy 10; Justin Perillo 9. ... One of the league's least-effective receivers, Adams ranks sixth among wideouts in drops (7) despite ranking 38th in targets and was shut down by Lions LCB Nevin Lawson in Week 10, managing 79 scoreless yards on a whopping 21 targets. The only reasons Adams is remotely fantasy viable are Rodgers' presence and Adams' sheer target volume, and more often than not even those factors haven't been enough. ... Cobb surprisingly flopped in the Week 10 game (5-53-0), but his Week 13 matchup remains appealing on paper versus Lions sixth-round rookie slot corner Quandre Diggs. Cobb is averaging 9.4 targets per game since the Packers' open date and should be the focus of Green Bay's passing attack on Thursday. ... Jones can expect to deal with Lions shutdown RCB Darius Slay, who held him to a zero in Week 10. Zeroed out again by Bears CBs Kyle Fuller and Tracy Porter on Thanksgiving, Jones has goose egged twice in his last three games. ... Now sharing time with Perillo, TE Rodgers' chronological snap rates are 86%, 60%, 67%, and 59% over his last four games. Rodgers did go 5-32-1 when these teams met in Week 10. He's a TD-or-bust streamer against a Lions defense yielding the 11th most fantasy points to tight ends.
Score Prediction: Packers 24, Lions 23