Kickoff: Sunday, October 18th at 1:00 PM ET
Location: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
Betting Odds: DET -3.5, 54.5 Total via Oddsshark
Matthew Stafford (Start/QB1)
It has not been the start of the season for Matthew Stafford that many were hoping for. He is 29th in deep passing rate per PFF, which is a far drop from last season when he was third (but really he was first because only Mike Glennon and Brett Hundley were ahead of him with a combined 21 pass attempts). His CPOE has actually dropped with the shorter passes as well. He has a minus 2.2 CPOE (bottom eight in the NFL) after posting a plus- 3.4 last year which was fifth in the NFL (per NextGenStats). Some of this can be attributed to the lack of Kenny Golladay, but Stafford and the Lions’ offense as a whole has taken a step back so far this year. Hopefully, the early bye week has allowed them time to reassess. The Jaguars rank dead last in defensive passing DVOA (per Football Outsiders) which presents a prime get-right matchup for Stafford. Also, Stafford faces the Falcons next week, so he’s a nice two-week streaming option if you need it.
Adrian Peterson (Start, Flex), D’Andre Swift (Sit, Deep Flex)
Why is Matt Patricia the way he is? We all loved prime Adrian Peterson, but we can also all agree it’s time for him to step aside for D’Andre Swift. Peterson, on a one year contract, should not block your second-round rookie RB from touches, but… Matt Patricia. Peterson is a volume-based Flex play this week with the Lions likely playing with a lead. Peterson also leads the Lions in red-zone rushes and has touchdown upside each week. Swift is a deeper play due to his lock on the receiving work in the backfield. He has 17 targets and three red-zone targets, which both lead the backfield. With Stafford likely having success passing this week, Swift may be able to capitalize. I would still hold off on using him until we start to see him cut into Peterson’s rushing workload.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Kenny Golladay (Start, WR1), Marvin Jones (Start, Flex), T.J. Hockenson (Start, TE1)
Kenny Golladay has 10 catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns since his return to the lineup. The Jaguars pass defense is a great matchup as discussed above and they will likely be without their top two corners again this week. Golladay is in line for a very strong fantasy week. Marvin Jones disappointed without Golladay in the lineup like the rest of the Lions’ offense, but with this matchup, he is on the table as a Flex option. Jones has run a route on 97% of Stafford’s dropbacks and leads the team in red-zone targets. T.J. Hockenson is 21st in routes run and 16th in targets among TEs (though that is with a bye week). In a weak position for fantasy, Hockenson will continue to be a solid option to rely on.
Gardner Minshew (Stream)
Gardner Minshew has been pretty solid for the Jaguars this year. He has kept them competitive while most expected them to be tanking for the first overall pick in this year’s draft. Minshew has a plus 4.3 CPOE, which is 9th in the NFL (per NextGenStats). Minshew, similar to Stafford, has been reluctant to throw deep and is 28th in deep passing rate (per PFF). Arm strength has always been his biggest weakness, but Minshew has been able to produce despite it. The Lions’ pass defense is 15th in DVOA (per Football Outsiders) so this is not a matchup that should scare you away from streaming Minshew if you need a bye-week replacement.
James Robinson (Start, RB2)
James Robinson has been the surprise fantasy story of the year so far. Coming out of nowhere to lead the Jaguars backfield and post top 10 fantasy numbers. He has a lockdown on the rushing workload and has 8 red-zone carries to lead the team. But he also has slowly started to take over passing work as well. Robinson saw 7 targets last week and is now fourth on the team in targets. The Lions have the 31st ranked run defense by DVOA (per Football Outsiders), so Robinson is a strong RB2 option with the possibility for more.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
D.J. Chark (Injury?), Laviska Shenault (Start, Flex), Tyler Eifert (Streamer)
As of writing this preview, it has been reported that D.J. Chark will not practice on Wednesday to due his ankle injury. If Chark is out, Laviska Shenault becomes a solid Flex option. Shenault saw his season-high in targets last week with eight and ran a route on a season-high 69% (nice) passing attempts. The Jaguars have tried to find ways to get the ball in the explosive playmaker’s hands and without Chark they will need to continue to do so. Tyler Eifert has surprisingly run the 10th most routes and has the 16th most targets among TEs. He is also the team leader in red-zone targets. If you listen to the QBList Waiver Wire podcast each week with Ryan Heath and me, you know that we should be chasing TEs with strong red-zone usage and route runs (no matter how gross they are. And yes, that was a shameless plug. It’s my game preview, I can do what I want.
-Frank Costanzo (@FrankQBList on Twitter, Zzzonked92 on Reddit)