Monday Night Football
Detroit @ Green Bay
Team Totals: Lions 23, Packers 20
Aaron Jones took over as the Packers’ bellcow in their pre-bye loss to New Orleans, out-snapping Ty Montgomery 80% to 13% and out-touching him 20 to 5 en route to 138 yards and a touchdown. With an emphasis on should, the performance should seal the deal for Jones as Green Bay’s offensive focus with Brett Hundley at quarterback. Although the Lions’ run defense has played above expectation by ranking fifth in DVOA and largely stymieing Le’Veon Bell (25/76/1) last Sunday night, Detroit has surrendered the NFL’s 12th-most fantasy points to running backs with seven all-purpose touchdowns allowed to the position in seven games. I’m riding with Jones as an every-week RB2 and downgrading Montgomery to a handcuff for the foreseeable future. … Hundley showed nothing in his first NFL start two weeks ago against the Saints that suggests he will accrue fantasy value as a passer. Hundley did stay somewhat afloat with a 3/44/1 rushing line, but he held onto the ball far too long in the pocket ala DeShone Kizer and is 1-for-7 on 20-plus-yard attempts and 4-for-13 on throws attempted 10-plus yards downfield. Just 2-of-7 quarterbacks to face the Lions have produced top-20 results. Hundley is a true Hail Mary as a Week 9 streamer play. Green Bay’s failed pursuit of free agent Brian Hoyer speaks to an ultimate lack of confidence in Hundley.
Hundley’s 2017 target distribution: Davante Adams 15; Jordy Nelson 13; Jones 9; Randall Cobb 7; Montgomery 5; Geronimo Allison and Martellus Bennett 4. … At least for now, there looks to be little light at the end of the tunnel for Green Bay pass catchers. As Hundley managed 87 yards in his start against the Saints, not a single Packer reached 20 receiving yards. Until we see actual evidence of improved play from Hundley, Adams, Nelson, and Cobb will all be weekly shots in the dark regardless of matchups. Bennett (shoulder) is listed as doubtful.
Matthew Stafford enters Week 9 with consecutive top-ten fantasy results to face a Packers pass defense that ranks 18th in DVOA and has allowed three straight top-16 quarterback finishes, including two top-ten games. It’s an above-average matchup for Stafford, who has done enough lately to be inserted into season-long fantasy lineups as a low-end QB1. … After beginning the season with 17-plus touches in four straight games, Ameer Abdullah’s touch counts in his last three are 11 > 14 > 14 with four combined catches and a 3.20 yards-per-carry average. Abdullah’s open-field jukes can make highlight reels, but he simply isn’t gaining positive yards enough behind a Detroit offensive line that ranks dead last in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Line Yards. The Lions’ backfield has devolved into a three-way RBBC as Dwayne Washington siphoned seven touches and Theo Riddick six in last week’s loss to Pittsburgh. Even against a Packers run defense that ranks 21st in DVOA, Abdullah is nothing more than a low-floor flex option.
Stafford’s Weeks 1-8 target distribution: Golden Tate 55; Marvin Jones 51; Riddick 35; T.J. Jones 33; Eric Ebron 32; Abdullah 17; Darren Fells 16; Kenny Golladay 15. … On a long week to rest his ailing shoulder after logging a 7/86/0 receiving line on eight targets in last Sunday night’s loss to Pittsburgh, Tate should be closer to full strength in this favorable matchup against Packers slot CB “Lenzy Pipkins,” an undrafted rookie out of Oklahoma State. … Golladay (hamstring) still isn’t ready, so we should expect T.J. Jones and Tate to share time moving in and out of the slot. T.J. Jones can be a useful role player in Detroit’s passing game, but he is scoreless on the year and offers minimal upside. … After a slow start, Marvin Jones has come on strong with target totals of 8 > 14 > 11 in his last three games. As a WR3 play, I think Jones is worth riding while he is hot against a Packers defense that continues to shuffle in the secondary and is yielding the NFL’s tenth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. … Ebron and Fells are Week 9 fades against a Packers defense that has played stingy tight end defense, containing Jimmy Graham (3/8/0), Austin Hooper (2/7/0), Tyler Kroft (3/28/0), Zach Miller (2/45/0), Coby Fleener (2/22/0), and Kyle Rudolph (5/47/0). Jason Witten (8/61/0) has the biggest tight end game against Green Bay thus far.
Score Prediction: Lions 24, Packers 17
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