Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 16: Lions vs. Bears
Since the last time these two met, things have gone off a cliff for Chicago, and Detroit’s fortunes have only risen.
The last time the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears played, it was Thanksgiving. The Bears were basically done for the season, but they had at least played competitively. The Lions, meanwhile, were hanging around behind the Green Bay Packers, hoping to fight their way into the playoffs. Three weeks later, the Bears have become veritable laughingstocks while the Lions have surged into first place.
The only fantasy-relevant Lion on the week’s injury report is wide receiver Calvin Johnson, still dealing with his ankle issues, though he’s not at any risk of missing the game and appears to be basically 100 percent. The Bears are even healthier, with only kicker Robbie Gould still a question mark. If he can’t go, Jay Feely will continue to fill the role.
The Bears will host Sunday’s game, scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. Let’s take a look at the fantasy considerations:
Start ‘em: Detroit’s last game against Chicago got Matthew Stafford back on track after a rough stretch; he struggled in Week 15, but this nice matchup still has him as an easy QB1. … Joique Bell has proven himself in recent weeks, and looks like a low-end RB1 or high-end RB2. Either way, he’s a starter. … You had to be disappointed with Calvin Johnson in Week 15, but he’s still who he is. He’s the top receiver. … That’s four straight games of double-digit fantasy points for Matt Prater, and he hasn’t had fewer than eight since his second game this season. … The Lions’ defense didn’t really need the help of facing a backup quarterback, but they got it anyway.
Start ‘em?: There isn’t a high ceiling for Golden Tate these days, but he’s still got a high enough floor that he’s a good flex option.
Sit ‘em: The Bears struggle against the tight end, and if you’re super desperate, you could justify Eric Ebron, but you would have to be super desperate.
Start ‘em: With Jay Cutler benched, and going against a stout Detroit defense, Matt Forte is a scary fantasy option, but come on, it’s still Matt Forte. It’s hard to imagine you have better options. … Alshon Jeffery has averaged 13 fantasy points a game in his last seven. He’s a low-end WR2 with the new quarterback situation. … Martellus Bennett is still a starter, albeit a low-end one.
Sit ‘em: With Cutler benched, the Bears are turning to Jimmy Clausen, which feels like being unhappy with your kitchen knife and trading it in for a pair of safety scissors, but whatever. Clausen isn’t a real fantasy option. … Marquess Wilson didn’t look quite ready in Week 15, despite his touchdown. … Neither Jay Feely nor Robbie Gould has offered any real fantasy value this season. … The Bears’ defense is just awful.
Start in every league: Matthew Stafford, Joique Bell, Calvin Johnson, Matt Prater, Detroit defense, Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett
Start if you’re desperate: Golden Tate
Bench: Eric Ebron, Jimmy Clausen, Marquess Wilson, Jay Feely, Robbie Gould, Chicago defense