The New York Giants' loss in Week 15 ensured they would have their first losing season since 2004. The Detroit Lions' loss in Week 15 took them from first in the NFC North to third, and really hurt their chances of earning a playoff berth. The two teams face off in Detroit at 4:05 p.m. ET Sunday, and while one of them (the Giants) is just playing out the string, the other needs to win to keep itself going. Here's a look at the fantasy players of note:
Start in every league: Andre Brown
Start if you're desperate: Rueben Randle, Hakeem Nicks
Bench: Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, Brandon Myers, Josh Brown, Defense/special teams
After averaging almost 20 carries and more than 100 yards from scrimmage in his first five games on the season, Brown fell to 11 carries and 26 yards in Week 15, and the Lions have an above-average run defense. Still, he's the best weapon the Giants have. He'll be a fine RB2 in Week 16.
With Cruz out, Randle and Nicks could see increased looks against a defense that has been third-worst against opposing wide receivers on the year. But how can you trust either one? It's super high-risk/high-reward.
Since his 28-point Week 1 game, Manning hasn't topped 15 fantasy points, and he bottomed out at negative-four in Week 15. He's been varying degrees of below average to awful, and there's no reason to think that will change here. ... Cruz has been ruled out for this game. Just putting it here in case any last-minute shoppers hadn't seen that. ... Myers had a brief raise in value with touchdowns in three straight in Weeks 12-14, but he's only topped 42 yards once since Week 2. ... Brown comes in as only the No. 31 kicker. ... The Giants' defense scored double-digit fantasy points in four straight games from Week 7 to Week 11, but fell back to mediocrity after that.
Start in every league: Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson
Start if you're desperate: Reggie Bush, Joique Bell, Defense/special teams
Bench: Nate Burleson, Brandon Pettigrew, David Akers
Even after two awful games, Stafford comes in as fantasy's No. 5 quarterback. One of his two bad performances is easily explained away by the weather. So we're freaking out over one bad game against a decent defense? Guys, everybody gets one. Back away from the ledge. Start Stafford. ... Johnson actually looked bad Monday, for the first time in forever. Maybe they accidentally brought in Diddy. But even in his bad game, he put up 98 yards. He's still his same stud self.
Ultimately, Bush is probably a must-start, but his injury issues have been scary; he even limped off a few times Monday. He hasn't been on the team's injury report, so he's probably fine. ... Bell has been intermittently productive this season, putting up double figures six different times, but he's also had wasteland-type games. ... Manning isn't going to throw five interceptions again, but the Giants have still given up the most points to opposing defenses by a wide margin. Still, you run into the risk of starting a mediocre defense against a bad offense.
After Burleson's big game in his return from injury in Week 12, he's caught six passes for 69 yards and six fantasy points in three games combined since. It's the same old disappointing Burleson. ... Pettigrew probably isn't even worth mentioning, but here we are. ... Akers hasn't reached double-digit production since Week 4, which was also his only game all season with more than two field goals.