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Fantasy football start/sit advice, Thanksgiving Week 13: Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions get their usual Thanksgiving game. Can their fantasy players put up points against the Chicago Bears?

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions were looking like world beaters a few weeks ago, but they’re heading into Thanksgiving on a two-game losing streak. The division rival Chicago Bears come to town with wins in each of their last two games. The Bears are also coming in as the 21st-ranked defense, but they are playing a lot better thanks to an improved pass rush. Luckily for the Lions, they’re at home in basically a must-win game. Las Vegas has this game has an over/under of 47.5.

Here’s a quick look at some fantasy takes for their noteworthy players:

Matthew Stafford - You have probably seen Stafford’s awful slide on fourth down against the New England Patriots, but the bigger news for fantasy owners was that he didn’t have any TDs yet again. He also turned in passer rating of just 49.5 and did not rebound from his 183-yard, no-TD game against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11 — a good matchup.

As it turns out, Stafford hasn’t really been affected by matchups. He’s failed to capitalize even against bad defenses, but has some of his best games against tough defenses like the Miami Dolphins. However, he is much better at home with an 87.8 passer rating in Detroit vs. a 76.0 on the road. The Bears are a good matchup as the third-best in the NFL against fantasy quarterbacks, but Stafford is just a QB10-12 because of the short week.

Joique Bell - He was expected to see a major bump in production with Reggie Bush missing time, but he’s actually been worse in the past month. Bell hasn’t topped 15 points in a PPR since Week 6 and he didn’t even score double-digits in three of his last four games. Plus, the Bears are also a top-10 defense against fantasy running backs. They haven’t allowed a rushing TD to a back since Week 7 and have shut down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings in the last two weeks. Bell is a less attractive option on the short week in a bad matchup. He’s a low-end RB2 right now.

Theo Riddick - Surprisingly, Riddick has been the most valuable back in fantasy for the past month thanks to Reggie Bush missing time. He had a game-winning catch against the Miami Dolphins a few weeks ago and he’s been a noticeable part of the passing attack. However, Bush is back, so Riddick’s touches/snaps are likely on their way down. Bench him and consider cutting him.

Reggie Bush - He is back from his ankle injury, but now he is dealing with a back injury, too. Even if he does play, there are just too many concerns to use him.

Calvin Johnson - Megatron has very disappointing all season. He ranks as just the No. 40 receiver on the year for PPR owners. Johnson has topped 60 receiving yards just once since Week 4.

On the bright side, he also had himself a nice Thanksgiving last season with six catches, 101 yards and one score. He also did very well against the Bears in his last game against them last season with two scores.

You’re obviously starting him and owners in daily leagues can pencil him in for around 100 and one score. He’s an option in FanDuel.

Golden Tate - There is a Lions receiver in the top seven for PPR leagues and it’s not Megatron. Tate was arguably the best receiver while Megatron was out, but he’s slowed down lately. He still has 17 catches and 257 yards in his last three weeks with Johnson, which makes him a strong start.

Tate is still too good to bench and the home setting should help him out. Fantasy owners should consider him as a WR12-14 this week in PPR and a solid WR2 in standards.

Jeremy Ross - He has been solid in his time when he gets reps and is coming off a three-catch game in Week 12. However, there is just no way fantasy owners can count on him this week.

Eric Ebron - The Bears are the second-best matchup for fantasy tight ends on the season, but they have been better. Of course, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski lighting them up for three scores back in Week 8 has thrown those numbers off a ton.

This isn’t as great of a matchup as it looks. Ebron is not an option.