Monday Night Football yields a less than intriguing matchup as the NFL wraps up week four, as the Detroit Lions head to Seattle to take on the Seahawks. The Lions have been abysmal through the first three weeks of the year and enter tonight’s showdown facing long odds to suddenly turn things around. Seattle hasn’t been a whole lot better, but found a way to get a win last week and has stud safety Kam Chancellor back.
Seattle will be without star rusher Marshawn Lynch, however, which takes one big name off the table for fantasy football owners. Thankfully Thomas Rawls showed last week he is more than competent and he can be trusted as a fill-in option. Just as importantly, he’s the minimum price in daily fantasy football over at DraftKings, which should allow for whatever roster your heart desires in Mon-Thu fantasy contests.
For whatever reason, you need help figuring out who to trust tonight. We got your back, bruh:
Quarterbacks: Russell Wilson (Seahawks), Matthew Stafford (Lions)
I sadly had to turn to Stafford in my season long league this week, but the good news is as bad as the Lions have been, he’s at least getting solid yardage and a score per game. He hasn’t dipped below 240 passing yards once this year and will have a shot at 1-2 touchdowns if he can play well. A turnover or two is almost certain here, while the Lions probably won’t score more than 2-3 times on the night, total. That makes Wilson the easy pick, as he’s at home with the far better matchup and even if he does suck through the air yet again, he can still return value with his legs. Wilson is a similar play, in that his shaky play hasn’t necessarily translated to atrocious fantasy production – just not the production we expect/want. For DFS leagues, you probably need to go with Wilson, but if you need 10-15 points to pull out a win this week, I think both can get it done tonight.
Running Backs Thomas Rawls, Fred Jackson (Seahawks) and Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick (Lions)
This is made pretty easy, as Marshawn Lynch and Joique Bell are both out. Rawls was the main guy last week when Beast Mode was limited, so the safe bet is he is again, which should render the ancient Fred Jackson fairly useless. Rawls is the top running back play of the night based off of price and matchup in daily leagues and he also should be your pick in season long leagues, as well.
Abdullah is quite interesting based on role tonight, because he’s talented as balls and if the Lions actually commit to the ground game for a change he could return solid value. He hasn’t done jack as a rusher in the past two weeks (scored on a receiving TD last week, though), but Bell is out and he’s going to get a ton of work. Seattle poses a real challenge in terms of rushing production, though, so you’re banking on a score and Theo Riddick not stealing every reception known to man. Riddick is super cheap in daily leagues and is worth considering due to the Lions likely playing from behind yet again and him being on the field to get short dump-offs. He rarely factors into the game as a runner, however, so his upside is capped. Zach Zenner is a strong North/South runner and he could play a bit with Bell out, but role and matchup makes him an easy fade.
Wide Receivers: Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Tyler Lockett (Seahawks) and Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate (Lions)
Baldwin super safe through the first two weeks and then cratered in week three, while Kearse has been a nice play in weeks one and three and did nothing in week two. Lockett has largely made an impact in the return game. The point? Seattle receivers are really tough to project on a weekly basis. Any one of these guys can easily go off tonight, as the Seahawks are at home and are bound to get their passing game going, while the Lions have definitely had some issues keeping up with receivers at times in 2015. I don’t love any of them, but Baldwin probably is the best play of the three. They could help open up your daily fantasy roster, too.
I don’t think the Lions win tonight or even put up a ton of points, but in a lot of fantasy leagues, receptions and yardage reign supreme. That’s especially the case on daily sites like DK, so Megatron and Tate will be stellar plays. They’re both at solid value and I expect both to be pretty busy despite the brutal matchup. I’d slightly favor Tate over Megatron if you’re looking to spend elsewhere in the daily game, as this could be a “revenge” game against his former team and I’d expect Richard Sherman and co. to focus on stopping Johnson first. Both are solid tries tonight, however, and I like both over any Seattle receiver just because they’re more talented and the Lions should be throwing quite a bit.
Tight Ends: Jimmy Graham (Seahawks) and Eric Ebron (Lions)
I like both Graham and Ebron tonight, as both have strong matchups. Graham could find an easy red-zone score against a Lions defense that hasn’t stopped the tight end well at all. Graham is the obvious play over Ebron, even if you’re trying to save in DFS leagues. Ebron is still a fine option all around, though, as Seattle also has gotten beat by tight ends a bit in 2015 and Detroit will likely be forced to throw all night.
Team Defenses: Seahawks and Lions
Seattle is the easy call here, but if you’re forced into using the Lions, it might not be the end of the world. The Lions got torn up through the air in week one and then on the ground in week two, but held their own for the most part last week. They’re on the road and Seattle could blow up tonight, but no Marshawn Lynch is obviously helpful, while the ‘Hawks have not torched anyone yet offensively. Obviously Seattle is the call if you have to choose between the two, of course.