Last updated: October 24th at 6:39pm ET.
Team Totals: Lions 28.5, Giants 21.5
This is a not-so-sneaky spot to stream Detroit’s D/ST; downward-trending rookie Daniel Jones has committed 11 turnovers and taken 18 sacks in five starts while managing 225 passing yards or fewer in four straight weeks. No quarterback in the NFL has faced pressure on a higher rate of dropbacks (47.3%). … Jones remains playable in two-quarterback-leagues and as a matchup-based streamer; 5-of-6 signal callers to face the Lions have top-12 fantasy outcomes, including last week’s Kirk Cousins four-score eruption. In theory, Jones should experience less pressure than usual at Ford Field; Matt Patricia’s team ranks 30th in sack rate (4%) and 31st in QB Hit Rate (10.4%), although playing against Jones and the Giants’ subpar offensive line has been known to spike pass-rush production. … Saquon Barkley tweaked his ankle in last week’s loss to Arizona but returned to handle 21 touches on 86% of the Giants’ offensive snaps. Albeit seemingly innocuous in Week 7, the reinjury scare is a reminder that Barkley isn’t all the way out of the woods, and Wayne Gallman should stay rostered in season-long leagues. Barkley averaged 3.8 yards per touch against the Cardinals; he averaged 5.8 yards per touch over the first 19 games of his career. In some of my high-stakes season-long leagues, I was stunned to see Gallman on the Week 8 waiver wire and immediately added him. … Barkley, of course, remains an elite RB1 play against the Lions, who’ve coughed up 145/686/7 (4.73 YPC) rushing and the NFL’s fifth-most receiving yards per game to enemy backs (56.0).
Jones’ Week 7 target distribution: Golden Tate 11; Barkley, Evan Engram, Bennie Fowler, and Cody Latimer 5; Darius Slayton and Rhett Ellison 2. … Tate leads the G-Men in targets (20) and receiving (12/182/1) over the last two weeks, clearly forming an on-field bond with Jones in Sterling Shepard’s (concussion) continued absence. Tate runs 86% of his routes inside, where Lions slot CB Justin Coleman is an on-ball playmaker but has allowed a league-high five touchdown receptions. This, of course, is a revenge game for Tate, who spent 4 1/2 seasons with the Lions. … Engram had a miserable Week 7, dropping two balls, allowing a sack, and even getting “vultured” for a touchdown by No. 2 TE Ellison. Engram should bounce back versus the Lions, against whom enemy tight ends caught 23-of-29 targets (79%) for 313 yards (10.8 YPA and a touchdown in Detroit’s last three games. Engram also popped in Week 8’s Buy Low Air Yards Model. … Slayton wasn’t shadowed by Patrick Peterson in last week’s loss, but he was rendered a non-factor by New York’s inability to protect Jones and wound up running wind sprints outside. Slayton still played 97% of New York’s offensive snaps and ran a career-high 49 routes, while Lions top CB Darius Slay (hamstring) appears unlikely to play in Week 8. Stefon Diggs (7/142/0), Larry Fitzgerald (8/113/1), Keenan Allen (8/98/0), Mike Williams (3/83/0), Allen Lazard (4/65/1), Mack Hollins (4/62/0), Nelson Agholor (8/50/2), and Bisi Johnson (4/40/1) have exposed the weaknesses in Detroit’s secondary Slayton too is capable of exploiting as an upside WR4/flex. … Fowler (39%) and Latimer (33%) shared time as the Giants’ No. 3 receiver in Week 7 and are safe to ignore.
Matthew Stafford follows up his season-best fantasy game with a cupcake against the Giants, who’ve yielded top-ten fantasy results to 5-of-7 quarterbacks faced while showing zero ability to rush the passer with a bottom-ten QB Hit Rate (15.8%). When kept clean, Stafford is averaging 9.3 yards per attempt with a 12:3 TD-to-INT ratio and 120.0 QB rating, fourth highest among 36 qualified quarterbacks. The Lions’ loss of workhorse Kerryon Johnson (knee) may force more onto Stafford’s plate, heightening his floor and ceiling as a strong QB1 play worth serious DFS consideration. … While I’m skeptical the Lions won’t add a veteran back (Kenyan Drake?) soon, sixth-round rookie Ty Johnson’s at-present situation is impossible to quibble with as an aggressive season-long waiver-wire pickup after Johnson logged 14 touches on 65% of Detroit’s Week 7 offensive snaps. Johnson’s efficiency unsurprisingly lacked against Minnesota, but this is a 5-foot-11, 210-pound runner with 4.45 speed who averaged an outrageous 7.6 yards per carry and 11.0 yards per reception at Maryland, and faces the Giants and Raiders in Detroit’s next two games. Including Chase Edmonds’ Week 7 eruption, the G-Men were flamed for 153/729/6 (4.76 YPC) rushing by enemy backs in their last six games. On the year, the Giants have also permitted the league’s fourth-most receiving yards (373) to running backs. With Johnson penciled into Detroit’s lead-back role and J.D. McKissic changing the pace, Johnson is a boom-bust RB2 play in a plum draw. Tre Carson and Paul Perkins will operate as the Lions’ Nos. 3 and 4 backs. I was pleased to add Johnson on a slightly sub-20% bid in my highest-stakes season-long league this week.
Stafford’s Weeks 1-7 target distribution: Kenny Golladay 47; Marvin Jones 42; Danny Amendola 31; T.J. Hockenson 30; Kerryon 14; Jesse James 12; McKissic 10; Ty Johnson 9; Logan Thomas and Marvin Hall 6. … While frustrating in a game where Stafford threw for 364 yards, Golladay’s one-catch, 21-yard dud was a clear fluke after he entered Week 7 with 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown in four of his prior five games. Fortunately for Golladay, Jones (10/93/4) and Amendola (8/105/0) capitalized on all the attention Minnesota’s defense paid him. Giants top CB Janoris Jenkins has played lockdown coverage after a slow start, yielding completions on just 6-of-16 targets for 75 scoreless yards (4.7 YPA) over the last month. Still likelier than not to rebound, Golladay is an upside WR2 with the seventh-most Air Yards in the league (660). The Giants have allowed the NFL’s second-most completions of 20-plus yards (30). … Last week, Jones became just the fourth player in NFL history to register two-career games with four TD catches, joining Jerry Rice, Sterling Shepard, and “Bob Shaw.” While Jones’ lack of consistency makes him feel like a points-chasing pick, he catches a favorable enough Week 8 draw to stay hot. Struggling Giants rookie No. 2 CB DeAndre Baker has yielded 409 yards and three touchdowns on 33 targets (12.4 YPA) this year, while Jones enters Sunday’s affair with 77-plus yards in three of Detroit’s last four games. Jones is a quality matchup-driven WR3 play. … Amendola’s 100-yard Week 7 surprise was his first game above 37 yards since Week 1. He’s a PPR-specific desperation option. … The Giants haven’t played any tight ends of note for matchup comparison’s sake, but Hockenson’s Week 7 usage was promising. His 34 routes run were Hockenson’s most since Week 1, and his 68% playing-time clip was Hockenson’s highest since Week 2. Still, the fact that Hockenson hasn’t topped 32 yards since the opener has downgraded him into touchdown-or-bust territory. He’s averaging just 4.2 targets over the Lions’ last five games.
Score Prediction: Lions 27, Giants 17