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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fantasy Football Week 5 Recap: Lions still lose despite plot and cast changes

Fantasy football can be sports entertainment at its finest, though there was very little that was entertaining about the Lions’ 28-20 loss to the Steelers.

Detroit adjusted the plot and cast for the game by first and foremost starting Daunte Culpepper at quarterback. However, look at these numbers and tell me if they remind you of another 2010 starting Lions’ QB? 23 pass completions, 37 pass attempts, 282 yards passing, 1 touchdown pass, 1 interception and one dramatic run for 32 yards for a 1st down.

The Lions quarterbacks have found a groove and isn’t a good one, because you still got to “win, baby” according to football experts, coaches and fans. And in an interesting plot twist, let’s add an injury suffered by prize wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

Sadly, though the plot, cast and game may ebb and flow, the outcome remains the same. The Lions remain the masters of the miscue and must find ways to eliminate the turnovers, offensive and defensive breakdowns and penalties.

Let’s take a look at what was said in the preview article last week and compare it with week #5’s highlights and sad moments:

“The Lion who will roar” – Major Groan: Which is worse being on the cover of Sports Illustrated or being picked as “The Lion who will roar”? “Calvin Johnson is going to have a stellar week and earn plenty of fantasy points” was the prediction. Well, he looked good in warm-ups and early in the game. But injuries happen in football and they aren’t unique to the Lions. Let’s hope C.J. recovers quickly and is ready to play soon.

“On Par Lions” – Bingo: The prediction was "expect Kevin Smith and Brandon Pettigrew to repeat their week 4 performances” and their week 5 fantasy numbers were ordinary. Smith ran for 53 yards on 20 carries and Pettigrew caught 3 passes for 27 yards. Jason Hanson didn’t kick 6 or 3 field goals as predicted, but he did attempt 3 and make 2 field goals.

“Bench that Lions” – Major Bingo: “Matthew Stafford needs some bench time” was the prediction (and probably a plea). It was a great decision by Schwartz and his staff to start Culpepper. Stafford couldn’t prepare adequately for the Steelers last week and why even attempt to put your #1 draft pick and quarterback on the field against a defense that is far from timid? Playing Stafford would have been a disaster.

For Detroit fantasy owners with players on other teams, here’s what was predicted and the results:

“I wish I had him this week” – Minor Groan:
• Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee – The Titans’ shining star was dimmed by his team’s ineffective offense. Before the Colts game, he averaged at least 15 carries a game. He carried the ball 9 times for 34 yards Sunday.
• Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota – The Vikings have proven that Peterson does NOT have to be spectacular for Minnesota to win a football game. Peterson scored 2 touchdowns, but he carried the ball just 15 times for 69 yards.
• Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh – “Big Ben” was the fantasy star of this group of picks. He was 23 of 30 passing for 277 yards and 4 touchdowns (3 to Steelers and 1 to Lions’ CB Will James).

“Expect a Downturn” – Bingo:
• Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo – Jackson did carry the ball 13 times, but for only 30 yards in the Bills’ stunning 6-3 loss to Cleveland. How many double plays did the Browns turn in this game?
• Trent Edwards, QB, Buffalo – Edwards’ numbers were ordinary at best from a fantasy football perspective. He was 16 for 31 for 152 yards, no TD passes and 1 interception.
• Lee Evans, WR, Buffalo – Evans caught 2 passes for 11 yards and no touchdowns. As a sign of the Bills’ offensive woes, Evans and Terrell Owens have combined for 24 catches, 361 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns in 5 games.

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