By Stephen Dolan

The NFC North is in the spotlight again on Thursday night as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers head to Detroit to take on Matthew Stafford and the Lions. We have your plays and passes for the game.

Quarterback

Play: Aaron Rodgers (vs. DET)

Rodgers had a bit of a down night in the Packers’ 17-13 loss to the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving night. He completed 22 of his 43 passes for 202 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a cold, rainy night at Lambeau Field. He has now completed less than 58 percent of his passes in four consecutive games. Since starting the season 6-0, the Packers have lost four of their last five games including a close one against Detroit. It is tough to beat a team twice in a season and a determined Aaron Rodgers will likely be on display on Thursday. Trust Rodgers and play him.

Pass: Matthew Stafford (vs. GB)

Stafford is coming off the game of his career against a downtrodden Eagles defense. Stafford completed a season-high 71.1 percent of his passes for 337 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions. Prior to Thanksgiving, Stafford had thrown five combined touchdowns over the previous four weeks. He has yet to complete fewer than 60 percent of his passes this season and has been one of the more consistent fantasy options so he would be a good pick this week too, but don’t bet against Rodgers.

Running Back

Play: Eddie Lacy (vs. DET)

Lacy is beginning to regain the form that had many believing he would be one of the top fantasy football players this season. He has posted his only two 100-yard games in back-to-back games as he rushed 17 times for 105 yards against the Bears. Lacy also got involved in the passing game catching a season-high four passes for 34 yards and a touchdown. He is facing a Lions rush defense that has allowed a league-high 15 rushing touchdowns this season. Play Lacy.

Pass: Ameer Abdullah (vs. GB)

Abdullah rushed for a career-high 63 yards in the Lions victory over the Eagles on Thanksgiving. Despite Stafford’s prolific day through the air, Abdullah only caught one pass for 12 yards and was held out of the end zone. Abdullah found himself splitting time with Theo Riddick, who emerged as a weapon in the passing game. Pass on Abdullah in favor of Lacy.

Wide Receiver

Play: Calvin Johnson (vs. GB)

Johnson had a spectacular day on Thanksgiving, especially in the red zone. Johnson caught eight of his 14 targets for 93 yards and three touchdowns for an enormous day for fantasy owners. He has now registered 81 or more receiving yards in six consecutive games with a high of 166 receiving yards against the Bears and his three-touchdown performance against Philadelphia. Ride the hot hand and play Johnson.

Pass: Randall Cobb (vs. DET)

Cobb put up a solid effort against the Bears on Thanksgiving but was held out of the end zone for the second time in his last three games. He caught six of his seven targets for 74 yards, including a long 32-yard reception. He hasn’t had a 100-yard game since Week 2 against the Seahawks and has not caught multiple touchdowns in a game since he caught three in Week 3 against the Chiefs. Pass on Cobb.

Tight End

Play: Richard Rodgers (vs. DET)

The tight ends are not integral parts of their respective offenses this week. Rodgers caught four of his seven targets for 30 yards on Thanksgiving against Chicago. He makes teams pay in the red zone as he only has 293 receiving yards on the season but he’s racked up five touchdowns. Rodgers won’t get many yards seeing as his season high for yards in a game is 45 but he can make a splash if he catches a touchdown. Play Rodgers as he is the safer of the two picks.

Pass: Eric Ebron (vs. GB)

Ebron has been dealing with injuries this year and has watched as his production has tailed off. He has been held to 28 or fewer receiving yards in each of the last four games with no touchdowns over that span. It’s more concerning that Ebron wasn’t in on the action against the Eagles as Stafford spread the ball around to the tune of 337 yards and five touchdowns. Pass on Ebron.

Kicker

Play: Matt Prater (vs. GB)

Pass: Mason Crosby (vs. DET)

D/ST

Play: Packers

Pass: Lions

 

Steve Dolan is an MBA student at Villanova University and a graduate of the Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University. Steve co-founded Whiz Wit Sports, a Philadelphia-centric sports blog, in March 2011 growing the site to win PHL 17’s Best Local Blogger on the Philly Hot List in 2013.

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