Detriot Lions vs. Green Bay Packers
Details of the Script
- TNF – 8:15 pm @ Lambeau Field
- Weather – Clear Night Skies
- What Vegas is saying – Line (DET -1.5) & Over/Under 46
Identifying the Game Script
We have a divisional game on TNF in week four. Over the last five games, the Lions and the Packers have averaged a combined 46.8 points. The Lions have beaten the Packers in the previous three games. Last year, neither team scored over 20 points in either game. The average this year for the Thursday Night Football games has been 48.3. The Lions are coming off a bounce-back win over the Atlanta Falcons. The Packers had a come-from-behind victory over the Saints. Both teams are playing great football as they prepare for an important game to see who will take over the division.
Jared Goff has been off to a solid start to the season. He is ranked as a QB1 over the first three weeks. The Packers have played decently well so far against fantasy quarterbacks. They haven’t allowed a quarterback over one pass touchdown on the season. Goff has had mediocre success with the Lions against the Packers over his two years. He has combined for six touchdowns and 800 yards in four games over the last two years. Goff is throwing for some high numbers, but the touchdowns have been minimal in two in three games. If he hadn’t run a touchdown during week three, his fantasy day would not have looked as good. The Lions are out to prove something, and they are likely to continue to rely on the pass, so expect Goff to see another high pass volume. Goff should be a mid to high-end QB2 in week four.
Jordan Love has been a pleasant surprise so far on the season. Love’s early success was being very efficient on minimal throws, but he had six touchdowns in his first two games. Love threw a career-high 44 attempts and used his legs to produce his fantasy numbers in week three. The Lions’ defense continues to lose pieces in that secondary, allowing good quarterbacks to produce decent fantasy numbers. Love is QB4 and has 20 fantasy points in each game this year. I’d expect Love to finish as a high-end QB2.
The Lions decide to switch things up in week three without David Montgomery. Jahmyr Gibbs went from a pass-catcher role to an early-down runner. He handled most of the early downs and goal line situations. Craig Reynolds worked more as the passing downs back over Gibbs. This Packers team can be run on if the Lions can get their run game going. The status of Montgomery is still up in the air, but he wasn’t ruled out until Sunday, so that could give hope he plays in week four. If Montgomery does play, you’d have to assume it would be minimal and likely a low-end RB3 at best.
If Montgomery is out, which I believe is the more realistic situation, it will again fall on Gibbs. I think we could see more Craig Reynolds on the ground this time. The Lions must know they shouldn’t give Gibbs 18-plus carries each week. Gibbs hasn’t been able to put the ground and air production together in a game yet. We need to slightly lower our expectation that you’ll likely be looking at a low-end RB2 in fantasy unless Gibbs can score. Craig Reynolds could see more value in his game as a way for the Lions to not overwork Gibbs. Reynolds is likely a low-end RB4 play if he gets the backup role.
The Packers’ run game seems lost without Aaron Jones on the field. AJ Dillion is running at a 2.7 YPC on the season. In two games with Jones, Dillion has 97 total cards and just ten fantasy points. Dillion was outshined by the practice squad call-up Patrick Taylor in week three. The Lions have been a solid run defense this year, not allowing a rusher over 50 yards. Outside of allowing two rushing touchdowns, they have shut down the run game. The saving grace for the Packers run offense is if Aaron Jones returns in week four. It’s still uncertain if he does. If Jones does play, I’d value him back as a low-end RB2 because his receiving ability is his beard and butter. If Jones plays, AJ Dillion has no shot at starting in lineups in week four. Dillion is a borderline RB3 and likely would need to score to have any life in fantasy value if Jones doesn’t play.
The Lions, on paper, have a tough matchup against a Packers secondary that has been top 10 vs. fantasy quarterbacks. I know their star cornerback, Jaire Alexander, is banged up right now. Amon-Ra St. Brown should continue to be a WR1. He is more of a low-end WR1 in week four. We haven’t seen a big blowup game from him yet, but very consistent play. St. Brown has only averaged 57 yards over four career games vs. the Packers with just one touchdown. His high target share still makes him a safe play.
Josh Reynolds wasn’t targeted in week three but is still second in targets and routes run. This could be a game in which Reynolds could thrive, as it seems the deep-threat receiver does give the Packers secondary trouble. Reynolds is WR4 in this game. Kalif Raymond is a complete wildcard, as the Lions appear to trust him in the offense, but his value in his game is risky to consider a play. Sam LaPorta is currently a fantasy TE2 on the season. He has consistently seen five-plus targets in each game this year. He is a TE1 in week four.
The Packers pass catchers have been hard to figure out who will thrive in the offense weekly. Four receivers play over 40% of the snaps in a given week. Christian Watson has missed another game in week three and may still not play in week four. If Watson does play in week four, it’s hard to trust he will see a full workload in his first game back. Watson would likely be outside of a WR4 for me in his first game. It is too risky to trust even in a favorable matchup to his skill set. The Lions have been destroyed in the secondary regarding injuries, but they still haven’t allowed too many big games to the receivers.
For the best receiver, I’d have to give it to Romeo Doubs; he has two of three games with 15 plus fantasy points. He looks healthy and is sitting in the WR1 role on the offense. His usage must be more consistent to be a trusted player in our fantasy lineups. Doubs is a WR4 play in his matchup. Jayden Reed‘s targets have been the most consistent over these first three games. Reed has been an active player in the red zone, with four targets in week three. He also is a WR4 play in week four.
If Christian Watson returns, I don’t think it will hurt that much for Doubs and Reed, as their roles are secured. Dontayvion Wicks’ role will likely be cut if Watson returns. Wicks has ten targets over the last two games and decent yardage. He is interesting in deep leagues but likely outside the top 60 still. Luke Musgrave continues to lead the tight end room and has been solid as a rookie. The Lions have allowed 40 yards to at least five tight ends this season. Musgrave is an excellent sleeper in week four and should be a mid-range TE2.