Matt Stafford: Fantasy Football Owners Should Sit Lions Quarterback in Week 4

Mike MoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 28, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 23: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the game at LP Field on September 23, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Matthew Stafford is being listed as probable for the Detroit Lions' Week 4 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings and while it looks like he will be on the field, fantasy football owners would be wise to sit him.

According to's injury report, Stafford is battling a hip injury coming into this Sunday's game.

Thus far is 2012, Stafford has not played up to expectations for the Lions.

Detroit's signal-caller has completed almost 69 percent of his passes for 863 yards in three games. Stafford has only gotten the ball into the end zone three times and has thrown four interceptions.

In Week 4, the Lions will take on a tough defense in the Vikings.

Minnesota is ranked eighth in the NFL against the pass and is easily the best pass defense Detroit has faced so far this season.

The Vikings have a slew of talented players on the defensive end, namely in their secondary. Corners like Antoine Winfield and Chris Cook will make it difficult for the Lions to move the ball through the air and beat the Vikings deep.

To make matters worse, the Vikings are ranked 13th against the run, which is a frightening proposition for the Lions who are only averaging 3.8 yards per carry on the ground.

The Vikings should have no problem keeping the Lions' running game in check, forcing Detroit to play right into the strength of Minnesota's defense. If Stafford is forced to win this game with his arm alone, that could spell major trouble for the Lions' hopes of improving to 2-2.

Stafford's hip injury won't help him, either. Quarterbacks need their legs at full strength in order to be successful in any game.

If Stafford isn't 100 percent this week and his hip bothers him, he could have problems pushing off and that will greatly affect his throwing power and accuracy.

Throwing the ball on the Vikings' defense is difficult enough, but if Stafford can't make the throws he's used to making because of his injury, Week 4 will be a nightmare for Stafford and fantasy owners everywhere.