Packers vs. Lions: Predicting Top Fantasy Performers from Each Team

Steven Gerwel@Steve_GerContributor IIINovember 17, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 04: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers pitches the ball to Randall Cobb #18 against the Arizona Cardinals at Lambeau Field on November 4, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  The Packers defeated the Cardinals 31-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions (4-5) will play host to the Green Bay Packers (6-3) in the first matchup of the year between these two NFC North rivals. 

Both teams are trying to climb to the top of the division, which is currently owned by the 7-2 Chicago Bears. 

Each team has had struggles this season—the Packers had a modest 2-2 start, and Detroit lost three of its first four—but these are two extremely talented NFL teams loaded with offensive firepower. 

The last time these two met during the 2011 season, they combined for 11 touchdown passes and over 1,100 yards of offense.

Needless to say, fantasy owners are salivating over the thought of an encore performance.

With that in mind, here are the key fantasy assets that are expected to produce big numbers during this game. 



QB Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford was suddenly viewed as an elite fantasy commodity following a 41-touchdown performance in 2011, but his production has dipped in 2012. 

Stafford is on pace for a mere 20 touchdown passes, but his numbers have elevated as of late. 

Stafford has exceeded 300 yards in three of his last five games, while he has at least 250 yards in all but one game this season. On top of that, he has made six touchdowns over the past three games. 

Stafford threw for five touchdowns the last time these teams met, and he should once again have a productive performance against the Packers.



QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers has been phenomenal once again in 2012 and is obviously a key factor in the upcoming game against Detroit. 

Rodgers has multiple touchdown passes in seven of his nine games this season, while he has exceeded the 300-yard mark on four occasions. 

Rodgers has nine touchdowns over the last three weeks and will have a productive day on Sunday. 



WR Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers

Randall Cobb has statistically been Aaron Rodgers' most reliable target, which bodes well for Cobb owners if this game becomes a shootout. 

Aaron Rodgers has completed 78.9% of his passes to Randall Cobb this season, best among any QB-WR duo w/ at least 50 attempts.

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 15, 2012

Cobb is on pace for nearly 900 receiving yards and over 10 touchdowns. With Rodgers rapidly developing chemistry with him, Cobb is quickly becoming a must-start player every week. 



RB Mikel Leshoure, Detroit Lions

Mikel Leshoure missed his entire rookie season due to injury, but he is now back in action and is the primary weapon in the Detroit backfield. 

Leshoure has taken criticism as of late for a lack of elusiveness and an inability to break tackles. 

While the concerns are valid, people may be forgetting that Leshoure is basically a rookie, and he's still adjusting to the speed and rhythm of the game. 

Overall, regardless of the criticism, he is still putting up numbers. He is on pace for over 800 yards and nearly 10 touchdowns, which still makes him a valuable fantasy asset. 

The game against Green Bay is expected to be an airborne shootout, but don't be surprised if Leshoure remains a key part of the Detroit game plan. 



WR Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson scored a combined 28 touchdowns between 2010 and 2011, which is why it's rather surprising that he just scored his second touchdown of the 2012 season last week. 

Johnson is not putting up the touchdown totals that his fantasy owners were expecting, but he's certainly getting it done with yardage. 

Johnson surpassed 200 yards a week ago against Minnesota and has passed the 100-yard barrier five times this season. 

It's only a matter of time before Johnson regains his nose for the end zone.