Week 15 Fantasy Football Breakdown: Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jeremy AlpertSenior Analyst IIDecember 19, 2010

Week 15 Match-up:  Detroit Lions (3-10) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5)

Rankings based on top 16 QBs, 32 RBs, 48 WRs and 16 TEs.

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Detroit Lions (Lions Schedule)

Opponent Defensive Ranks

Tampa Bay Pass Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 11th - TDs Allowed T-20th

Tampa Bay Rush Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 27th – TDs Allowed 14th


Detroit Offensive Cast

Drew Stanton (QB Week 15 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 57/96 – for 528 yards and three TDs

Tampa’s pass D is too good to consider using Stanton unless you’re in a major fix this weekend.


Jahvid Best (RB Week 15 Ranking: No. 29)

2010 Season: 149 carries for 485 yards and four TDs || 51 receptions for 411 yards and one TD

Best has been looking better the last couple of games, and against a Bucs D that just got torched for 172 yards on the ground by Ryan Torain, he might be worth a shot if you’re looking for a good flex option.


Maurice Morris (RB Week 15 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 51 carries for 184 yards and two TDs || 18 receptions for 123 yards and no TDs

Morris will be splitting carries with Best and isn’t worth using anymore because of it.


Calvin Johnson (WR Week 15 Ranking: No. 6)

2010 Season: 63 receptions for 916 yards and 12 TDs

Megatron won’t have to deal with the Bucs top cover-corner (Aqib Talib) as he’s out for the season, so there’s hope for Calvin despite the Lions being down to their third-string QB, Drew Stanton.  Stanton isn’t what you’d call an “elite” QB, but he’s not bad, and you can bet your ass he’ll be looking Johnson’s way a ton this game. 


Nate Burleson (WR Week 15 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 44 receptions for 507 yards and four TDs

Burleson has been close to invisible the last few weeks.  Don’t bother.


Brandon Pettigrew (TE Week 15 Ranking: No. 8)

2010 Season: 62 receptions for 604 yards and three TDs

The only thing between Pettigrew being an all-out fantasy stud or a complete and utter dud is Drew Stanton.  The Lions third-string QB targeted the hell out of him earlier this year, but only threw the ball his way three times last week against the Packers.  Tampa is pretty good against the pass and tight ends, so don’t cry if Brandon only gets three catches for 42 yards this game.


Tony Scheffler (TE Week 15 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 35 receptions for 295 yards and one TD

With a third-string QB in there, you can’t really call on a second-string tight end.



Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Buccaneers Schedule)

Opponent Defensive Ranks

Detroit Pass Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed 13th - TDs Allowed T-20th

Detroit Rush Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed 22nd – TDs Allowed 29th


Tampa Bay Offensive Cast

Josh Freeman (QB Week 15 Ranking: No. 13)

2010 Season: 228/390 – for 2,708 yards and 17 TDs

The only game Freeman didn’t throw for a touchdown pass in this year was against the Pittsburgh Steelers back in Week 3.  That said, he also hasn’t thrown for three TDs on the year, either.  If you start him, you’re taking a bit of a gamble, but against the Lions down south in Tampa, where the weather runs warm and doesn’t affect the receivers or the passing game, you might do well in taking a chance on him.


LeGarrette Blount (RB Week 15 Ranking: No. 11)

2010 Season: 149 carries for 667 yards and five TDs || Two receptions for nine yards and no TDs

What a great find this monster RB (6’0”, 247 pounds) has been for the Bucs this season.  Blount has averaged 5.2 yards/carry at home so far this season and has done well against the lesser rush Ds in the league, so have confidence playing him as an RB2 with upside on your fantasy team this week.


Cadillac Williams (RB Week 15 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 113 carries for 371 yards and two TDs || 41 receptions for 307 yards and one TD

Caddy is actually doing pretty well as the Bucs third-down back, but that’s far from being worth a fantasy play.


Mike Williams (WR Week 15 Ranking: No. 15)

2010 Season: 52 receptions for 784 yards and seven TDs

Super-stud rookie Mike Williams was held to just one catch for 15 yards last week by DeAngelo Hall.  Thank goodness the Lions don’t have anyone even close to that for him to have to worry about.


Arrelious Benn (WR Week 15 Ranking: No. 39)

2010 Season: 21 receptions for 345 yards and two TDs

The big rookie out of Illinois is starting to turn some heads down in Tampa.  He was a well-known rookie coming into the season, but has been completely overshadowed by the play of fellow rookie Mike Williams for the greater part of the season.  Last game, he came up with four catches for 122 yards and was one yard short of adding a TD to that line.  With Tampa playing Detroit this weekend, Benn deserves a look.


Sammie Stroughter (WR Week 15 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 23 receptions for 238 yards and no TDs

Sammie has been passed on the depth chart by Benn and isn’t worth a fantasy lick.


Kellen Winslow Jr. (TE Week 15 Ranking: No. 12)

2010 Season: 52 receptions for 558 yards and three TDs

Winslow has been a horse of a different color this whole season, but that’s exactly why he’s worth the risk this weekend against a porous Detroit pass D.  Three touchdowns in the last five weeks is a LOT more than most TEs can claim to lately, so go ahead and take a chance on the ultra-talented Winslow Jr.