Detroit Lions

Fantasy Football Week 2 Start Em Sit Em: Why You Must Start Matthew Stafford

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions sets to pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium September 11, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2011

Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Buffalo Bills to a huge victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium last week. Fitzpatrick finished the game with 208 yards and four touchdowns.

This week, the Chiefs offense must try to slow down Matthew Stafford, who looks set to win the Comeback Player of the Year Award. Stafford started off with an excellent performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His only mistake wasn't really a mistake, as Aqib Talib's pick-six came from a tipped pass in the flat.

While Calvin Johnson is the team's most celebrated receiver, the Lions have a lot of weapons that they can use to hurt the Chiefs defense. Last week, the Chiefs lost Eric Berry for the year to a torn ACL. This should free up both Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler for big days.

John McGraw will likely replace Berry. McGraw has no hope of sticking with Pettigrew one-on-one. If the Lions look to their tight ends, Stafford could easily match or even eclipse the numbers Fitzpatrick put up. Calvin Johnson is struggling with a foot injury, but I would expect him to play.

Johnson will be up against Brandon Flowers, who is an excellent cornerback. However, he is not good enough to take Johnson out of the game. There is no corner good enough to do so, considering the Chiefs' poor pass rush will allow Stafford time to throw.

Against the Buffalo Bills, the Chiefs should have dismantled the team's pass protection. However, Tamba Hali registered the team's only sack of the game. Getting to the quarterback was a major challenge for the Chiefs last year and that doesn't look to have changed.

Getting to Stafford looks like being the only way to stop him. He appears to be everything that the Lions wanted him to be when they drafted him first overall. If Jeff Backus can contain Hali, then there is no other Chief that really threatens to disrupt Stafford's rhythm.

His connection with Nate Burleson looks to be particularly pleasing, which would ease any drop-off from Calvin Johnson.

Matthew Stafford is a must start for any fantasy owners that drafted him this weekend.

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