The first game of Week 12 is a tough read for fantasy purposes.
The Detroit Lions will host the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving in a matchup of NFC North teams going in opposite directions. The 4-6 Lions currently look like, well, the Lions, while the 7-3 Bears surprisingly sit atop the division through 11 weeks.
In years past, fans could bank on Matthew Stafford and the Lions being fantasy goldmines, but injuries and inconsistency have rendered them largely irrelevant. As for the Bears, they’ve been quite useful in fantasy this season, but with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky out with a shoulder injury, it might be best to punt on Chicago for a week.
Still, there are ways to get some fantasy value out of this Thursday matinee. Here’s who you should start and sit in Bears vs. Lions:
Tarik Cohen, RB, Bears. Cohen has slowed a bit in the last few weeks, but we expect a resurgence Thursday afternoon. The dual-threat back is set to face a Lions defense that ranks 26th against fantasy running backs. Expect RB2/FLEX production.
Bears defense. This is the best defense, and should be started in every week from here on out, with a Week 14 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams perhaps being the only exception.
Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions. Stafford’s favorite target is coming off back-to-back strong games, and quickly has made his way into the WR1 conversation. He faces a tough matchup this week, but we think he’ll get enough action in the passing game to warrant a start.
Trey Burton, TE, Bears. Burton hasn’t done much his last four games, and likely will be catching passes from Chase Daniel on Thursday. So, why are we starting him? Because the tight end position is that shallow in fantasy.
Both quarterbacks. Trubisky is expected to miss this game, and Stafford has been a major disappointment. There are better options.
Lions defense. You could make the case that this is a spot where Detroit’s defense could have a good game, but we just don’t trust it. Again, there are better options.
Bears receivers. Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and Allen Robinson likely will struggle to put up big numbers with Daniel under center. Don’t expect anything more than WR3 production from any of these wideouts.
Kerryon Johnson, RB, Lions. The rookie back is doubtful with a knee injury. And even if he did play, we wouldn’t like his chances against the Bears’ stout defensive line.