Game Predictions & Player Projections - DET vs. CHI

David Dorey, @DMDorey

Prediction: DET 24, CHI 20 (Line: DET by 3, O/U = 46)

UPDATE: Jay Cutler is listed as doubtful and is not expected to play. Alshon Jeffery is questionable but had limited practices and is expected to play. Marvin Jones is listed as questionable because of his hamstring but had a full practice on Friday and is expected to play without limitation.

This is a coin flip game between divisional rivals but the Bears keep losing players on both sides of the ball. The Lions swept the Bears in 2015. They won 37-34 at home in Week 6 and then 24-20 in Chicago during Week 17.

Detroit Lions

1 @IND 39-35 10 BYE ---
2 TEN 15-16 11 JAC ---
3 @GB 27-34 12 MIN ---
4 @CHI --- 13 @NO ---
5 PHI --- 14 CHI ---
6 LA --- 15 @NYG ---
7 WAS --- 16 @DAL ---
8 @HOU --- 17 GB ---
9 @MIN ---      
News | Stats | Roster
DET @ CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 20 280,2
RB Theo Riddick 20 5-30
RB Dwayne Washington 70,1 1-10
WR Marvin Jones Jr. 6-100,1
WR Golden Tate 5-50
TE Eric Ebron 5-50
PK Matt Prater 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Lions are scoring points better this year even without Calvin Johnson. The rushing game continues to languish as marginally effective only on a good day but the passing game has exceeded expectations. A string of three home games are coming up which should help the offense and this week goes against a injury riddled defense. There have been no standout players so far other than one - Marvin Jones who is defying logic in becoming the clear #1 wideout for the Lions.

QUARTERBACK : Matt Stafford already totals seven touchdowns and his only single score game was oddly enough in the only home venue. He's averaging about 360 yards over his two other road trips and spreading the wealth among many receivers.

RUNNING BACK : With Ameer Abdullah on injured reserve, Dwayne Washington is stepping up his involvement and ended Week 3 with ten runs for 38 yards in Green Bay. Theo Riddick was held to only nine yards on ten runs and that will buy Washington more playing time for a week like this that offers a much softer rush defense. The smaller Riddick is less adept for work between the tackles where Washington's 6-1, 222 lb. frame offers an advantage.

WIDE RECEIVER : For a wideout that once gained 1331 yards for the Lions, Golden Tate has nearly fallen entirely off the radar with just 94 yards on 11 catches after three games. Anquan Boldin was no better but at least scored in each of the last two games. Marvin Jones has made a dramatic transition from just being a fifth-round player seemingly destined to being a career #2 to coming off a 205 yard effort last week. Jones already has 408 yards on the season and two scores. Good enough to currently being the #1 scoring wideout in most fantasy scoring systems.

TIGHT END : While Eric Ebron only has one score this year, he is consistently turning in around 50 yards every week and comes off a season best 69 yards on five catches in the loss to the Packers.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Bears have only allowed four passing scores and not more than 248 yards but also have gone against two rookie quarterbacks and Brock Osweiler. They have also not faced any top tight ends. This is a road game for the Lions and the Bears need to circle the wagons to be sure - if they can. They have already allowed four rushing touchdowns over the last two games and two rushers already topped 100 yards against them. While it is hard to rely on as untested a player as Dwayne Washington, the situation is ripe for him to have a decent showing here and score once.

The Bears secondary has not been that tested other than against the Texans and allowed Will Fuller (5-107) and DeAndre Hopkins (5-54) to score. There's no wideout other than Jones worth considering but he is a must start now. Stafford is a moderate to good play this week and Washington is a risky ploy but with some upside.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 4 5 5 11 16 22
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 17 21 11 13 27 22

Chicago Bears

1 @HOU 14-23 10 @TB ---
2 PHI 14-29 11 @NYG ---
3 @DAL 17-31 12 TEN ---
4 DET --- 13 SF ---
5 @IND --- 14 @DET ---
6 JAC --- 15 GB ---
7 @GB --- 16 WAS ---
8 MIN --- 17 @MIN ---
9 BYE ---      
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Jordan Howard 70 4-40
WR Dontrelle Inman 3-40
WR Kevin White 4-40
TE Zach Miller 6-70,1
TE Dion Sims 2-30
PK Connor Barth 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bears are still on the slide and now just lost their starting running back for the next month or two. The offense cannot score more than two touchdowns in any game and yet the defense has allowed at least 23 points each week. There's precious little positive happening here for a team that continues to lose players while struggling to mount a respectable defense and offense. So far the only plus is that Brian Hoyer seems to really like Zach Miller.

QUARTERBACK : Jay Cutler missed last week because of his thumb and is considered "day to day". I will assume that Brian Hoyer gets another start and he already posted a respectable and yet losing 317 yards and two scores in Dallas last week. Cutler's presence or absence is not changing the overall struggle with the offense.

RUNNING BACK : Jeremy Langford injured his ankle - like a high ankle sprain - and is expected to miss the next four to six weeks. Since Ka'Deem Carey is dealing with his own hamstring injury, that leaves fifth-round pick Jordan Howard to likely shoulder the entire load this week. Howard could do himself a big favor by showing up well while Langford remains out. Langford scored twice this year but has done nothing to suggest he should remain the starter. Howard at least gained 45 yards on nine runs in Dallas and caught four passes for 47 yards.

The Bears also just signed Joique Bell who might enjoy a shot at his old team but the only certainty this week is that Howard has an ideal situation.

WIDE RECEIVER : The entire unit only has one score and Alshon Jeffery seems to get a bit worse each week after starting out with 105 yards in the opener in Houston. None of these players are offering much help but at least Kevin White is up to six receptions for 62 yards just last week. He had a team high 14 targets in the process while Jeffery was limited to just seven.

TIGHT END : Zach Miller only accounted for 33 yards on four catches in the loss to the Eagles but last week with a full game of Brian Hoyer as starter, Miller produced a team high eight receptions for 78 yards and both touchdowns. That was a gameplan specific focus considering the Dallas defense. But at least it brings Miller into the conversation for future games.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Lions did give up four scores to both Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers but Brian Hoyer is not really in that class. The Lions have not yet allowed a rushing touchdown though the Titans combined for 139 rushing yards and Eddie Lacy just laid down 103 yards on 17 runs last week.

Howard is a risky upside play this week. He's more likely to get good yardage especially with receptions factored in but less likely to score. Zach Miller is a must start going against a defense that has already given up five touchdowns to the position in just three weeks. Jeffery is still a must start and should end with at least moderate stats here and a shot at one score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 27 26 20 13 32 21
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 31 12 17 31 17 7

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