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Detroit Fantasy Football 2013-Thanksgiving Day-Stafford is the difference maker

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According to Yahoo! Sports fantasy football projections for week #13, Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions is the best quarterback to start on Thanksgiving Day.

So why did the Michigan Gnome and I select Tony Romo of Dallas as the No. 1 quarterback in our national "Thanksgiving Treats" article?

Because Matthew Stafford's performances have slid downhill since the dramatic last-second victory over Dallas in week 8. You could use his quarterback rating to measure his recent decline. It was 91.3 against Dallas, 87.7 against Chicago, 74.7 against Pittsburgh and 61.6 against Tampa Bay.

Stafford has thrown nine touchdown passes and eight interceptions in his last four games. He completed only 41% of his passes against Pittsburgh in a week 11 road game and two-thirds of his interceptions have occurred in the last four games.

The reality is Calvin Johnson's spectacular performances last year and this year would not be possible without Matthew Stafford throwing the football to him. The problem is Stafford must throw smarter and crisper passes for the Lions (6-5) to beat Green Bay (5-5-1) at Ford Field on Thanksgiving Day.

Stafford and not Tampa Bay's Mike Glennon looked like the rookie in last Sunday's loss to the Buccaneers. The Lions starting quarterback was throwing balls behind his receivers or over their heads. It's just like baseball. If you are wild high, it will lead to trouble.

There is great deal of truth in believing that as Stafford goes, so go the Lions.

PREDICTIONS

"Hometown Hero" - Matthew Stafford has to prove that he can bounce back and lead his team to their seventh victory and protect first place in the NFC North. He should score 24 or more fantasy football points..

"Surprise and Delight" - Running back Reggie Bush had 100 yards of total offense against Tampa Bay. He is capable of 150 or more yards against the Packers. Keep an eye on how well Green Bay's Eddie Lacy and Bush run the football, because it could influence the outcome of the game.

"Hometown Zero" - Detroit's defense and special teams need to pressure the quarterback, force some turnovers and stop making critical mistakes.

"And one more thing . . ." - When was the last time the Detroit Lions won on Thanksgiving Day? It was 2003 when they beat the Green Bay Packers, 22-14.

Summary - The Michigan Gnome picked Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay to beat the Lions, so why would he pick the Lions to win on Thanksgiving Day?

The Gnome is expecting a high-scoring game with Green Bay winning, 41-28. I cannot believe the Lions will lose their third game in a row and their second consecutive game at home. The Lions beat Green Bay, 34-30.

"I wish I had him this week" - For Detroit fantasy owners with stars from other teams, here are three players that should have a better than average Thanksgiving Day game:

  • Quarterback Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
  • Running back Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
  • Wide receiver Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys

"Expect a Downturn" - Here are three players whose performances will be on fantasy football's downside on Thanksgiving Day:

  • Quarterback Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
  • Running back Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens
  • Wide receiver Jacoby Ford, Oakland Raiders

Feel free to share your insights, suggestions or questions by commenting on this article, tweeting me @denimartin, or by sending an email to deni-martin@att.net.

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