The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 11 Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers Sunday afternoon game.

This article is normally behind a members-only paywall, but is 100% free this week as part of Sharp Football’s 2020 Free Week.

Don’t miss out: Join Free Week, where anyone can get total access to Warren Sharp’s NFL betting recommendations and our premium fantasy football for all of Week 11.

23.75Implied Total25.25
29.729Points All./Gm27.221
67.427Opp. Plays/Gm64.417
45.0%27Opp. Rush %40.5%14
55.0%6Opp. Pass %59.5%19
  • Carolina is 1-4 against the spread at home this season, tied for the league’s worst mark. 
  • 80.5% of the scoring plays allowed by Detroit have been touchdowns, the highest rate in the league.
  • Detroit is allowing a league-high 2.9 red zone touchdowns per game. 
  • The Lions have allowed a first down on 41.9% of the passing plays run against them, the highest rate in the league.
  • The 3.9 yards per play for Carolina last week were their fewest in a game this season. 
  • Carolina is allowing a league-high 56.9% conversion rate on third downs this season.
  • Opponents have scored on 57.8% of their drives against Carolina, the highest rate in the league.
  • The Panthers have scored on 64.4% (29-of-45) of their possessions in the first half this season, the highest rate in the league.
  • Carolina has scored on 34.0% (16-of-47) of their drives in the second half, 30th in the league.



Matthew Stafford: Stafford sustained a thumb injury on his throwing hand Sunday and it was discovered that he has a partial tear in his throwing-hand thumb. He is expected to play this weekend. Stafford has posted 18 or more fantasy points in three of his past four games. The Panthers pass defense had a solid start to the season, but have gotten progressively leaky of late.

After allowing 6.1 yards per pass attempt through six games, they have allowed 8.5 Y/A over their past four. Granted, they have faced Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Patrick Mahomes, and Tom Brady in those past four, but both Ryan and Brady had significantly better passing success in the rematch than they found in the first matchup to signal that Carolina has been a better draw of late in the passing game.

They have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in three of those games as opposed to just one through six games. Stafford is not a must-play, but a solid floor-based option.

Panthers QB: Teddy Bridgewater exited last week’s game with a knee injury. He has not been ruled out this early in the week, but this staff has expressed caution with their injured players this season. There were some whispers of Will Grier potentially getting consideration to start, but P.J. Walker has served as the team’s backup all season and has entered both games when Bridgewater was forced to the sideline this season. Walker played under Matt Rhule at Temple, leaving school as the all-time leader in wins, passing yards, and passing touchdowns before being an undrafted free agent and then finding a second chance under Rhule in the NFL after flashing in the XFL in the league’s return. 

*Bridgewater had a limp in practice on Thursday and is expected to be “unlikely to play” Sunday, but both Walker and Grier have split reps in practice and the early word is that both could play in the game Sunday, leaving them as options for only those in 2QB leagues with a hole at the position.

 Detroit is 24th in passing points allowed per game (17.6) and 25th in yards allowed per attempt (7.7 Y/A). They have allowed multiple touchdowns or 300 yards passing to each of the past four quarterbacks they have faced, including 390 yards to Alex Smith this past week.

Running Back

Mike Davis: Early feeling was that Christian McCaffrey was expected to miss another week with his shoulder injury if not sitting out the next two weeks prior to the team getting a Week 13 bye. Davis has not been the plug and play RB1 option that he was filling in earlier in the season. Davis has managed just 55, 36, 77, and 44 yards in his past four games without McCaffrey in the lineup. 

If you want to hold onto something positive, those four games have come against the Bears, Falcons, Saints, and Buccaneers. Three of those defenses are in the top-six in yards per carry allowed to backfields. This matchup is much lighter if Davis can secure a positive workload. Detroit is 28th in YPC to backs (4.8 YPC) while also ranking 32nd in receiving points allowed per game to backs (14.1). 

What has been a downer for Davis is that he is averaging 0.70 yards before contact per carry, the fewest among all running backs with 100 or more carries on the season. He also had just 12 receptions for 50 yards in those past four games as Curtis Samuel has gotten more involved near the line of scrimmage in both the rushing and passing game. Davis has a better outlook and ceiling than he has had over his past few matchups as a boom-or-bust RB2, but also takes a larger step of faith at this stage than he did earlier in the season. 

Detroit RBs: With D’Andre Swift going into concussion protocol on Thursday, we have to work under the premise that he will be unavailable this week, but keep tabs on things as they progress on Friday.

If Swift is in fact out, Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson will take over in the backfield with Peterson holding an edge as he has all season. The downside is that Peterson has been pretty rough. Over the past six games, Peterson has rushed 54 times for 162 yards (3.0 YPC). The Panthers are 29th in points allowed per game to backfields (28.7) and 28th in total yards allowed per game (153.3) to the position to go along with 12 touches (29th), so things could be much worse matchup-wise if you have to pivot to Peterson a matchup and volume-based FLEX.

Wide Receiver

Marvin Jones: Jones is no stranger to running hot in spurts and has found the end zone four times over the past three games after one touchdown through six weeks. He received a season-high 10 targets last week which he turned into high marks of eight receptions and 96 yards. Jones has now been a top-40 scorer with double-digit points in each of his past four games after just once through six games. Last week also the first time that Jones has had more than four receptions in a game this season and the first time he has seen at least 20% of the team targets, so there is still volatility here. Carolina has allowed six top-30 scorers to wideouts over their past four games and at least one in each of those games to keep Jones rolling as a WR3 should Kenny Golladay remain out of the lineup this week.  

Robby Anderson: After averaging 98 yards and 18.3 PPR points per game over the first five weeks, Anderson has averaged 56.6 yards and 11.3 points per game over the past five weeks. After 99 or more yards in four of those opening five games, Anderson has had 77 yards or fewer in each of the past five. Now, he also may have a new quarterback this weekend. Anderson is still sitting on one touchdown this season and has just one end zone target over the past six games. Anderson is still the betting favorite to lead the Panthers in target opportunity, but he’s nearing closer to floor-based WR3 territory each week. The good news is that the Lions have struggled on the back end, allowing 8.8 yards per target (23rd) to opposing wideouts. 

D.J. Moore: The wheel of Moore continued on last week, turning seven targets into four receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown, giving him two top-15 weeks against the Bucs this season. 10 games into the season, Moore has posted five top-24 scoring weeks and another five weeks as the WR49 or lower. He has had four or fewer receptions in 8-of-10 games while having more than seven targets in just one of his past eight games, but has hit 90 yards in four of his past six games. Leading the team with a 13.1-yard depth of target, Moore is a boom-or-bust WR3 with the potential of Bridgewater sitting out, but Detroit is allowing 3.8 receptions per game of 20 or more yards (28th) to keep some upside in play.

Curtis Samuel: We talked last week about how Samuel’s fantasy spike was aided by a hot touchdown streak masking his overall production, but last week’s 12 yards were his fewest in a game this season. Samuel has cleared 51 yards receiving just once with more than six targets in just one game. Samuel does have three or more rushing attempts in seven of nine games this season to give him extra opportunities, but he has three scoring weeks higher than WR36 this season, and all three have come with a touchdown. Samuel is a touchdown-dependent FLEX.

Marvin Hall: Hall has secured 9-of-15 targets for 202 yards and a score the past three weeks. Averaging a robust 21.5 yards per catch, Hall is the Detroit version of David Moore, catching more than three passes just once all season.  Danny Amendola is also looking doubtful this week, leaving Detroit with Jones, Hall, and Quintez Cephus as their top wideouts. Carolina has allowed a 53.2% completion rate on throws over 15 yards downfield for those willing to roll the dice on connecting on a splash play.

Tight End

T.J. Hockenson: Just when we thought Hockenson was entering safe-floor territory, he turned in a 2-13-0 line last week. His four targets were the fewest he has had in a game since Week 4. Dealing with a toe injury late last week, Hockenson still ran a pass route on 61.8% of the team dropbacks, his lowest rate since Week 1, after a 71.7% rate over the previous seven games. If healthy, Hockenson has another positive draw against a Carolina defense that has allowed double-digit points to six different tight ends over their past five games with four touchdowns over that stretch. Keep Hockenson in play as a TE1 option.

This article is normally behind a members-only paywall, but is 100% free this week as part of Sharp Football’s 2020 Free Week.

Don’t miss out: Join Free Week, where anyone can get total access to Warren Sharp’s NFL betting recommendations and our premium fantasy football for all of Week 11.

More Week 11 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet:

ARI at SEA | ATL at NO | PIT at JAX | DET at CAR | CIN at WFT | NE at HOU | PHI at CLE | TEN at BAL | MIA at DEN | NYJ at LAC | GB at IND | DAL at MIN | KC at LVR | LAR at TB