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Lions-Packers Preview

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Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard, right, celebrates with teammate quarterback Aaron Rodgers, left, after catching a touchdown pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)


Detroit Lions running back Adrian Peterson (28) runs against the Chicago Bears in the second half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)


Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, left, talks with quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)


Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) runs the ball against the Chicago Bears in the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)


Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams breaks a tackle by Minnesota Vikings defensive back Holton Hill (24) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)


Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford throws against the Chicago Bears in the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)


GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) The past two games between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions exemplified the biggest difference between these two teams.

Green Bay has an uncanny ability to win close games. Detroit keeps finding new ways to lose them.

The Packers swept their two regular-season meetings with the Lions last year despite never leading either game until Mason Crosby made a game-winning field goal as time expired. They meet again Sunday in Green Bay's home opener.

''It was pretty much a miracle that we were able to win both those games,'' Packers coach Matt LaFleur said.

(For more in-depth coverage of the NFL, listen to the AP Pro Football Podcast apple.co/3iGiX8a)

The Lions are trying to bounce back after blowing a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 27-23 loss to Chicago last week.

That marked Detroit's 10th consecutive defeat, a skid that began last November.

''It doesn't matter if you lose it, win it, win it by 10, lose it by 10, whatever it is, lose a close one, win a close one,'' Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said. ''You've got to move on to the next one. Shoot, lucky for us, Green Bay gets our attention pretty quick.''

Green Bay went 9-1 last year in games decided by eight points or fewer before opening this season with a 43-34 victory at Minnesota. Detroit had a 2-0-1 record early last season with a pair of three-point victories, but has since gone 1-9 in games decided by eight points or fewer.

The Lions have lost 11 games they led in the fourth quarter under coach Matt Patricia, who just took over in 2018.

Detroit will have a tough time building a lead against a Green Bay offense operating at peak efficiency. Aaron Rodgers threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns without an interception against the Vikings. Davante Adams caught 14 passes to tie Don Hutson's 78-year-old franchise single-game record.

But the Packers are taking nothing for granted.

''Quite frankly, they should have won last week,'' LaFleur said. ''There's no doubt about it. And they definitely could have beaten us twice last year. So you know we've got a big task in front of us.''

Here are some things to know heading into the Lions-Packers game.

OFFENSIVE LINE UNCERTAINTY

The Packers lost starting right guard Lane Taylor to a season-ending knee injury against Minnesota. Right tackle Billy Turner sat out the Vikings game with a knee problem, and his status for Sunday's game is uncertain.

The Packers' injuries on the offensive line could create an opportunity for tackle Rick Wagner, who was Detroit's starting right tackle from 2017-19 before getting released in March.

CORNERBACK CONCERNS

Detroit has hamstring issues with its cornerbacks.

The Lions placed Justin Coleman on injured reserve and are unsure of Desmond Trufant's status after he was unable to practice Wednesday.

Detroit's cornerback situation should get a boost from rookie Jeff Okudah, the No. 3 overall pick from Ohio State. Okudah has been practicing this week after missing the Bears game with a hamstring injury.

ALEXANDER'S ENCORE

Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander will have a tough time matching what he accomplished in the season opener. Alexander had a sack, interception and safety against the Vikings to become just the fifth player in the past 20 years to achieve all three of those things in the same game.

FAMILIAR FOE

Stafford has thrown for 5,186 yards against Green Bay, the most of any Packers opponent. He has thrown 34 touchdown passes against the Packers to tie Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas for first place among all Green Bay foes.

The Lions are 7-11 against the Packers in the games Stafford has played.

OLD RIVAL RETURNS TO GREEN BAY

Adrian Peterson had many memorable matchups with Green Bay during the veteran running back's years with the Minnesota Vikings. After making stops in New Orleans, Arizona and Washington the past three seasons, Peterson is back in the NFC North with Detroit.

Peterson rushed for 93 yards on 14 carries in his Lions debut.

''In my generation playing in this league the last 15 years, to me he's the most talented back we've seen,'' Rodgers said. ''There have been a lot of great ones, but we played him twice a year seeing him in his prime. Not many people that can combine speed, power, moves all in one, and you hated seeing him get out in the open field because he rarely got caught and he just had all the tools as a back.

''And he's still got most of the tools. I mean he's still so talented, tough, strong, athletic. I just have a respect for how he's played his career and what he's accomplished.''

Player Notes
Yannick Ngakoue Oct 30 12:20pm ET

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Todd Davis is being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive on Friday. Davis is being quarantined but the Vikings Week 8 game against the Packers remains on schedule for this Sunday. It's more bad news for a Vikings Defense that has really fallen apart in 2020. They already traded defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to the Ravens and rank 22nd in the league with 13 sacks through seven weeks of the season. Fantasy-wise, Minnesota ranks 29th in the NFL in overall fantasy points, which means they should continue to sit on the waiver wire this weekend against the high-scoring Packers attack.

From RotoBaller

Braxton Berrios Oct 30 11:40am ET

New York Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios could be headed towards a big game with the team banged up heading into their Week 8 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. Both Jamison Crowder (groin) and Breshad Perriman (head) are considered questionable for Sunday's matchup. That means, Berrios could be in line for the start and plenty of targets here. He saw seven targets against the Buffalo Bills last week, but hauled in four of them for 35 yards in the loss. Berrios could see a heavy volume of targets this week, but he still remains a desperation deep league option.

From RotoBaller

Chris Carson Oct 30 11:30am ET

The Seattle Seahawks plan to sign running back Alex Collins to their practice squad next week, according to sources. Collins flew in to Seattle on Thursday to start his COVID-19 testing. The 26-year-old was a fifth-round pick by the Seahawks in 2016, but he played just one season for them before landing with the Ravens for two years. He hasn't played in an NFL game since 2018 with Baltimore, however, when he was released following a car accident. Collins averaged just 3.6 yards per carry in his final season with the Ravens and lost his job at the time to Gus Edwards. Seattle is hurting at the position with Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde and Travis Homer all banged up, so Collins will provide some much-needed depth. He can be ignored for fantasy purposes for now.

From RotoBaller

Denzel Mims Oct 30 11:30am ET

New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims made his NFL debut against the Buffalo Bills in Week 7. He finished with four receptions on seven targets for 42 yards in the loss. A decent outing for Mims, considering the Jets offensive unit is horrendous. It appears that the Jets want to get Mims heavily involved in the gameplan. His fantasy value is trending up with Jamison Crowder (groin) unlikely to suit up for the Week 8 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. Mims could make for an interesting PPR streaming option this week.

From RotoBaller

Calvin Ridley Oct 30 11:20am ET

X-rays on Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (ankle) came back negative after he was knocked out of the Thursday night win over the Panthers in the second quarter, according to sources informed of the situation. Ridley will undergo an MRI exam to determine if he can return in Week 9 against the Broncos, and the good news is that Atlanta will have extra rest before that contest next Sunday. However, with a bye coming in Week 10, it's possible that the team plays it safe and holds Ridley out. He had three catches for 42 yards before leaving on Thursday and has 43 receptions for 657 yards and six touchdowns in eight games this year. Whenever Ridley is ready to play again, he needs to be in all fantasy lineups.

From RotoBaller

Breshad Perriman Oct 30 11:20am ET

New York Jets wide receiver Breshad Perriman (head) entered the league's concussion protocol earlier this week. It's uncertain if Perriman will be cleared in time for the Week 8 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. He hauled in both of his targets for 27 yards last week versus the Buffalo Bills. Perriman has only finished with 30 receiving yards or more in a game once this season. The Jets offensive unit cannot be trusted besides Jamison Crowder. Fantasy owners should consider Perriman a desperation deep league option here.

From RotoBaller

Josh Allen Oct 30 11:20am ET

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore (knee) tweaked his knee in practice on Thursday and underwent an MRI exam. His injury is considered to be minor, but his status for Week 8 against the Bills isn't clear. Losing the 30-year-old All-Pro shutdown cornerback would be a big loss this Sunday against the division-rival Bills and gunslinger quarterback Josh Allen. On the flip side, it would be a boost to the fantasy value of Bills No. 1 receiver Stefon Diggs, who would carry WR1 upside. The Patriots Defense is a streaming option for fantasy managers in a bind this week, but they certainly won't have as much upside if Gilmore cannot play.

From RotoBaller

Ben DiNucci Oct 30 11:10am ET

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said that quarterback Andy Dalton (concussion) remains in the NFL's concussion protocol and that the team is preparing rookie Ben DiNucci to start in Week 8 against the Eagles. A final decision will be made on Saturday. "He's a confident young man. He has a lot of tools to work with," McCarthy said about DiNucci. Dalton is a long shot at this point to play against the division-rival Eagles, so DiNucci looks set to make his first career NFL start. He should be considered a desperation low-end QB2 for superflex leagues, while receivers Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup need to be downgraded even against Philly's shaky secondary. The Eagles Defense will be a strong streaming option Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Joe Mixon Oct 30 11:10am ET

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (foot) is missing practice again on Friday, making it likely that Giovani Bernard will be starting for the second straight week on Sunday against the Titans. Mixon didn't play in Week 7 and hasn't practiced at all this week, so things are looking grim for him suiting up this weekend. Bernard carried the ball a season-high 13 times for 37 yards in the Week 7 loss to the Browns, adding five catches for another 59 yards and his second touchdown of the season. He should see most of the backfield touches once again if Mixon is inactive, which will make him an RB2 against a Tennessee defense allowing the 10th-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Jackson Oct 30 11:00am ET

The Baltimore Ravens signed All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley to a five-year contract extension on Friday. It comes after the team recently signed cornerback Marlon Humphrey to a long-term deal, showing that they are committed to keeping their young talent on the roster for the long haul. Stanley has been a key asset for Baltimore's offensive line ever since he was taken sixth overall in the 2016 draft. The 26-year-old earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in 2019. The deal is for $98.75 million and carries $70.9 million in guarantees and locks in Stanley as quarterback Lamar Jackson's blind-side protector for years to come.

From RotoBaller

Calvin Ridley Oct 30 8:33am ET

Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley (foot) had X-rays on his injured foot, which were negative. He'll have an MRI to determine his fate for the next few weeks.

Fantasy Spin: Ridley will have about 10 days to heal up before Week 9, and the team has a Week 10 bye. He has been one of the few bright spots on the struggling team and remains a WR1.

From TheHuddle

Julian Edelman Oct 30 8:33am ET

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (knee) is likely headed to the Reserve/Injured list after having surgery to clean up his knee.

Fantasy Spin: Ian Rapoport also went as far to say that Edelman's knee was a bone-on-bone situation, which spells doom for a football player. You can stash Edelman on an IR spot for now in hopes of getting something from him in the stretch run, but this was a grim report for a gritty player.

From TheHuddle

Curtis Samuel Oct 30 2:43am ET

Carolina Panthers WR Curtis Samuel caught four passes for 31 yards and a touchdown during the team's Week 8 game against the Atlanta Falcons. Samuel also carried the ball three times for 23 yards and a score.

Fantasy Spin: Samuel scored both of Carolina's touchdowns on Thursday night, one on a run up the middle and the other on a flea flicker. The fourth-year pro is a valuable do-it-all option for the Panthers offense, but gadget guys are tough to count on from one week to the next. Still, Samuel should be able to offer value as a flex most weeks.

From TheHuddle

Robby Anderson Oct 30 2:33am ET

Carolina Panthers WR Robby Anderson caught five passes for 48 yards against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday, Oct. 29. Anderson was targeted eight times.

Fantasy Spin: Anderson led the way in targets and receptions but most of his work was underneath as, outside of a 27-yard grab, his four catches covered just 21 yards. Atlanta simply refused to let Carolina's WRs get over the top and seemed to be a step ahead of the Panthers protection schemes all night long. Nobody delivers every week at the receiver position, but Anderson remains a steady WR2 going forward.

From TheHuddle

D.J. Moore Oct 30 2:23am ET

Carolina Panthers WR D.J. Moore caught two passes for 55 yards against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 8. He was targeted six times.

Fantasy Spin: Moore hauled in a 42-yard jump ball on Carolina's final drive to salvage a little respectability from a game where he was otherwise a complete nonfactor. You can blame some of it on the elements, but the offensive line didn't help matters either as Teddy Bridgewater seemed to be constantly under pressure. Keep Moore in your lineup in Week 9 and hope for a better performance.

From TheHuddle

Mike Davis Oct 30 2:13am ET

Carolina Panthers RB Mike Davis had 13 carries for 66 yards against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday, Oct. 29. Davis also caught one pass for 11 yards.

Fantasy Spin: Davis looked physical against the Falcons Thursday night in what's likely to be his last start since Christian McCaffrey is expected to return in Week 9. While that should be the end of Davis' immediate value he's proven to be a quality handcuff for all Run CMC owners. A disclaimer: don't drop Davis until it's confirmed that McCaffrey will play against the Chiefs. Setbacks happen.

From TheHuddle

Teddy Bridgewater Oct 30 1:53am ET

Carolina Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater (neck) completed 15 of his 23 passes for 176 yards, a touchdown and an interception against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday, Oct. 29. He also ran five times for 30 yards.

Fantasy Spin: Even before exiting the game temporarily following a nasty hit to the head, Bridgewater wasn't getting much done, settling for a steady diet of shallow crossing routes amid surprising pressure from the Falcons. Entering the final drive he'd barely topped the century mark in passing yards and his final throw was a terrible interception that had zero chance to be completed. It'll be interesting to see if the offense adjusts significantly following the expected return of Christian McCaffrey in Week 9.

From TheHuddle

Brian Hill Oct 30 1:33am ET

Atlanta Falcons RB Brian Hill had 11 carries for 55 yards against the Carolina Panthers in Week 8. He also caught two passes for nine yards.

Fantasy Spin: Thursday represented the second time in three games that Hill has hit double digits in carries, and he's averaging a respectable 46 total yards per game over the last month. That's not enough to give him standalone value most weeks, but given Todd Gurley's workload and injury history Hill is certainly someone you could feel good about stashing on your bench.

From TheHuddle

Hayden Hurst Oct 30 1:23am ET

Atlanta Falcons TE Hayden Hurst logged five receptions (on seven targets) for 54 yards in a Week 8 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

Fantasy Spin: While he hasn't quite been the second coming of Austin Hooper, Hurst has topped 50 yards receiving in five of his first eight games with the Falcons and is becoming a fairly reliable contributor at a position that's severely lacking in that department. Consider him a decent TE1.

From TheHuddle

Calvin Ridley Oct 30 1:03am ET

Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley (ankle) had three receptions for 42 yards on Thursday, Oct. 29, against the Carolina Panthers before leaving the game with an ankle injury. He was targeted four times.

Fantasy Spin: After the game, head coach Raheem Morris had no official update on Ridley's condition but indicated he's hopeful that the extra few days of rest will be enough to get Ridley back on the field for Week 9. If Ridley can heal up in time he'll deserve a spot in your lineup as a WR1/WR2. If not, Russell Gage should inherit a larger role. Given the team is off in Week 10, make sure to have a contingency plan in case the Falcons decide Ridley is better off with an extra couple weeks off to recover.

From TheHuddle