The PYRO Fantasy Football Depth Chart is a rundown of where Team PYRO projects the fantasy production for each team at each position. It is NOT an attempt to inform you of the current starters for each team. For example, we are well aware that Brandon Manumaleuna is currently the starting TE for the Chicago Bears, but if you look at the Bears Team Page, we have Greg Olsen listed at TE. Why? We’re projecting that Greg Olsen will be the most Fantasy Football relevant TE for the Bears this season. Since Olsen will be the Bears leading FF point scorer at TE, it’s his name at the top of the TE column on our PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart.
The Eagles' defense keeps passing tests, but the tests keep getting harder.
This week, the Birds stack their streak of not having allowed more than 21 points in a game, eight games in a row, up against the NFL's second-ranked offense, in the visiting Detroit Lions.
The focal point, after quarterback Matthew Stafford, obviously will be Detroit's 6-5, 236-pound wideout, Calvin Johnson, the NFL's most dominant receiver. Johnson has 72 catches for 1,299 yards and a dozen touchdowns in 11 games.
You can probably give up more than a few short catches to Bush and Bell and still beat the Lions. Megatron is the guy with the dozen touchdowns, though, the main reason why the Lions' red-zone offense is so lethal.
"When I'm playing at the top of my game, I don't fear anyone," Williams said yesterday, when asked about the Johnson challenge. "I want those guys to work hard for everything they get. As far as me being physical, I plan on doing that, doing the things that have made me successful thus far in the season. I don't change up anything just because it's Calvin Johnson out there."
Pyro's take: The Eagles defenders can say all they want, but they are in trouble this week. Megatron should be able to blow up against the Eagles who rank dead last in defense against receivers. They are surrendering 29.9 points a game on the season.
Johnson will be dominate the Eagles this week. He is a must start and should be the number one receiver when this week comes to end.
Reggie Bush isn’t practicing, due to a calf injury that showed up on the injury report for the first time this week, but the Detroit Lions’ leading rusher is still working on his ball security.
Bush spent part of the open session of today’s practice with a football tucked into his arm, part of his response to the fumbling issues that have plagued him this season.
Bush, who has missed two straight practices, has lost three fumbles in the last five games and is among the league leaders in dropped passes.
“I’m just trying to get an edge and find any little bit of time where I can just constantly remind myself and making sure that I am correcting my mistakes and doing everything I can (so) whenever my number is called on Sundays that I am not going to turn the ball over,” Bush explained Wednesday.
Pyro's take: Bush has been dinged up all season, and now he is being limited by a calf injury he sustained in practice. Joique Bell has been taking the snaps in Bush's absence and could be in for a major workload if Bush is unable to play.
I still expect Reggie to take the field on Sunday, but if the calf acts up he could be limited. This is rough news, because if 100% this is a great match-up for him against the Eagles.
when asked if he feels he is the best cornerback in the league, Revis wouldn't make a proclamation.
"I feel great," he said on a conference call with Detroit reporters. "I feel like Tony the Tiger."
Revis can play coy all he wants because his one performance against Johnson in 2010 speaks for itself.
"I mean, one catch for 13 yards. What do you think?" Revis said when asked if he won the battle.
The Jets won that game, 23-20, in overtime, but Johnson has been more productive in every game since. He leads the NFL this season with 1,083 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.
Since that game, Revis said he hasn't seen much change from Johnson as a player, and he thinks Johnson's size, 6-foot-5 and 236 pounds, and speed makes him so great.
"It's almost like your ideal receiver," Revis said. "He's like that create-a-player on Madden where you put his overall at 99. He's got the fastest speed on there; his strength and everything is maximized to another level."
"He's a massive receiver who can run, who can catch and who can block."
Pyro's take: Revis may have had the best of Johnson back in 2010, but this is 2013. Megatron heads into this game on a major role. Over his last four games Calvin has 35 catches for 746 yards and a ridiculous 8 touchdowns.
Revis likes to jam receivers off the line, but as he said, he is the create a player on Madden. Megatron should be able to exact his revenge on Revis for their 2010 match-up.
Simms gushed about Stafford’s ability in his analysis of the Dallas game on Showtime’s Inside the NFL show.
Stafford was mic’d up for the game by NFL Films, and his emotions and actions were evident in the final 80-yard drive that ended with his leap for a touchdown from inside the one-yard line to give the Lions their one-point victory.
The leap from the one, when Stafford had everyone – teammates included – thinking he’d spike the ball impressed Simms.
"It tells me he is truly the man there," Simms said. "That he took it upon himself to read a situation and take advantage of it."
"They got a quarterback because they want to fire it down the field," Simms said. "They want him in the shotgun. So who better than Matthew Stafford in that situation?"
In the winning drive, Stafford had a 40-yard completion to Kris Durham down the left sideline that Simms said put Stafford in select company of quarterbacks who could make the throw. Actually, the ball travelled a little more than 51 yards in the air – on a tight spiral, just beyond a defender to where only Durham could get his hands on it.
"In my eyes, two quarterbacks in the NFL can make that throw," Simms said on Showtime. "One of them is Aaron Rodgers. The other is Matthew Stafford. That was a phenomenal throw.
Pyro's take: Stafford has been on fire as of late, either throwing for 3 or 4 touchdowns, or firing up a 400-yard passing game. He is a top 5 quarterback in just about every fantasy scoring matrix, and that is going to continue.
This week he faces the Bears, who held him to his worst fantasy output in week 4. The Bears defense has struggled against the run, and Reggie Bush had a field day in their last game. The Lions are trying to take a commanding lead in the division, so look for Stafford to be putting up a much better game against the Bears this week.
Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush sat out practice today with a right leg injury, but Bush said his absence was “precautionary” and he’ll be fine for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys (1 p.m., Fox).
He’s listed as probable on the Lions’ official injury report.
“Feel good,” Bush said. “Just taking a day off, getting ready for the game on Sunday.”
Bush did not appear on the Lions’ injury report the last two days, but he walked slowly through the back of the end zone at the start of practice today with a wrap on his right leg.
Pyro's take: The Lions are being precautionary with Bush, which is smart, as he could be in line for a nice game against Dallas. Bush has been running the ball a lot as of late, with 37 carries over the past 2 weeks. Expect him to get between 15-20 carries and 6-8 targets in the passing game this week. Bush is a must start in this match-up.
Signs continue to point toward Calvin Johnson being closer to full strength.
After being a limited participant in practice Wednesday, Johnson was back on the practice field Thursday and, significantly, he was running with first team offense during the early skeleton drills – something he wasn’t doing at all last week.
Pyro's take: Finally some good news on Megatron. Johnson has failed to live up to his first round ADP, but he can still go on a made run when healthy, which should be this week.
Last season, starting in week 8, Calvin reeled off 8 games with at least 118 yards receiving. Time for that to happen again this year, starting this week.
Calvin Johnson practiced again today, this time without the knee brace, which is a nice sign for someone dealing with swelling in the knee. Still there are more issues to deal with. According to the Detroit News, Johnson struggled when he had to "plant (his) right foot and cut left," but on any straight-ahead running he looked good.
Pyro's take: Basically he can run up field, but cant cut on routes or defenders, and that is not a good sign. Just like last week, Megatron is going to be a game time decision.
Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson was unable to get through pregame warm-ups Sunday, and is officially inactive for Week 5 against the Packers. Johnson was bothered by a knee injury throughout the week.
Pyro's take: This is bad news for Megatron owners and he needs to be pulled from your lineups. Ryan Broyles could be in for a lot of action today. Matthew Stafford takes a hit in his numbers because of this, and Reggie Bush will be the feature of the offense.
After missing Detroit's win over Washington in Week 3, look for Reggin Bush (knee) to return against the Bears. Bush is listed as probable.
Pyro's take: This is big news for Bush owners, as he should see a lot of action against the Bears. This news will also boost the value of Matthew Stafford, who know has a game breaker he can check down to. The return of Reggie comes just in time, as the Lions are dealing with losing Nate Burleson to some sloppy pizza and a median.
It’s time for Broyles to show why he was selected in the second-round of the NFL draft last year.
"I’m ready to go out there and just produce," Broyles said Tuesday. "Get my adrenaline going like last game and get my feet wet a little bit and I’m just looking forward to the opportunity."
Broyles said his performance in Washington helped him to clear any mental hurdles he might have had coming off the knee injury.
"Practice is one thing, but the game is totally different," he said. "Bullets are flying a little bit faster. It was good to go out there and get a feel for it."
Pyro's take: Broyles is getting ready to play his second game after returning from a torn ACL that ended his season last year. With the pizza man out for a long delivery, the 2nd year man from Oklahoma will get his chance to make an impact. Broyles lit up the Texans last season before his injuries to the tune of 6 catches for 126 yards, so he has the potential, especially in the Lions pass happy offense. If he is on waivers you should grab him.
The versatile Lions running back was back at practice Wednesday after missing Detroit's win over the Washington Redskins with the knee injury he suffered in Week 2, per the team's official website.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press wrote that Bush wore a sleeve on his left knee, but showed "no other signs of injury." It's a safe bet Bush will suit up against the Bears after pleading with coaches to let him play against the Redskins.
Pyro's take: The return of Bush has a major impact on the success of the Lions offense as well as a impact on Stafford and his fantasy production. Stafford needs to have Bush out there as an outlet for big screen and check down plays with his ability to break it for a big gain. The Lions have not had much success against the Bears losing 9 of their last 10 meetings, so you know they would love to have their free agent running back available to make an impact in this important early season division match-up.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson's season could be over after busting his arm in an early morning car accident caused by ... wait for it ... a late night pizza pickup.
Police say the Lions' star was driving on a highway outside Detroit around 2:25 AM when he swerved and wrecked the vehicle ... breaking his arm in two places.
The painful twist here, according to cops, is Burleson was simply reaching for a pizza that had fallen off the seat when he lost control of the SUV.
Pyro's take: This is not as bad as Jacoby Jones and Sweet Pea, but it appears Burleson was unable to avoid the Noid! Crashing from grabbing a pizza is like former Bear Bryan Robinson tripping over his dog and breaking both his wrists.
Needless to say Burleson and his season may be over, but this is great news for Ryan Broyles who will see an increased role. Burleson lost the end of his 2012 season with a broken leg, but it wasn't because he dropped his pizza.
Reggie Bush took a helmet to the knee in the second quarter against Arizona. The helmet shot forced Bush to miss most of the second half. However, the knee injury isn't a long-term injury, coach Jim Schwartz said on Monday.
"The tests today were encouraging," Schwartz said. "He's going to be sore but he doesn't have anything that is going to be long term."
However, Schwartz was quick to note that "encouraging" test results don't necessarily mean that Bush will play on Sunday at Washington.
"It's too hard to speculate on injuries," Schwartz said. "That's why I usually don't."
Pyro's take: Reggie has been beaten and battered over the first two weeks of the season...welcome to Detroit and get used to it. It seems that the old injury prone ways are coming back to Bush. Matthew Stafford needs him out there and is so much more effective when he is, but the whole thing will fall apart if Reggie continues being Reggie.
If you are an owner of Bush, insert joke here, then you have to be concerned. He has shown that he can be dynamic in this offense, but he suffered a dislocated thumb and groin strain in week 1 and now a knee issue in week 2. Hold your breath and hope that since he is in Detroit they might be able to turn him into RoboCop.
Reggie Bush had a dislocated thumb and groin injury Sunday
Bush hurt his groin in the first quarter, a short time after he dislocated his thumb while trying to catch a pass.
“It was facing the wrong direction,” Bush said, via Justin Rogers of MLive.com. ”Thankfully I was able to just tape it up and carry the ball in my right hand.”
Bush said he felt fine throughout the game, but imagined that would cease to be the case once the painkillers faded out. There’s no indication that either injury will cause him any problems preparing for Week Two, though, so the Cardinals will need to keep looking for a way to stop Bush that the Vikings could not find.
Pyro's take: Bush was able to finish the game with both the injuries, which is a good sign as we head into week 2. Bush should be able to go on Sunday, and that is good news for his owners as he showed off in his first game with Lions. Bush is going to be a huge part of the Lions offense and a major reason why Matthew Stafford is going to have success this season. If Bush's situation changes we will let you know.
Calvin Johnson showed he is ready for the season to start with 3 catches for 58 yards in limited action for the Lions in their first preseason game.
Pyro's take: Calvin Johnson is the best and was targeted early and often by Matthew Stafford in this one. Megatron is head and shoulders above all the other wide receivers and shows it every time he plays.
The Miami Dolphins didn't pass the ball to Reggie Bush nearly enough the past two seasons. He rushed for 2,072 yards during his time with the Fins (an average of 1,000 per) - but he only caught 43 passes in 2011 and 35 last year. Rich Gannon thinks using Bush in the passing attack can really help keep the defenses honest against the passing and help the running game as well:
“It may be a number of different things they do: running the football a little bit more, the increased use of the back with Reggie and the screen game,” Gannon said. “That’s an area I think they can be really, really good, because that’s one area I thought he was underutilized last year in Miami. … But all that can take some of the edge off the pass rush.” -Gannon
Pyro's take: I expect Reggie to do big things for the Lions and have his finest fantasy season in the Michigan city that just filed for chapter 11. If they throw him the ball as often as Brees did (he caught 88 passes his rookie season), and they continue to use him as a traditional RB like Miami seemed to... this guy will get a D-cup sized motorboat load of touches. For a player that will go in the 8-12 round area in 10 team league drafts, there is a lot of upside for Reggie - we know he has all the skills when healthy and the Lions are a team that is ready to win now and really need a guy like #21 to step in for the failed Jahvid Best experiment.
Bush embracing leadership role and already has Lions playbook down pat
Reggie Bush, who signed on to be the Detroit Lions starting running back this past offseason, has not only learned the Lions' entire playbook, but is already being looked to as a team leader despite being a new face in Detroit.
Pyro's take: According to veteran wide receiver, Nate Burleson, Bush has "still got the wiggle" and that "he's over-exceeded what I expected." Though Reggie has always been one of the NFL's most talented athletes and should be able to excel in the Lions passing game, his fantasy value may be slightly capped due to the goal-line presence of Mikel Leshoure and the Lions having one of the toughest schedules against the run this season.
Ryan Broyles (ACL surgery) was reportedly going all out in the Lions three-day minicamp this past week.
Pyro's take: Considering the young WR is just six months removed from his surgery, this is HUGE news for Broyles' fantasy sleeper-status. If he can avoid any setbacks over the summer, he should be able to beat out Nate Burleson for a starting job and immediately become a consideration for the WR3 position on fantasy teams this year.