Don't look now but in a season devoid of consistent QB play, Orlovsky has emerged as a viable backup option. He's topped 220 yards in each of his past two games and thrown TDs in each of his past three. The Bears will pressure him relentlessly but having Calvin Johnson gives him a major weapon at his disposal. It's best not to expect greatness from him this week but if you need someone serviceable he should get you by.
Although Rudi Johnson remains the "starter," Smith has gotten more touches the past two games and clearly is the more effective RB. He's averaging 4.8 YPC and has topped 60 total yards in each of his last three games. He's best used as a RB3 in PPR leagues so if you need him in that role he's worth a look since he'll be active in the passing game.
At some point you'd think the Lions would wise up and put Johnson on the bench where he belongs. But they keep trotting him out as the starter and putting their suspect offense in a bind in the process. He's rushed for a combined 67 yards in his last three games and will go nowhere against a strong Chicago run defense. Keep him benched.
While everything falls apart around him, Johnson keeps making big plays. He's caught five touchdown passes through seven games and is a Must Start in all leagues every week. The Bears give 243.1 yards a game through the air so Johnson is a good bet to score and have another productive game.
After being shut out in Week 7, McDonald led the Lions with five receptions last week. The fact neither he nor Mike Furrey has established any consistency as the No. 2 WR since Roy Williams' departure makes both of them very shaky fantasy plays. It's possible one or both could do well this week but just when you think it might be McDonald, it could be Furrey. Or vice-versa. Remember that as you're staring at McDonald's name on your league's Waiver Wire this week.
Furrey failed to catch a pass last week as McDonald took over as the top complement opposite Calvin Johnson. McDonald is the official "starter," but Furrey will play a lot in three-WR sets. The Lions will have to throw a lot this week but trying to guess whether Furrey or McDonald will step up should prevent you from starting either one this week.
The venerable Hanson hasn't missed a FG in nine tries so far this season. The Bears will give up yardage through the air so Hanson has a good chance to deliver six or more points this week. He's not a bad reach in larger leagues this week.
There are two things I keep expecting will come to an end – Lindsay Lohan's career and Kyle Orton's run as a big-time fantasy QB. Orton's a better lock to keep it going right now given his strong play. He's topped 265 yards in four of his last five games and faces a Detroit pass defense that gives up 258.7 yards a game. This one will be all Chicago so start Orton with confidence.
Forte's yardage production has slumped in recent weeks as he's been held under 80 yards rushing in each of his past four games. But he continues to score with regularity as he's had a TD in four of his last five games. The Lions held him to 36 yards rushing in the first meeting but he scored twice. He'll find the end zone again this week, making him a solid RB2.
Jones hasn't done much this season but if the game gets out of hand, he could get plenty of Garbage Time action against his former team. If you're in a very large league and need to reach for a flex play, he could get you 35+ yards this week.
With Brandon Lloyd still iffy with a knee injury, Davis' run as a viable WR3 in PPR leagues looks like it will continue. He's caught 13 passes and a touchdown in his last three games and has a great chance to do well against this weak defense. If you're looking for some WR help in larger PPR leagues he's worth grabbing this week if Lloyd can't go.
Hester was on a nice run prior to the bye, having scored in two of his last three games. He's growing more and more confident as a wide receiver and the Bears are utilizing him more in the passing game. The Lions give up big plays through the air with alarming frequency, making Hester an excellent sleeper pick at WR this week.
Clark is getting just enough action to annoy Olsen owners but not enough to make him a consistent fantasy starter. The Bears will deliver plenty of offensive production in all phases of the game this week so Clark has a chance to catch 2-3 passes for respectable yardage.
Gould is having another strong season. He's made 13 of 15 FGs and with the Bears' offense playing at a high level his fantasy stock has risen considerably. There will be no shortage of points for Chicago this week, so Gould is looking great.