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Lions: Matthew Stafford is Handed Starting Job | Football Rankings

Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions

Today the Lions have made their decision on who will start at quarterback, and it will be the rookie Matthew Stafford.

While I do believe this move is a bit early, it was bound to happen at some point in the first eight weeks of the season. The only way that Stafford would not have played this year is if Daunte Culpepper had won the job and the Lions were in a fight for the playoffs.

Obviously, that was not going to happen as this team didn’t even win a game last season and may only win three or four this season.

Bumpy Ride to Start

My biggest problem with having Stafford starting to begin the year is that the Lions have a hard schedule early on. I have listed below the teams that Stafford will have to face to start the year.

* WK 1- @ Saints
* WK2- Vikings
* WK3- Redskins
* WK4- @ Bears
* WK5- Steelers
* WK6- @ Packers

As you can see this schedule is not going to be easy for the youngster to have success. Maybe he can have a decent showing against the Saints, but it’s not going to be easy to handle that loud New Orleans crowd.

After those games, the Lions’ schedule becomes much easier to handle as I have listed their schedule after Week Seven- the Lions’ bye week– below .

* WK 8- Rams
* WK9- @ Seahawks
* WK10-@ Vikings
* WK11- Browns
* WK12- Packers
* WK13-@ Bengals
* WK14-@ Ravens
* WK15- Cardinals
* WK16-@ 49ers
* WK17- Bears

As you can see there are more games in this section of the Lions’ schedule to take advantage of. Sure he would still play some top ten defenses, but at least they are spread out over this part of the schedule.

For my money, I would have let the kid sit behind Culpepper until the week seven bye, and then he would have two weeks to get ready for the Rams. Not only that but he would have the first six weeks of the year to learn from game film and Culpepper.

Fantasy Player Rankings

Stud wide receiver Calvin Johnson should still have a fine season as he proved last year that he can overcome quarterback issues and performed weekly.

Running back Kevin Smith is still a valuable player, but he may suffer from inconsistent drives and the team falling behind early to their opponents. If Stafford continues to throw interceptions (threw an interception in every preseason game) then Smith will have to continue his pass catching work to have weekly success.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions

Smith does have good hands and if the Lions are smart they should give him the ball in the passing game early and often as he could really help Stafford.

As far as Culpepper is concerned, he will be the teams back up for the entire season if Stafford does not go down with an injury. Now that this decision is made the team will now keep Stafford in from this day forward.

For better or worse.

Fantasy Football Information writer Sean E. Douglas:

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