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Key Fantasy Matchups for Sunday’s Lions-Vikings Matchup


Lions quarterback vs. Vikings SS Darren Sharper

Sharper has intercepted 11 passes against the Lions and returned two of them for touchdowns. Quarterback Jon Kitna (back) has thrown three picks to Sharper. From Scott Mitchell to Charlie Batch to Joey Harrington to Kitna to J.T. O’Sullivan, Lions quarterbacks have struggled against Sharper. No matter who plays quarterback for the Lions, he must keep on eye on No. 42. Kitna isn’t certain to play this week, which would leave the duties to either Dan Orlovsky (knee, ankle), who has very limited experience, or Drew Stanton, who has none.

Lions WR Calvin Johnson vs. Vikings CB Cedric Griffin

Opposing quarterbacks have made Griffin a frequent target this season in part because they want to stay away from veteran left corner Antoine Winfield. Griffin has given up plenty of short-to-medium range passes – something that is not a sin in Minnesota’s defensive scheme. The Lions are likely to test Griffin by going to Johnson, the Lions’ leading receiver with 19 catches for 292 yards and two touchdowns. It would not be surprising to see the Lions’ quarterback take a few long shots against Griffin as well.

Lions OT Jeff Backus vs. Vikings DE Jared Allen

Allen led the NFL with 15.5 sacks last season and has two this year. All the Lions’ quarterbacks are coming off injuries. If Backus can’t contain Allen, it could lead to a fate even worse than sacks. If Orlovsky plays, he would be an inviting target for Allen. He is the least mobile of the Lions’ quarterbacks.

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson vs. Lions run defense

The Lions held the Chicago Bears to 2.9 yards per carry Sunday. It allowed Chicago quarterback Kyle Orton to have a career day in the meantime, though. Peterson was held to 1.5 yards per carry Monday night at the New Orleans Saints. He ripped through the Lions last year at the Metrodome, though, with 15 carries for 116 yards and two touchdowns. He hasn’t rushed for 100 yards in the past three games. Detroit middle linebacker Paris Lenon is second on the Lions with 35 tackles. He will need help from nose tackle Chuck Darby and defensive tackle Cory Redding.

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