FBG says: Neutral matchup. Impressive rookie Kerryon Johnson remains out, which leaves this Lions backfield in a confusing committee. Theo Riddick leads the way in snaps in Johnson's absence, but is primarily a receiver, leaving the ground work to LeGarrette Blount and Zach Zenner. Blount's best days are long behind him, and he typically plods to mediocre numbers for his volume (just 2.9 yards per carry). The Lions got far more productivity out of Zenner last week, as he racked up 54 yards and 1 touchdown over 12 carries in the second half of Week 14. He took over for Blount as the dominant runner with the score at 10-3, after Blount had managed just 33 yards on his 12 attempts. There's a good chance the Lions turn more to Zenner going forward - he's younger and far more dynamic than the 32-year-old Blount. Even so, he'd be a tough buy against the Bills' imposing front. The Lions' devastated offense will struggle to support Zenner as a fantasy option in games they don't control, and they can't play the Cardinals every week
The Buffalo run defense has taken a noticeable step forward over the course of the year, but remains an inconsistent group. They've shut down a handful of opposing run games, but been worked over by several others, and it's hard to project this matchup from week to week. The Bills have done a fine job of corralling runners like Jordan Howard and Elijah McGuire, but struggle with talented backs capable of producing in space. Leonard Fournette posted 5.3 yards per carry and scored twice against them just 3 weeks ago, after all. The front line remains generally stout, with 35-year-old tackle Kyle Williams spearheading a sometimes-dominant group that can control the line of scrimmage. The Bills' real issue has been inconsistency behind them, and that won't improve with top linebacker Matt Milano on injured reserve. Milano's development as a playmaker has been crucial for a unit that's fairly weak and thin. Rookie Tremaine Edmunds continues to struggle with poor run discipline and missed tackles, and without Milano, it's fair to expect more wide lanes and open grass on the second level. Another big concern has been preventing touchdowns, as opposing backs keep finding the end zone with regularity (14 through 14 weeks, eight-most in football). The Bills are decent in short yardage, but allow plenty of open space, and quick runners take advantage by turning short runs into breakaways.