FBG says: Bad matchup. Detroit's 2019 campaign has been filled with injuries across the board, and in a lost season, one of the few bright spots was the emergence of Bo Scarbrough as a potential option to spell Kerryon Johnson in the backfield in years to come. Unfortunately, Scarbrough went down with an injury last week, and his status ahead of this weekend's game against Tampa Bay is in doubt. Scarbrough was only playing about 50-percent of the team's offensive snaps, but he absorbed a significant majority of the team's carries. In his absence, Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic are poised to step up and split action for the Lions at running back. Running behind a mediocre offensive line that ranks 19th in the NFL, according to Matt Bitonti, and in a low-volume rushing attack, the spot atop Detroit's depth chart at running back is not a particularly enviable role. If Scarbrough misses out on this weekend's game, neither Ty Johnson nor J.D. McKissic can be relied upon to shoulder a significant enough workload on the ground to warrant serious fantasy consideration.
Tampa Bay's defense is predicated around shutting down opposing rushing attacks. While they grade as one of the NFL's weakest pass-defending units, they grade as one of the league's best run-defending units. This defensive profile leads to very little rushing volume on a weekly basis, as they have faced the third-fewest rushing attempts of any team in the NFL this season, and their defensive personnel aligns perfectly with that of a top-end run defense. In the trenches, Vita Vea, Carl Nassib, and Shaquil Barrett headline one of the best run-stopping defensive lines. Then, at linebacker, Lavonte David has emerged as one of the best all-around linebackers in football this season. David's 62 total tackles on the season are good for 22nd in the NFL, and his football IQ and tackling ability make him one of the premier run-stoppers at the linebacker position. On the season, the Buccaneers have only allowed 1 100-yard rusher, which came in a 74-point shootout when Chris Carson totaled over 50-percent of his rushing production on a single 59-yard rush. Overall, this is one of the best run defenses in the league, and Detroit's patchwork backfield projects to be entirely overmatched on the ground this weekend.