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Here's Why Nate Burleson is a Great Flex Play on Turkey Day

It pains me to write this: Detroit Lions receiver Nate Burleson is a good flex play receiver who will post his third straight double-digit fantasy week today against the visiting Green Bay Packers.

I’ve wanted to believe for the last few years that Burleson could be at least a consistent flex play for your fantasy rosters and it has just never materialized. Well, the combination of the defense he is playing this week, along with his own defense not having stopped either the Bears or Panthers in the last two weeks, has me thinking it could be a trifecta for Burleson in Week 12.

Burleson has put together back-to-back double-digit fantasy weeks for just the second time this season, and should make it three weeks in a row after today’s game against a Packers defense that allows the second-most fantasy points to receivers, including 10.8 points per game to opposing team’s No. 2 receivers in Athlon’s half-PPR format. Burleson scored 10.5 and 12.8 points in the first two weeks of the season, didn’t see another double-digit day until 11.4 points in Week 6 and enters today’s game coming off of 11.3- and 15.8-point games. He has 15 catches for 146 yards the last two games on 16 targets.

Burleson, Detroit’s No. 2 behind mega stud Calvin Johnson, is benefiting from Johnson’s play, rookie Titus Young’s play and if Kevin Smith can keep up just half of his 140-yard rushing, 61-yard receiving performance from a week ago, that’s another player the Packer D has to keep an eye on.

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The Lions, ranked third in the league in scoring (30.1 PPG) and eighth in the league in passing (272.4 YPG), attempt the second-most passes per game (40.1) in the NFL, while Green Bay sees the fifth-most pass attempts per game (39.1) against them as most teams are trying to play catch up. Those teams are also completing 59.6-percent of their passes against the Packers, which ranks Green Bay 15th.

Burleson could actually be just at the beginning of becoming a decent flex play to close out the 2011 fantasy season. After Green Bay, the Lions see three bottom-half defenses against fantasy receivers — Saints (12th), Vikings (5th) and Raiders (16th).

By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter