Coach: Matt Patricia
OC: Darrell Bevell
QB: Matthew Stafford, Tom Savage, David Fales
RBs: Kerryon Johnson, CJ Anderson, Zach Zenner, Mark Thompson, Ty Johnson
FB – Nick Bawden
WRs: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, Brandon Powell, Tommylee Lewis, Jermaine Kearse, Travis Fulgham, Andy Jones, Chris Lacy, Deontez Alexander, Jordan Smallwood, Jonathan Duhart, Tom Kennedy
TEs: TJ Hockenson, Jesse James, Isaac Nauta, Logan Thomas, Jerome Cunningham
2019 Draft (offense only):
Round 1, Pick 8 – TE – TJ Hockenson – Iowa
Round 6, Pick 184 – WR – Travis Fulgham – Old Dominion
Round 6, Pick 186 – RB – Ty Johnson – Maryland
Round 7, Pick 224 – TE – Isaac Nauta – Georgia
2019 Undrafted Free Agents (fantasy offense only):
WR – Jonathan Duhart – Old Dominion
WR – Tom Kennedy – Farmingdale
Key Offseason Additions (fantasy offense):
RB – CJ Anderson
WR – Danny Amendola
WR – Jermaine Kearse
TE – Jesse James
Training Camp Preview: Rookies 7/18, Veterans 7/24
Matt Patricia enters his second year as head coach and has a new offensive coordinator this year, Darrell Bevell, previously with Seattle. Detroit ranked 24th in total offensive last year, 20th in passing and 23rd in rushing. They were 25th in scoring with just 20.3 points per game, finishing with a 6-10 record. With Bevell in town, we should expect the Lions to focus more on the running game this year.
Matthew Stafford played through a broken back last year, finishing as QB20. It was his worst statistical season of his career in terms of fantasy points per game. He threw for 3,777 yards, 21 TDs and 11 INTs. We should expect a bounce back season this year, but nothing too crazy. He can have QB2 value in 2QB leagues and will probably have some streamable weeks for redraft. He’s not someone we should be targeting in redraft leagues. The team signed Danny Amendola this off-season to form a trio with Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones. They also drafted stud tight end TJ Hockenson with their first round pick. Stafford should be able to top 4,000 passing yards and be somewhere in the mid-twenties for touchdowns. Behind him, Tom Savage will be the primary backup with David Fales the number three.
Because of new OC Darrell Bevell, we should be excited about the running game potential in Detroit. Kerryon Johnson is the headliner here. He flashed as a rookie, but ended up on injury reserve with a knee injury mid-season. He was dynamic as a runner and pass-catcher. He was averaging 14.1 PPR points per game, which would have been good for a high RB2 finish. His ADP is around RB19 and is going in the third round of drafts. He’s been a favorite target of mine in the middle of the third, but definitely behind players like Devonta Freeman and Aaron Jones. The Lions brought in CJ Anderson to be the primary backup. If Johnson misses anytime, we’ll likely be projecting CJA as a low end RB1, high RB2. The real questions lie behind these top two. Theo Riddick is reportedly on the roster bubble. If he is let go, Johnson’s PPR floor will be fantastic. They have Zach Zenner to compete with CJ Anderson as the big back. Mark Thompson will compete with 6th round draft pick Ty Johnson for the final roster spot.
Kenny Golladay enjoyed a breakout second year, finishing as the WR21 in PPR. Unfortunately, his average ADP is around WR17 and I’m afraid he’s being drafted at his ceiling. The return of Marvin Jones will limit his upside, along with the change in offensive philosophy. Golladay could return value if he sees an increase in touchdowns, which is entirely possible. Marvin Jones is being drafted around the WR36 range and presents a better value at ADP. He’s a solid best ball pick in the 7th/8th round. Danny Amendola will try his best to fill the Golden Tate role. I’m not too excited for Amendola but he could deliver double digit PPR floor numbers to start the year. Injury concern has always been the question with him. After the top three, we’ll see free agent Jermaine Kearse, Brandon Powell, Tommylee Lewis and 6th round draft pick Travis Fulgham jostle for the remaining roster spots. Long-shots to make the team include; Andy Jones, Chris Lacy, Deontez Alexander, Jordan Smallwood, Jonathan Duhart and Tom Kennedy.
TJ Hockenson was selected 8th overall this year and will be the primary receiving threat at tight end. He’s also a fantastic blocker and should not leave the field very often. Stafford had some success with Brandon Pettigrew earlier in his career, so I’m open to Hockenson having some redraft value for us this year. He should be the main red-zone weapon and can help fill some of the void left by Golden Tate. The team signed Jesse James to be the backup. They also drafted another tight end in the seventh round, Isaac Nauta out of Georgia. He’ll compete with Logan Thomas and Jerome Cunningham for the third spot.
2017-2018 Stats Below: