Detroit Lions Fantasy Preview

2018 Projections

Note: all points are calculated with PPR scoring
Team Reception Breakdown

Matthew Stafford: 275.4 total, 17.2 ppg (365/550 passing, 4400 yards, 27 TD, 10 INT; 114 yards rushing, 1 TD, 3 fumbles lost)
The only noteworthy change that would have any impact on Stafford’s clockwork back-end QB1 campaigns is Detroit’s investment in the running game. However, Stafford’s bottom line should remain relatively unchanged regardless of the running game’s success. If the running game does well, Stafford’s efficiency will improve as his volume decreases since defenses can no longer just camp against the pass. If the running game doesn’t do well, we have about 5 years of data to show what Stafford will do.

Theo Riddick: 150.6 total, 9.4 ppg (75 carries, 248 yards, 1 TD, 0 fumbles lost; 55 Rec, 468 yards, 3 TD)
Kerryon Johnson: 87.9 total, 5.5 ppg (125 carries, 538 yards, 3 TD, 1 fumble lost; 10 Rec, 81 yards, 0 TD)
LeGarrette Blount: 76.9 total, 4.8 ppg (100 carries, 410 yards, 5 TD, 1 fumble lost; 5 Rec, 29 yards, 0 TD)
Ameer Abdullah: 47.2 total, 3.0 ppg (50 carries, 240 yards, 1 TD, 0 fumbles lost; 10 Rec, 72 yards, 0 TD)
I realize Detroit has been building toward this for a while, but this backfield is starting to look suspiciously like the typical Belichick backfield in New England; each guy has their role, which limits the fantasy upside to all of them. Johnson projects as the between-the-20s guy, Blount as the short yardage back, Riddick as the scatback, and Abdullah as the jack-of-all-trades. I won’t blame you for drafting Johnson based on potential, but Riddick should be the only back worth drafting, and even then only in PPR.

Golden Tate: 218.8 total, 13.7 ppg (90 Rec, 1008 yards, 5 TD, 1 fumble lost)
Marvin Jones: 199.8 total, 12.5 ppg (55 Rec, 968 yards, 8 TD, 0 fumbles lost)
Kenny Golladay: 172.5 total, 10.8 ppg (50 Rec, 865 yards, 6 TD, 0 fumbles lost)
Not much to report here. Tate’s role is safe, so he should keep chugging along pretty much where he’s been the past couple years. If Golladay stays healthy this year he may cut into Jones’s production a little, but he’s more likely to just take up what T.J. Jones had last year. At worst Golladay and Marvin Jones will trade boom-or-bust weeks. I don’t think any one of these guys ends the season as a WR1, but they all should be solid contributors.

Luke Willson: 112.5 total, 7.0 ppg (45 Rec, 495 yards, 3 TD, 1 fumble lost)
Willson replaces Eric Ebron at tight end, but this shouldn’t make much of a fantasy impact. Willson is an adequate receiving tight end and it’s not like Ebron was exactly lighting it up. He should be available if you have a bye week or bad matchup, but I wouldn’t draft him as you starter.

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