Wednesday, August 8, 2018

2018 Fantasy Football Projections: Detroit Lions

In addition to viewing our 2018 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2018 fantasy football projections for the Detroit Lions.



Matthew Stafford551.2363.841062710.529121.80.72.4262.82
Interestingly enough, Stafford's lone Pro Bowl season (2014) was the last time that he finished outside the top-10 fantasy quarterbacks. Not counting that QB15 finish in 2014, Stafford has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in the other six of the past seven seasons. Part of that consistent production is aided by his durability (no missed games over past seven seasons) and the team's reliance on the passing game, but he actually set a seven-year low in pass attempts (565) in 2017. Even so, Stafford threw for 4,446 yards, a four-year high, and 29 touchdowns, tied for the third-most in his career.
Jake Rudock2.81.7170.10.200000.68

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Running Backs


Kerryon Johnson180.7795.14.929.5206.51.81.5137.36
Without a 100-yard rusher since Reggie Bush (2013, three times) and ranking last in rushing offense last year, the Lions traded up in the second round for Johnson. The SEC Offensive Player of the Year and conference rushing champion, Johnson rushed for 1,391 yards and scored 20 total touchdowns for Auburn last season. Projected for the most touches, yards and fantasy points among Detroit's backfield, Johnson will lose plenty of goal-line and passing-down opportunties to LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick, respectively.
LeGarrette Blount117.6493.964.326.20.30.489.01
Set to play for his third team in as many seasons, Blount is two years removed from leading the NFL in rushing touchdowns (18). Even though the Eagles ranked third in scoring offense last year, Blount had just two rushing touchdowns last season. That said, Blount's 18 touchdowns in 2016 occurred with the Patriots, where new Lions head coach Matt Patricia was defensive coordinator.
Theo Riddick19.473.70.449.3409.23.20.668.69
With 50-plus catches in each of the past three seasons, Riddick has a total of 186 receptions during that span. Obviously, he has much more value in PPR formats, but he should be left on the waiver wire outside of deep non-PPR leagues.
Ameer Abdullah31.3128.30.87.855.40.40.724.17
Abdullah led Detroit's backfield last season with 190 touches (165 carries and 25 receptions), but there's no guarantee that he's even on the final 53-man roster given the additions of Kerryon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount.
Zach Zenner5150.100002.1

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Wide Receivers


Marvin Jones59.710035.70000134.5
Posting an NFL-high 18.0 Y/R in 2017, Jones had 61 receptions for a career-high 1,101 yards and nine touchdowns, one shy of his career best, despite a slow start (8/130/2 in first four games). Jones finished as fantasy's WR5 (WR11 in PPR) and he was WR4 (WR7 in PPR) from Week 5 on.
Golden Tate87.39695.23.919.500.8128.45
The eight-year veteran has spent half of his career in Detroit and he has 90-plus catches in each of those four seasons. In addition, he has 1,000-plus yards in three of four including back-to-back seasons. His lack of touchdown production -- 19 over four years in Detroit -- is a drawback, but he's a consistent receiver that gets a boost in PPR formats.
Kenny Golladay48.1786.45.50000.1111.44
Golladay's best games were his first (4/69/2) and his last (2/80/1). Missing five games, the rookie totalled only 22/328/0 in his nine games from Weeks 2 to 16. A true breakout may not occur in 2018, but Tate said the following of the second-year receiver: "… I'm telling you, this guy can be dominant. He's a WR1 kind of guy."
T.J. Jones20.7287.710001.232.37
Bradley Marquez3.124.80.20000.23.28

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Tight Ends


Luke Willson25.3247.920000.136.59
Michael Roberts18.6195.31.50000.128.33
Levine Toilolo5.549.50.60000.28.15

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