2018 Fantasy Football - Detroit Lions - Team Moves





By Chet Gresham - @ChetGresham
Follow @walterfootball for updates.

Each offseason brings change to NFL rosters, and those changes often have fantasy implications. Below, I lay out the changes at the skill positions and how those moves impact the fantasy status of the new roster.


2017
    QB: Matthew Stafford, Jake Rudock
    RB: Theo Riddick, Ameer Abdullah
    WR: Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Kenny Golladay, T.J. Jones
    TE: Eric Ebron, Darren Fells


2018
    QB: Matthew Stafford, Jake Rudock
    RB: Kerryon Johnson, LeGarrette Blount, Theo Riddick, Ameer Abdullah
    WR: Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Kenny Golladay
    TE: Luke Willson, Levine Toilolo




Pre-Draft Offseason:

The biggest move for the offense is the acquisition of LeGarrette Blount. Detroit cannot seem to find a running back who can do much between the tackles, but with Blount, they should have that. He hasn't seen big workloads, so his age isn't overly concerning for this coming season. He averaged 4.4 yards per carry last year and always seems to put together good seasons, with his best coming with the Patriots two years ago when he rushed for 18 touchdowns. Blount doesn't have that upside in Detroit, but the organization hasn't had a productive early-down back of late and Blount will be the only back on the team who gets that work. Theo Riddick will be the third-down/receiving back, and Ameer Abdullah will have to pick up whatever crumbs are leftover. Blount isn't going to catch any passes, so make sure you get a big discount in PPR leagues, but he should get plenty of work and have decent upside as the lead back.

Detroit let Eric Ebron walk, which is a downgrade at the position now that they've replaced him with Luke Willson. But Ebron also never lived up to his potential. Wilson should be a decent TE2, but that's not saying much for his value. Golden Tate and Marvin Jones will remain the top targets and strong fantasy plays, although Kenny Golladay seems on the verge of a breakout. As the No. 3 receiver, Golladay will have trouble getting the targets he needs to put up strong numbers each week, but he will get more opportunities this season and he's good enough to make some hay of those targets.

Matthew Stafford seems to have settled down under the tutelage of Jim Bob Cooter and will have fantasy value, especially if the Lions can't turn their defense around so he won't have to work so hard to come from behind or hold off opponents.



Post-Draft Update

The Lions did well in upgrading their offensive line with their first pick and then paired that upgrade with running back Kerryon Johnson, who is an upgrade to the run game. Johnson's presence is a kick in the crotch for those with LeGarrette Blount on their dynasty team - raises hand -, but Johnson is better and should win the job. His upside will likely be somewhat lower because of Blount and Theo Riddick, and possibly Ameer Abdullah, but the job is Johnson's to take and how well he does will dictate how many snaps the other backs get. Riddick will, of course, remain a PPR threat even if Johnson gets third-down work, although we can't say the same for Abdullah and Blount.

The Lions didn't have many picks after trading down for Johnson and didn't take another skill position player, but they did grab another offensive lineman and seem destined to run the ball better than they have in a long while.



2018 Fantasy Outlook:

Stud: None

Solid: Golden Tate, Matthew Stafford, Kerryon Johnson

Sleeper: Kenny Golladay



For more recommendations, check out WalterFootball.com's Fantasy Football Rankings.




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