Detroit Lions Team Outlook
(Editor’s note: This is the free preview of the Detroit Lions team outlook. If you already are a premium subscriber to FullTime Fantasy, click here for our premium expanded Detroit Lions Team Outlook. The expanded team outlook also includes sections covering the coaching staff, offensive line, schedule, free agency, 2019 draft picks, defense & more.)
Lions Offense Outlook
Detroit ran the ball only 42.1 percent of the time while continuing to attempt above the league average in passes. Game score and more growth in defense should lead to more runs. The Lions do have some receiving talent to help the overall scoring ability.
Over his last eight seasons has with the Lions, Stafford hasn’t missed a game with a 63-65 record. Matthew has 218 TDs and 108 Ints over his previous 128 games. His completion rate (66.1) moved into an elite area over the last four seasons, but his passing yards (3,777) slipped to an eight-year low. Stafford passed for 4,000 yards in each of his previous seven seasons.
His passing attempts (555) were league average while being well below his last seven years (625 per season). Last year Matthew threw for over 300 yards in three games, and he had only one game with three TDs. In 2019, Detroit added an upside pass-catching TE while owning two viable options in the passing game at WR. I expect a rebound to 4,200+ passing yards with a push toward 28+ TDs. Stafford should be drafted as backend QB2 in the Fantasy market with matchup value.
Other Options: Tom Savage, David Fales
Learn more about the Fantasy Football World Championships! $150K to first place! Compete against the best ranked players in the world!
Johnson flashed in Week 2 (76 combined yards with five catches) and Week 3 (110 combined yards with two catches) leading to him taking over the lead RB role for Detroit in Week 5. Over a six-game strength midseason, Kerryon gained 585 combined yards with three TDs and 21 catches) while averaging 16.8 touches per game. He gained an impressive 5.4 yards per rush with six runs over 20 yards. He appeared to be on a path to be an impact back, but his season ended after Week 1 due to a left knee injury.
Overall, Johnson played better than I expected. In 2018, the Lions’ RBs gained 2,323 combined yards with 12 TDs and 112 catches on 491 touches. Kerryon should average over 18 touches per game pointing to 1,200 yards with double-digit TDs and 40+ catches. Player of interest with a chance to finish as backend RB1.
After a career year in 2017 (1,231 combined yards with four TDs and 28 catches), Anderson struggles to see the field behind the hot running Christian McCaffrey. After his release from the Panthers, C.J. turned into Todd Gurley over three games for the Rams (162 combined yards with one TD and one catch, 154 combined yards with one TD and three catches, and 123 rushing yards and two TDs) while averaging over 23 touches per game. His success gives him high insurance value in 2019 while expect to see more touches per week. Possible 125+ touches for 650+ yards and minimal upside in TDs or catches without an injury to another running back on the Lions’ roster.
Other Options: Zach Zenner, Mark Thompson, Ty Johnson
When the 2018 season was over, Golladay exceeded expectation when considering Fantasy owners drafted him as a WR4 in PPR leagues. Over 15 games and 13 starts, he caught 70 passes for 1,063 yards and five TDs on 119 targets to rank 20th in WR scoring. His opportunity was helped by a midseason trade of Golden Tate. Kenny played well over the first five games (7/114, 6/89/1, 6/53/1, 4/74, and 4/98/1) before a minor slump (2/37, 1/12, and 3/46).
Over his last seven starts, Golladay delivered success in four contests (6/78/1, 8/113/1, 5/90, and 7/146) while receiving double-digit targets in four games on the year. His yards per catch (15.2) give him explosiveness while also understanding his value in TDs should push to a much higher level in 2019. Kenny missed Week 17 with a chest issue. Detroit expects him to be ready for training camp with his eyes on more follow through in 2019.
Golladay should see a bump in targets by a minimum of 20 percent pushing his bar this year to 85+ catches for 1,250+ yards and a shot at double-digit TDs. An excellent WR2 option who will be drafted late in the third round in many formats.
The Lions almost used Jones as their third receiving option at WR over the first six games, which led to short catches in all weeks (4/54, 4/54/1, 4/69/1, 1/81/1, and 3/29). He still found the endzone in three games. Marvin exploded in Week 8 (7/117/2), but his season ended after Week 10 due to right knee injury that was described as a bone bruise. His path over nine-game would have led to about 62 catches for 903 yards and nine TDs, which was below his success for Detroit in 2017 (61/1101/9).
Marvin has never had over 110 targets in a season, which limits him to a WR3 Fantasy option for me. The Lions will throw enough passes to make him relevant in 2019, but I would expect more steady outings than impact games. Possible 70+ catches for 1,000+ yards and five to seven TDs.
Other Options: Tommylee Lewis, Andy Jones, Brandon Powell, Travis Fulgham, Chris Lacy
Hockenson will try to follow the footsteps of George Kittle who turned his minimal stats (42/604/10) over his junior and senior seasons at Iowa to produce an exciting start to his NFL career. T.J. flashed more upside in his freshman (24/320/3) and sophomore (49/760/6) seasons at the same school. He’ll bring speed (4.7 40 yards dash at the NFL combine) to the TE position.
Hockenson needs to get stronger to help become a better all-around blocker. His route running grades well, which will allow him a winning able window over the short areas of the field plus have the wheels to test a defense deep. T.J. looks explosive if given space with the ball in the open field plus his hands will be assets. At the very least, a two-down pass catcher early in his career with more playing time available if he can handle his responsibilities run blocking.
Last year the Lions’ TEs caught 42 passes for 458 yards and four TDs on 60 targets. This was well below the TE opportunity in 2017 (75/803/7). Matthew Stafford will throw to the ball to the TE if he has talent at the position. Hockenson should finish his rookie season as a top 12 TE with a floor of 60 catches for 700+ yards and 5+ TDs.
Other Options: Jesse James, Logan Thomas, Isaac Nauta, Jerome Cunningham
There’s one thing a Fantasy owner should know about Prater; he’s one of the best legs from long range. Over the last four seasons, he made 22 of his 29 kicks from 50 yards or longer with elite success in Detroit (25-for-34) and 46-for-61 in his career (75.4 percent). Matt made 83.8 percent of his field goals in his career with improved success in five of the last six seasons (96.2, 91.7, 86.1, 85.7, and 87.5). 2016 was his best opportunity in both attempts (36) and made FGs (31) with strength in 2017 (30-for-35) and 2018 (28-for-32). Prater is 137-for-143 in extra points over the last four years. Top 12 kicker with more upside if Detroit improves as expected offensively.
To read the EXPANDED DETROIT LIONS TEAM OUTLOOK, you’ll need a premium subscription. There’s way more info about the team’s draft, free agency, defense, schedule and profiles for every single relevant player on the team. Plus you unlock access to all of FullTime Fantasy’s season-long content. Join us now!