The dog days of summer are here, which means it’s time to start thinking about your Fantasy Football draft. Let’s take a look at which Lions you should be considering.
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are no brainers. Stafford should be the fourth quarterback taken, behind Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady. Look to take him late in the second round or somewhere in third round. He’ll get yah 4,000 yards, 36 touchdowns with 16 interceptions. Calvin Johnson is the best wide receiver in the league. If you are in a PPR league, feel free to take him in the first round. I’m projecting 1,500 yard, 95 catches, and 13 touchdowns.
Moving on to the rest of the receiving corps. I think Titus Young is going to be a stud this year. Take him in the middle of your draft, and bank on 77 catches, 1,200 yards and 9 touchdowns. Then hope he doesn’t do anything stupid to get himself suspended.
If you’re not in a deep league or a keeper league, I wouldn’t draft Nate Burleson or Ryan Broyles. Once his ACL is healthy, Broyles will start to steal reps from Burleson and will eventually take over the slot. Definitely keep an eye on both however, either one could be a key pick up off the waiver wire.
The running back situation is a mess. Rumor has it, Jim Schwartz wants to operate a rotating backfield with Jahvid Best, Kevin Smith, and Mikey Leshoure (that’s what I’m calling him). To be honest with you, I wouldn’t draft any of these dudes.
If Jahvid Best is healthy he could be a top 5 running back in PPR leagues. But he still hasn’t been cleared to practice because of his concussion history. There is just way too much risk involved in drafting him, unless we get more information before the start of the season.
Mikey Leshoure’s health is a big question mark as well. He is recovering from a blown out achilles and now has a sore hammy. His touches will be limited to start the season for sure, but he does have the power and speed to get early down and goal line work. Don’t forget his season doesn’t start until week 3 because of his marijuana suspension. Nice.
Then there’s Kevin Smith. Without a doubt the least talented of the three. But he is productive and he’ll probably have more field time than Best and Leshoure combined. And look who the Lions are playing week 1, the St. Louis Rams and their terrible rush defense. With Leshoure out due to suspension and Best’s near future uncertain, Smith could be a top 5 back in week 1. If he is available at the end of your draft, snag him, start him week 1, and then see what happens after that. Good luck figuring out the Lion’s backfield the rest of the season.
Brandon Pettigrew caught 83 balls last year, really good in PPR leagues, but he only had 5 touchdowns. A lot of those catches were due to Javhid Best being out…Stafford went to Pettigrew for check downs instead. His production this year depends on who is catching out of the backfield. Pettigrew is a backup tight end, don’t waste a high pick on him. And Tony Scheffler is not worth drafting.
A lot of people are saying the Lions could be a top 12 fantasy defense this year. I don’t know if I’m one of those people. Their front four is one of the best in the league, but their linebackers are mediocre and the secondary is terrible. When healthy, Louis Delmas can be a game-changer, but I’m just not sold on this unit taking a step forward. Don’t forget Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will light them up twice, and I’m sure crybaby Cutler and the Bears will at least once. Draft them as a backup D and plug them in when they’re playing a weak offensive team.
Kickers should always be your last pick. If you want to draft Jason Hanson, go for it. The Lions will be in scoring position a lot.
What about IDP leagues? Well they’re stupid, I’ll say that. There are only five defensive Lions worth drafting; Cliff Avril, Ndamukong Suh, Kyle Vanden Bosch, and Lawrence Jackson in that order, and linebacker Stephen Tulloch. That’s it.
This should be a good start to drafting your favorite Lion’s players. There’s about a month before the season starts, so a lot can change. I’ll keep you updated.