Fantasy Football Team Preview: Detroit Lions
JUN 02, 2014 4:58p ET
Jim Caldwell is the Lions' new head coach ... While in Baltimore, Caldwell's offense threw a lot more than it ran, but he's said that the Lions will run more often this season ... However, new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi told season-ticket holders in March that the Lions' offense would be patterned after the Saints, and that's music to a fantasy owner's ears.
Bye week: 9
Quarterback - Matthew Stafford
Stafford was sixth among quarterbacks in FOXSports.com fantasy scoring last season, and averaged 4,885 yards passing from 2011-13 ... Stafford throws plenty of interceptions - 52 over the past three seasons - but pickoffs don't hurt fantasy owners as much as yardage and touchdowns help them ... Figures to produce like a top-five fantasy QB again.
Running Back - Reggie Bush
Ranked 11th in FOXSports.com fantasy scoring last season on the strength of 1,512 yards from scrimmage ... Bush had 223 carries to Joique Bell's 166, and when adding in receptions, Bush totaled 277 touches to Bell's 219 ... Bush is versatile enough to stay in the field in most situations, so he should be ready for another season of strong production, but how much will Bell eat into his workload? The uncertain answer to that makes Bush a risky RB2.
Running Back - Joique Bell
Bell was 17th among running backs in FOXSports.com fantasy scoring, even as the less busy half of a timeshare with Bush ... The 220-pound Bell had eight rushing touchdowns in 2013, and is the better short-yardage option on this team ... Are you brave enough to draft him as an RB2?
Wide Receiver - Calvin Johnson
Still the man at WR, even if he ranked behind Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas in FOXSports.com fantasy scoring last season ... Caught 84 passes for 1,492 yards and 12 scores with no other viable receiving threats on the roster to draw coverage away ... Caught 14 passes for 329 yards (!!!) and a TD against the Cowboys in Week 8.
Wide Receiver - Golden Tate
Ranked 28th among wide receivers in FOXSports.com fantasy scoring ... Caught 64 passes for 898 yards - both career highs - and five touchdowns ... Even with Caldwell in charge, the Lions figure to throw a lot more than Tate's Seahawks did last season ... Probably a solid WR3.
Rookie - Eric Ebron, TE
Ebron was drafted in the first round (10th overall) out of North Carolina, where he caught 62 passes for 973 yards and three touchdowns last season ... Definitely more receiver than blocker, and is sometimes compared to Vernon Davis ... As talented as Ebron is, there are many mouths to feed in the Lions' offense. You'll be reaching a bit if heâs your TE1.
Placekicker - Nate Freese
Freese was drafted in the seventh round out of Boston College, where he was successful on all 20 of his field goals last season, and 70 of 81 in his career ... Freese's opportunities might not be plentiful, as David Akers had just 24 field-goal attempts in 2013.
Team Defense (DST) - The Lions' DST improved last season, ranking 16th in FOXSports.com fantasy scoring ... Their DST scored four touchdowns, but ranked T-17 in interceptions (15) and 28th in sacks (33) ... Early analyst rankings view this unit as an afterthought.