Fantasy Football – NFL Preview – Detroit Lions
Daily Fantasy Sports managers, it`s time to play some Fantasy Football. In the next few weeks, we are going to do a preview of every football team in preparation for the NFL 2015 season. Get ready for the new and improved way to Play Daily Fantasy Football, starting September 10th.
The hiring of Jim Caldwell as head coach of the Detroit Lions last year, made an immediate impact to the success of the team. They finished with a 11-5 record, and made the playoffs as a wild card team. They`ve lost the first round to the Dallas Cowboys 24-20. The Lions want to go a step further this season, despite losing a lot of their best player in the offseason.
Cash Draft Offensive analysis
QB Matthew Stafford will be entering his 7th season in the NFL. The 2009 first-overall pick had more than 4500 yards between 2011 and 2013. Last year, he completed 363 pass for 4257 yards and 22 touchdowns while having 12 interceptions. Even if his passing game has slowed down, that doesn`t mean that he isn`t a overall elite quarterback. He has developped his running skill quite nicely in the last few seasons, and has also reduced the fumbles over the years.
RB Joique Bell has now taken the full time running back spot, when Reggie Bush left for San Francisco. Bell had 860 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns in 2014. His fantasy value will be tested early. If he isn`t able to fulfill the job of the number 1, RB Ameer Abdullah will be right there waiting for the opportunity to steal playing time from Bell. Abdullah is the 2nd round pick of the 2015 draft, for the Lions. He has shown great skills with the Nebraska Cornhuskers, acquiring 1611 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns in 2014. Abdullah is an explosive running back, and also has the ability to receive the ball.
WR Calvin Johnson has been face of the franchise for several years now. Last year, he has collected 71 receptions for a 1077 yards and 8 touchdowns. Despite entering his 30`s, he`s still likely to have a few more good seasons ahead of him.
WR Golden Tate had his first season with more than a 1000 yards, last year. He caught 99 times for 1331 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2014. He`s not as tall as Johnson, which limits him for touchdown opportunities. But he`ll look to lead the team in receiving yards once again.
WR T.J. Jones has missed all of last season due to a shoulder injury and is currently listed as the 5th receiver. But the 23 years-old has football blood in his veins. He has played college football for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and he had the game winning catch during the 2013 BCS National Championship. His last year in the NCAA, he had 70 receptions for 1108 yards and 9 touchdowns. He could be a real fantasy sleeper this year.
TE Eric Ebron came in as a rookie with big promises. But he has failed to attend those in his first year in the NFL. He finished the year with 25 receptions for 248 yards and a single touchdown. This year, the North Carolina alumni will have a second chance to prove he is not a fluke. The Lions would love to find someone at this position, who can complement with Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate.
Cash Draft Defensive analysis
The Defensive line took a turn for the worse, as DT`s Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley both left in the offseason. They were able to find one replacement in DT Haloti Ngata, who has the ability to stuff the run. DE Ziggy Ansah came in second behind Suh in sacks, last year. And now that Suh is gone, he will be relied upon heavily for the pass rush, this year.
MLB Stephen Tulloch will be making his return to the Lions lineup, after missing time due to injury. He was bound for a great season before he tore his ACL, after celebrating a sack. Tulloch leads a tremendous linebacker squad that includes Tahir Whitehead, Kyle Van Noy and two time Detroit Lions Defensive MVP DeAndre Levy.
FS Glover Quin had a suprisingly good year for the Lions. He led the team with 7 interceptions. SS James Ihedigbo will continue to scare opposing teams with his big hits ability. There`s still a few questions about the cornebacks. CB`s Darius Slay and Rashean Mathis will start this year, but the Lions have drafted Alex Cater and Quandre Diggs to provide depht and to become the eventual starters.
The departure of Ndamukong Suh will drop down this defense a few ranks in fantasy lists. They did improve against the run, with their offseason acquisitions. So look for this squad to still have some good games here and there, this year.
Fantasy Football Outlook
The Detroit Lions are contenders for the NFC North crown. But it will be hard against the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears, who are also extremely good teams.