The Fantasy Football season is fast approaching and us at F6P are working on our 2020 team previews. Today we will be going over the Detroit Lions in the 2020 Fantasy Football Detroit Lions Preview.
The Detroit Lions are a mess of franchise, they haven’t had made a playoff appearance since 2016, and haven’t won a playoff game since 1992. It would be an understatement to say that coach Matt Patricia is on the hot seat. After back to back losing seasons, the lions are looking to bounce back. With a healthy Matthew Stafford who was on pace to throw for over 5,000 yards, before his 2019 season was cut short due to a back injury
The Lions defense, on the other hand, has a few changes. The Lions traded star Cornerback Darius Slay for a 3rd and a 5th round pick this offseason. They also lost defensive linemen Mike Daniels and Damon “snacks” Harrison. The Lions also used the 3rd overall pick in the NFL Draft, and took Jeffrey Okudah out of OSU. They also replaced Daniels and Harrison by signing defensive linemen Nick Williams (2 years $10 million), Danny Shelton (2 years $8 million) and signed cornerback Desmond Trufant ( 2 years $21 million).
Those are the big offseason moves for the lions, now let's take a look at them from a Fantasy Football aspect.
2020 Fantasy Football Detroit Lions Preview
Complete a free five-minute mock draft against industry experts and custom analysis for your team with the FantasyPros Draft Wizard.
- Matthew Stafford
- Chase Daniel
Before Matthew Stafford was injured in Week 9, he was on pace to throw for 5,000 yards again for the second time in his career. He had thrown 19 touchdowns and 5 interceptions and was QB6 before going down. This season I believe we will see similar numbers from him again if he stays healthy.
I don’t expect the Lions defense to be very good, so I expect Stafford to have to throw more because I anticipate them playing from behind a lot. With the weapons Stafford has, and the fact that he likes to throw the ball downfield and look for the big play (8.6 yards per attempt according to playerprofiler.com) he is someone I’m looking to draft in the later rounds, with his QB1 upside. But I would also draft someone else to start Week 1 because he starts out the season against a very tough Chicago defense. But besides a couple of tough matchups here and there, they have the 8th easiest schedule for Quarterbacks.
Chase Daniel comes over from Chicago after backing up Quarterback Mitch Trubisky, where he had appeared in five games over those two years. He has shown a few flashes that show he is a competent Quarterback when given the opportunity. So if Stafford were to go down with an injury again, The Lions skill players shouldn’t take a huge.
Kerryon Johnson has played two seasons in the NFL, both of which have ended prematurely because of injury. Which forced the Lions to use a 2nd round draft pick on Running Back D’Andre Swift, whom many people thought was the best Running Back in the 2020 draft. I don’t think there are enough touches to go around in the backfield to support two Running Backs. So I’m Staying away from Kerryon this draft season.
D’Andre Swift looks like the future workhorse of the Lions backfield. Unfortunately for Fantasy owners, we may have to wait a little bit to see the talented rookie in that role, Because of the crowded backfield. I can see Swift 12-15 touches a game, with a solid role in the passing game. Swift is a low end RB2 with Rb1 upside, Swift is someone I’m looking to target in my drafts. He could be a league winner If anything were to happen to Johnson.
Bo Scarbrough and Ty Johnson are just depth pieces on this roster now. If anything were to happen to Kerryon and Swift, you could plug them into your flex but I would be excited about that. Don’t waste a draft spot on either of them
Most receiving yards on contested catches last season
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) June 17, 2020
Kenny Golladay finished as WR6 last season, with Matthew Stafford going down in week nine. Despite only finishing with 65 receptions on 116 targets according to fantasypros. He led the NFL in receiving touchdowns last season with 11, and deep targets with 37. The Lions as a team only threw the ball 571 times last season which was 17th in the league, with them being bad I’m anticipating them going over 600 this year with a healthy Stafford.
If Golladay can get his targets up in the 130-140 range, I believe there is a path where he can finish as the WR1. I have no problem with him going off the board fourth Wideout off the board on draft day, behind Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, and Davante Adams.
With the leap that I believe Golladay will make, someone’s production will have to take a hit, and I believe that person is Marvin Jones. He had 91 targets through 13 games before being placed on IR with an ankle injury, but he still managed to finish as WR27 according to FantasyPros Half point PPR scoring system.
But he is coming into his age 30 season and has had his last two seasons cut short due to injury. I expect some negative regression to come his way as well considering he had a 26% red zone target share with 9 touchdowns, which seems high considering the emergence of Golladay and he only had a 25% red zone target share last season.
Danny Amendola last season finished with 95 targets, he became somewhat of a safety blanket for the Lions Quarterbacks last season. I view Amendola as no more than high floor, low ceiling bye week fill in during the season.
Hockenson is coming off of a disappointing injury-plagued rookie season, where he battled a concussion and an ankle injury that ended his season after only 12 games. Though there aren’t too many examples of rookie Tight Ends succeeding in Fantasy Football.
I expect Hockenson to have a solid bounce-back second season in the league. He is currently going as TE15 in the fantasy consensus rankings, so if you’re looking for a young tight end with tremendous upside later in drafts Hockenson is your guy. He is someone I am targeting later in drafts because his ceiling is too high to pass up on.
If Hockenson struggles to stay healthy in his second season, Jesse James could be a streaming option some weeks considering they have the 3rd easiest schedule for Tight Ends. But until then, leave James on the waiver wire.
The Final verdict that I came to is that the Lions do have some players who RE fun to watch for Fantasy Football purpose this season. But I don’t believe that it will amount to many wins, I have them going 4-12 in an extremely tough NFC North Division, with a Head Coaching change at the end of the season.
Visit the F6P Fantasy Football page for more advice to get you prepared for the 2020 season.