This is that time of the year when all football news seems to be really good or incredibly devastating. This rookie is tearing it up and oh no Josh Gordon isn't at practice again. Boring, same old same old preseason BS that happens every year. Don't buy into all the hype. Everyone working for the team focuses on kissing their bosses’ butts. Good pick sir, look at how good he is doing in camp. Don’t let yourself fall into that trap.
The pre-season should not change how you feel about certain guys all that much. Coaches use dumbed down playbooks and they don’t scheme to beat their opponents. Pre-season is a great way to get a look at how a player moves on the field in a live game. Throughout the next few weeks we will get a good look at who the coaches like. For now, we can watch our rookies play for the first time and pray that everyone stays healthy.
After two weeks of training camp, the Lions quarterback and wide receiver situation is the same as it was last season.. The heart and soul of this football team, Matthew Stafford is the man in Detroit to own in all fantasy football formats. Regardless of how you feel about him in real life, he is a fantasy monster. Since 2011, when he threw for 5038 yards, Stafford has thrown for 4200+ yards, 20+ touchdowns, and he has averages 600+ passing attempts. Jake Rudock and new quarterback Matt Cassel will be fighting it out this preseason to see who can back up Stafford.
The Running back position presents my favorite new upgrades to the team: Kerryon Johnson and Frank Ragnow. Johnson is the guy to own on your dynasty team(s). Kerryon Johnson has all the buzz at training camp and currently sits atop the RB depth chart (with LaGarrette Blount). Blount looks to take the short yardage roll for this group, which may hurt Kerryon’s touchdown upside, but we have to keep in mind we are talking about dynasty here. Ragnow fills a major hole for the offensive line. Decker, Lang, Wagner, Glasgow, and Ragnow will be a good group if they can all stay healthy, unlike 2017. Stafford and the rookie running back are going to excel if this happens and we should expect good things from both the passing game and the running game.
Kerryon Johnson will also have his targets swiped from a guy who has been catching passes out of the backfield for years, Theo Riddick. The past 3 seasons Theo caught 80 passes in 2015 and 53 the past two seasons. Those are top end receiving numbers out of the backfield. With Matt Patricia taking over as head coach this season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a rbbc implemented early in the year. Whatever Coach Patricia does, this Lions running back group is much improved and they will be running behind a good offensive line.
Now for the most exciting wide receiver duo in the NFC North, Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. Both of these guys surmounted the 1000 yard mark and finished 2017 as WR1s. Tate has been Mr. Reliable ever since he put on the Honolulu Blue, which has been four years now. Tate has grabbed 90+ balls each season with the Lions as well. Marvin Jones had the best year of his career in 2017 playing with Stafford. When the Lions were in need of a big play, Jones was the guy. The last player to mention in this group is Kenny Golladay. Everyone is talking about how Golladay's routes are tighter and more precise this year. He already showed off his leaping ability last season and with the news of better route running abilities, a big jump looks to be coming from the second year player, as long as the big fella can stay healthy.
The Lions tight end mystery. From the sounds of practice, Michael Roberts is blowing his opportunity. The 2017 fourth round pick is struggling in the receiving department, and might be playing himself off of the 53 man roster. Let's hope he can turn it around, but for now, I'm only looking at owning one tight end, if any, from the Detroit Lions: Luke Wilson. He is the clear-cut favorite and basically a lock to play the receiving tight end role this year for Detroit. Don't forget Stafford throws for 4200+ yards every single season. Eric Ebron, now an Indianapolis Colt, had 53 receptions for 574 yards with 4 touchdowns in 2017 and was a borderline low-end TE1/high TE2.
Game 3 of the preseason is the time when I start to get excited and believing the news more. That is the time when rosters start shaping out and we get a clearer picture of what to expect for the season. Don't buy into the preseason hype mania; use it to your advantage. Guys on your roster that you are not particularly fond of but are on the hype train can be turned into players you want, like Kerryon Johnson!