Detroit Lions 2016 Preview

Detroit Lions 2016 Preview

2015 Season Review (7-9)

2015 Pass Attempts 632 – Rank: 4th
2015 Rush Attempts Rank 354 – 30th
2015 Total Offensive Plays 1,030 – Rank: 17th
2015 Yards Per Play Rank 5.4 – 20th

One of the biggest Off Season news stories was the retirement of All Pro WR Calvin Johnson from the Detroit Lions. Without Johnson, one of the most prolific wideouts in the last 20 years, on the field, It will be extremely difficult for Matthew Stafford to continue his torrid pace of his final eight games in 2015, in which he has a 19-2 TD / INT ratio.

The clear cut beneficiary and the person that will be called on the fill the void left by the Future Hall of Famer will be Golden Tate. Over the past few years, Tate has stepped up well when Johnson was out of the lineup. I will be paying close attention Tate early in the Season, as he has the skill set to lead the NFC in receptions, however, being the team’s clear cut #1 option in the passing game, is much different than being a #2 alongside the player the caliber of Calvin Johnson. The addition of Marvin Jones, who received a massive 5 year $40m contract in the Off Season should help relieve some of the pressure on Tate, however, I’m not sure if he’s worth that amount of money, or if he’s ready to be a leading contributor on a playoff contender. In my opinion he was nothing more than a solid role player in Cincinnati alongside All World WR AJ Green (similar to Tate’s role with Johnson). Without that All Pro talent opposite him, it will be interesting to see how he performs.

*NOTE* Word out of Lions Camp is that Marvin Jones looks like a legit #1 WR, so, we’ll have to keep a close on him early in the season and see if he can live up to the “camp hype”

It looks as if the first crack at running back will be given to Ameer Abdullah. The 2nd year Nebraska standout was sensational in last year’s pre season, but, that did not carry over into the regular season. The electric plays we saw during pre season we few and far between once the regular season started. The Lions rushing offense overall was downright bad last year. Finishing the season ranked 25th in the league. I think I will be avoiding all of the Lions RBs in DFS for awhile as Reddick, Abdullah, and Bell all have proven themselves as unreliable DFS players.

Last season the Lions had the #1 toughest schedule in the NFL during their first eight games, which surely contributed to their 1-7 start to the Season. This year, they’ll have a middle of the road schedule, and the Vegas win total is set right at 7 games. I would like to be optimistic, but I just can’t see the Lions winning more than 6 games after losing the talents of Calvin Johnson and DT Ndamukong Suh (Miami).

Detroit Lions 2016 Depth Chart
  1 2 3 4 5
QB Matthew Stafford Dan Orlovsky      
RB Ameer Abdullah Theo Riddick Zach Zenner Dwayne Washington Michael Burton
WR Golden Tate Marvin Jones Anquan Boldin Andre Roberts Corey Fuller
TE Eric Ebron Cole Wick Andrew Quarless Orson Charles Brandon Pettigrew
K Matt Prater  

The Core by xBenJamminx

There’s two people you think of when referring to the Lions, Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson, and neither of them are there anymore.

This team is going through a rebuilding with one of the toughest QBs in the NFL, Matthew Stafford. In 2015 he threw the lowest number of passes out of any full season he’s played in. He also threw for the most TDs since 2011, showing that his efficiency is up. He was ranked in the top 10 in Completions, Attempts, Yards and TDs and I believe his pass attempts will actually increase without Calvin. They have the reliable Golden Tate taking over the potential WR1 spot, making him a good pickup for PPR scoring. He received 129 targets last year and that should only increase, although he’ll be sharing them with new acquisition Marvin Jones. Marvin is a pretty talented player who’s been overlooked in CIN and they both had similar numbers last year, with Tate getting more Recs and TDs while Marvin had more 20+ and 40+ yard plays. The rest of the targets will more than likely go to the TEs, (whoever is healthy) and Theo Riddick. I really like Ameer Abdullah and see tons of potential for him. He won’t be fighting for snaps with Joique Bell anymore and will see more carries than he had last year. Abdullah and Bell split 28 red zone rushes, which should almost all go to Abdullah now. Most of the passing targets should go to Riddick but this will be an interesting offense to follow.

Cash Thoughts: DET has one of the better all-around schedules and I can see going with Matthew Stafford and Golden Tate as my PPR stack with QB/WR1 and with Marvin Jones as the less consistent more boom/bust QB/WR2. It would be hard for me to recommend any other plays besides Matthew Stafford or Golden Tate as standalone options, with Ameer Abdullah potentially being an option if they give him enough rush attempts.

GPP Thoughts: The cash thoughts are all in play here as well and I still have my reservations about the TE position but everyone else is in play here. I would stack the QB / WR1 / WR2 or QB/RB/WR1or2, QB / RB2 (Riddick) / WR1 or 2.

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