2018’s Best Detroit Lions Fantasy Football Player: Kenny Golladay, Wide Receiver
2018’s Biggest Detroit Lions Fantasy Football Disappointment: Kerryon Johnson, Running Back
2019 Detroit Lions Fantasy Football Draft Wishlist: Possession Receiver
The Detroit Lions were a team of half-promises and half-fulfilled wishes in 2018, both in real life and for fantasy football. They were chugging along, doing Lions things (being not very good). Then, after a week eight loss to the Seattle Seahawks dropped them to 3-4, they threw in the towel. The Lions traded wide receiver Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a third-round pick (in lieu of retaining his services and likely getting a 2020 third-round, or fourth-round compensatory pick). After this point, their team became a fantasy football, and real life, wasteland. They went 3-6 from the moment they traded Tate, and they topped 22 points just once in their last nine games. For comparison, in the two games before Tate’s last game as a Seahawk, they scored 31 and 32 points.
Obviously, going into 2019, the biggest Detroit Lions fantasy football wish is copious touches for their talented youngsters, Kenny Golladay and Kerryon Johnson. However, outside of that, the biggest desire for fantasy football owners going into 2019 is for the Detroit Lions to get back to having a Golden Tate on their team: they need a possession receiver.
Detroit Lions Fantasy Football Need: Possession Receiver
The saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats,” but what happens to the offense when you take a rifle, point it at the deck of your rickety boat, and pull the trigger. Best case scenario: your foot absorbs the bullet. But what you probably get is a hole in your boat, and water will quickly flood in. Trading Golden Tate amounted to pulling the trigger on the 2018 Detroit Lions fantasy football boat (and their regular, Lions-NFL-outlook boat). I already outlined above their point per game production, but look what happened to poor Matthew Stafford with and without Tate:
That 22.56 fantasy points per game are with 5 points per passing touchdown, to split the difference between 4 and 6 PPT leagues. Look at the other numbers though: 66 passing yards and nearly 1.25 touchdowns lost for Stafford. The Lions, and Matt Patricia went to ground and pound, but doing that with LeGarrette Blount and Zach Zenner left a lot to be desired.
This season, the Detroit Lions fantasy football owners need just one thing to believe in their offense again: A receiver who can move the chains. They went out and signed Danny Amendola in free agency, and that’s great if you want a guy for the playoffs, but let’s just say this current iteration of the Lions won’t need to worry about that this year. Their primary focus should be on defense, but they need to add another WR to this corps to act as Stafford’s release valve. They don’t need, and can’t afford to go after big namers like Marquise Brown, D.K. Metcalf or A.J. Brown. Instead, they need to let the draft come to them and see which one of J.J. Arcega-Whiteside or Kelvin Harmon in day two, or deep dive and mine for value like Riley Ridley or Anthony Johnson in day three.
Check out all of our 2019 NFL draft coverage, here