Fantasy Football 2013: Don't Forget About Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford

By Jim Heath
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford was considered a Fantasy Football bust in 2012. If you drafted Stafford, you would have a hard time arguing this fact. Actually, if you drafted Stafford last season, chances are you have very little positive remarks about him.

With a 2012 ADP of 13, Stafford was gone in the majority of Fantasy Football drafts by the start of the third round. Seems impossible to fathom now, but it certainly wasn’t such a stretch one year ago when he was coming off a 5,000 yard season with 41 touchdowns.  Those who drafted him were giddy with visions of league championship trophies in their future following draft night.

Of course, draft night visions were quickly crushed by the realities of season long frustrations and broken potential. His 41 touchdowns from the previous season would be exchanged with a putrid 20-touchdown season. Some folks were troopers, holding on to the former Georgia Bulldog with the hopes he would eventually break through his funk. The majority, however, sent him packing for absolute bottom dollar value.

Here we are, preparing again for another season of fantasy ball. Most of you have assembled your own virtual war rooms where the strategy for your 2013 drafts is currently in progress.

As you do prepare for another season, I would caution you from letting the bad taste Stafford left in your mouth last season to cloud your judgment on him this season. I know that is easier said than done, but if you will temporarily indulge me, I do come with sound logic.

In defense of Stafford, he was a member of a unit that more closely resembled “The Walking Dead” than an NFL offense. Off the field issues combined with countless season ending injuries to Stafford’s weapons put him in a lose lose situation. And yet, despite the issues and the injuries and the plethora of other negativities, Stafford still finished the season with a mere 71 passing yards less than the season prior.

Not all circumstances are the same in Detroit. The Lions’ receiving corpse is on the mend and Stafford will once again have a safety valve out of the backfield in the form of offseason acquisition Reggie Bush. And, let’s not forget he is still throwing to the best wide receiver in the game today, Calvin Johnson.

Plus, Stafford currently has an ADP of over 60. Which basically means if you target Stafford in 2013, you can wait until the sixth round to draft him. If Stafford can throw for the same yardage as last season and just 10 more touchdowns this season, which isn’t a stretch with a healthy offense and the addition of Bush, you get a sixth round quarterback that throws for over 30 touchdowns and just under 5,000 yards.

Chances are, no one in your league has the intestinal fortitude to sit back and chose not to draft a quarterback through five or six rounds. If you can, it will pay off for you. Get your running backs and wide receivers nailed down, you’ll find a 4,000 plus guy like Stafford in the fifth or sixth round – I guarantee it.


Jim Heath is a Fantasy Football writer for Follow him on Twitter @jim_heath, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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