With great success comes great reward. For the Detroit Lions‘ Matthew Stafford, the reward comes in the form of a big and bright new paycheck.
In hopes that Stafford will be the franchise quarterback for years to come, the Lions gave Stafford a three-year contract extension which will keep in Detroit through the 2017 season. Stafford’s deal is worth $76 million over five years which includes $43 million guaranteed making him one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.
With Stafford now locked up for multiple years with a huge contract, will Stafford fulfill the deal for the Lions and become of the NFL’s top passers?
The Lions have not been shy when it comes to passing the ball. They put a heavy weight on the shoulders of Stafford to drive the team to victory. Last season, Stafford threw for a record breaking 727 attempts, gaining 4,967 yards with 20 touchdowns.
For fantasy players who drafted Stafford early last season in hopes that he would repeat his stellar 2011 performance, they were disappointed. Stafford threw for fewer yards and 21 less touchdowns. Not near the performance fantasy players expected to see from the former first overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft.
In the upcoming fantasy season’s draft, Stafford’s stock has fallen quite far. Fantasy players who are looking to draft Stafford will not have to spend a top-round pick to roster the young quarterback.
Stafford is currently ranked as the 69th best player to draft in most draft kits. This means that in the 2013 draft, Stafford will still be on the board during the sixth round and even early in the seventh round. Grabbing Stafford with a mid-round draft pick is steal by all means.
The Lions have the best receiver in the game in Calvin Johnson. His size and ability is leaps and bounds over anyone else at his position. Teaming up with the top NFL receiver has proven to be quite beneficial in past seasons and will continue to be beneficial throughout the 2013 season.
Offseason acquisition Reggie Bush will significantly aid Stafford in the passing game. Bush’s speed and quick change of direction abilities pose a great threat out of the backfield. If Johnson is blanketed with double coverage, Stafford will look to dump it off to Bush and let him do what he does, adding more yardage to pat Stafford’s stats.
Stafford has all the necessary weapons and offensive game plan to succeed for fantasy owners. As long as he stays healthy, Stafford will prove why he’s deserving of the lucrative contract and your pick in this year’s fantasy draft.