The Detroit Lions offer one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. Fantasy football owners frequently scoop up players from the Motor City quickly, and for good reason. Calvin Johnson is arguably the best wide receiver in the game. Matthew Stafford threw for almost 5,000 yards last season. Joique Bell is a capable back in his own right, but plays second fiddle to Reggie Bush. There are plenty of playmakers on the Lions.
Joseph Fauria is one that is emerging for the Lions. Inside the red zone, Stafford is not afraid to trust the rookie. While Fauria didn’t see any targets in week five, he had secured two of three red zone targets entering today’s game. While I don’t have the official count from today’s game yet, Fauria has caught at least three red zone receptions for his third, fourth and fifth touchdowns of the season. For comparison, Brandon Pettigrew has 17 targets this season, but does not have a single red zone target yet.
At six feet seven inches and 259 pounds, Fauria is a big target for Stafford. He has a 35 1/2 inch vertical jump and is capable of going up and getting the ball. After his second touchdown today, he had a dunk through the uprights that would make Jimmy Graham proud. With considerable attention being paid to Johnson and Bush, Fauria has consistently beat the red zone coverage and produced. However, with so many offensive weapons on Detroit, Fauria is still going to rely heavily on touchdowns for fantasy relevance.
There are still a few other tight ends that I would start and roster over Fauria, like Heath Miller (owned in 49 percent of Yahoo! leagues), Coby Fleener (52 percent) or Brent Celek (33 percent). He is worth at least a roster stash at this point. He will lose targets to Pettigrew outside the red zone until he leapfrogs Pettigrew, but he obviously has boom potential. In touchdown heavy, deep or dynasty leagues, you should consider him as an option. He has already surpassed Pettigrew for Stafford’s attention in the red zone, if he can do the same between the 20’s his fantasy value could take a significant jump.
As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.
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