2014 Fantasy Football: Will Matthew Stafford Become a Top Five QB?
Even though the 26-year-old quarterback has played with the Detroit Lions since 2009, his first full season wasn’t until 2011. The touchdown production for Stafford was incredible with 41, but he showed that he still needed to work on his turnovers with 16 interceptions. In the next two seasons, the young quarterback saw his touchdown totals decrease while his interceptions actually increased. Stafford has been able to remain a top 10 quarterback in the past three years despite his turnovers, but he has never been able to reach the potential that fantasy owners have hoped for.
The notion that Detroit would try to make a move in the 2014 NFL Draft to try to claim wide receiver Sammy Watkins is ludicrous. The Lions do not need any additional offensive weapons, they just need to finish games and limit turnovers. While Stafford had the sixth most touchdown passes in 2013, he also had the sixth most interceptions. As every fantasy football player knows, interceptions quickly cost you points.
Not only does Stafford have star receiver Calvin Johnson to target, but he now has Golden Tate to open things up. He also has one of the best dual-threat backs in the league in Reggie Bush, and Joique Bell has emerged as an exciting option who averaged 10.3 yards per reception in 2013.
With a strong set of receivers and some very talented running backs, there is clearly not a lack of weapons for an offense that ranked third in passing yards in 2013. Fortunately for fantasy players, new coach Jim Caldwell should help bring Stafford some consistency and reduce his turnover margin.
With the tutelage of Caldwell and strong options around him, Stafford could not only finish as a top five quarterback, but he could be a sleeper to finish in the top three.