By Meng Song @ms0ng on May 7, 2014
The Detroit Lions signed former Seattle Seahawks WR Golden Tate to a five-year contract this offseason. While in Seattle, Tate served at best as a flex play or a WR3, but Tate’s arrival in Detroit should boost his fantasy value. Here are five reasons why you should be targeting him this coming season.
Golden Tate quietly put up solid receiving totals in 2013, catching 64 balls for about 900 yards and five TDs. He averaged 14.0 yards per catch, and more importantly, Tate led all WRs in the league with 8.0 yards after the catch (discounting any receivers who caught fewer than 20 passes last year). With this kind of playmaking ability, Tate has the raw talent and skills to succeed.
The NFC West is arguably the best defensive division in the NFL. While in Seattle, Tate had to contend with defenses like the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals. Now in Detroit, Tate will face three divisional rivals with much softer secondaries. Minnesota allowed the second-most passing yards last season, and Green Bay gave up the ninth-most. Expect Tate to get open more in 2014.
Speaking of getting open, Tate will no longer have to face the opposing team’s top cornerback. With Calvin Johnson playing opposite him, defenses will cover Tate as the secondary receiver and focus their attention on Johnson. Tate will take advantage of the lighter coverage and find space for Matt Stafford to get him the football.
The Lions found ways to collapse late in games last year and allowed opponents to score 23.5 points per game against them last season. In comparison, Seattle only allowed opponents to score 14.4 points per game in 2013, using Marshawn Lynch and the stout defense to close out low-scoring games. Tate will be needed on the field to put points on the board in Detroit.
To complement their fearsome defense, the Seahawks ran the ball the least in the NFL in 2013, calling running plays on only 47.29 percent of snaps. In comparison, Detroit passed on 59.62 percent of plays. Even more importantly, Joe Lombardi, the Lions’ new offensive coordinator, passed the ball 62.78 percent of the time while with the New Orleans Saints last season. Tate is likely to see the most targets of his career in 2014.
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