By Brian Kalchik @RantsportsBrian on June 17, 2014
In terms of Fantasy Football, the Detroit Lions have plenty of tantalizing offensive weapons at each level. Matthew Stafford is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Reggie Bush and Joique Bell form quite a good backfield tandem, and Calvin Johnson and Eric Ebron are viable weapons in the passing game. But where do each of these players rank on the five Detroit Lions that you must draft? Keep reading to find out.
As the 10th overall pick in this year's draft, Eric Ebron won't be sitting on the bench this season. Under new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, Ebron could be used exactly like Jimmy Graham was in New Orleans as a tight end who could line up anywhere and create matchup problems. Ebron will lose some snaps to Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria but not enough to pass on him. Ebron will be a late-round steal with the potential to be a No. 1 TE.
Joique Bell was just 30th in carries last year, but he produced like a top-15 fantasy running back. Splitting time with Bush, Bell scored eight touchdowns on the ground, had 650 rushing yards and finished with 547 yards receiving. With the Lions employing more of a running back by committee look this year, Bell will get plenty of opportunities to shine. Bell can be drafted around rounds 5-7 as a handcuff to Bush or as an injury replacement.
In his first season with the Lions, Reggie Bush topped 1,000 rushing yards, only the second time in his career that he has accomplished that feat. Bush also had 506 receiving yards, making him a versatile weapon for the Lions. With Lombardi, an assistant when Bush was in New Orleans, now in charge, Bush is more familiar with what his role will be in an offense he knows well. Bush can be drafted in rounds 3-5 as a low-end No. 1 back.
Despite missing two games last season, Calvin Johnson was still a top-five fantasy receiver. Johnson had 84 receptions for 1,492 yards and 12 touchdowns. Johnson was also in the top-10 in touchdowns and targets last season. Despite some lingering injuries, Johnson is a surefire pick in fantasy football this season. Johnson will be the first receiver off the board again and a safe bet as a top-10 overall pick.
Matthew Stafford finished last season as a top-5 fantasy quarterback, throwing for 4,650 yards and 29 touchdowns. It also helps to have Johnson as a go-to threat. His ability to get receptions vertically allows Stafford to take as many chances as he did last season. With new receivers like Ebron and Golden Tate, Stafford won't have to throw it to Johnson on every play. Stafford is a top-10 fantasy QB who can be drafted in rounds 3-5.
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