Creating the Detroit Lions' All-Time Fantasy Football Starting Lineup

Creating the Detroit Lions' All-Time Fantasy Football Starting Lineup

Barry Sanders Lions
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Fantasy Football season is around the corner and GMs all around the nation are preparing for their chance at a championship. However, what if we were able to draft fantasy football lineups that featured past players for an NFL team. That is the premise here as I create the ultimate Fantasy Football starting lineup for the Detroit Lions.

QB: Matthew Stafford (2009-Present)

Matthew Stafford Lions
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QB: Matthew Stafford (2009-Present)

Matthew Stafford Lions
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On a team that historically has not had many elite quarterbacks, Matthew Stafford is the best, both in reality and in fantasy. Stafford has thrown for 300 yards in 23 games, has 30 career multiple touchdown passing games, and has attempted 40 or more passes in a game 35 times. He has also thrown for more than 4,500 yards in a season each of the past three years.

RB1: Barry Sanders (1989-98)

Barry Sanders Lions
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RB1: Barry Sanders (1989-98)

Barry Sanders Lions
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The greatest player in franchise history, Barry Sanders put up stats that would be worthy of any era in fantasy football. Sanders gained more than 1,100 yards in each of his 12 NFL seasons, more than 1,500 yards in four seasons, and had six seasons with double-digit rushing touchdowns. He also had 76 career 100-yard games, 21 multiple rushing touchdown games and three 40-reception seasons.

RB2: Billy Sims (1980-84)

Billy Sims Lions
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RB2: Billy Sims (1980-84)

Billy Sims Lions
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In just five NFL seasons, Billy Sims established himself as one of the best running backs in the 1980s. Sims racked up 23 career 100-yard games, 33 games with at least one touchdown and had four seasons with at least 30 receptions. Sims rushed for more than 1,000 yards in three of his first four seasons, and only a player strike stopped him from four in a row. Sims also had two 10-plus rushing TD seasons in his first two years with the Lions.

WR1: Calvin Johnson (2007-Present)

Calvin Johnson Lions
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WR1: Calvin Johnson (2007-Present)

Calvin Johnson Lions
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The most prolific wide receiver in Detroit's history, Calvin Johnson is continuing to break team records. In Johnson's first seven years, he has had four 1,300-plus-yard receiving seasons, four 10-plus touchdown seasons, 39 100-yard receiving games and 13 two-or-more touchdown games. Johnson also has five 200-yard receiving games, and last season, he set the record for most yards in a regulation game with 329.

WR2: Herman Moore (1991-2001)

Herman Moore Lions
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WR2: Herman Moore (1991-2001)

Herman Moore Lions
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Before Calvin Johnson came around, Herman Moore was the most prolific receiver in Lions history, and he did so without any quarterbacks who are in the same stratosphere as Matthew Stafford. In his Lions career, Moore had four 1,000-yard receiving seasons and four eight-or-more touchdown seasons. He also had 34 100-yard receiving games and had nine games with two or more touchdowns.

WR: Johnnie Morton (1994-2001)

Johnnie Morton Lions
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WR3: Johnnie Morton (1994-2001)

Johnnie Morton Lions
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Johnnie Morton was used as a slot receiver for most of his Lions career, and he would be the perfect No. 3 receiver in fantasy football. With teams focused on Herman Moore and Barry Sanders, Morton racked up four 1,000-yard seasons in five years from 1997-2001. He also had four seasons with five or more touchdowns, and had 21 100-yard games. Morton also recorded 40 games with a touchdown reception.

TE: Charlie Sanders (1968-77)

Charlie Sanders Lions
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TE: Charlie Sanders (1968-77)

Charlie Sanders Lions
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The only Lions receiver-tight end to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Charlie Sanders was the most proficient tight end in an era that didn't emphasize throwing the ball. With not much help around him, Sanders had 44 career games with at least 50 yards receiving and 28 games with at least one touchdown reception.

Kicker: Jason Hanson (1992-2012)

Jason Hanson Lions
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Kicker: Jason Hanson (1992-2012)

Jason Hanson Lions
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Drafting a kicker in the second round nowadays would be frowned upon by everyone, but when the Lions drafted Jason Hanson in the second round in 1992, they found one of the best players in team history. In his career, Hanson had 69 10-plus-point games as a kicker and had 66 games with three or more field goals made.

DST: 1962 Lions

Dick LeBeau Lions
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DST: 1962 Lions

Dick LeBeau Lions
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For a single-season defense, I went with the 1962 Lions. This defense featured four Hall of Famers in linebacker Joe Schmidt and defensive backs Night Train Lane, Dick LeBeau and Yale Lary. The defense also had two Pro Bowl players up front in Alex Karras and Roger Brown. In 1962, Detroit held opponents to under 10 points in six games and only gave up 20 or more points just four times in a 14-game season.