Golden Tate had a breakout season with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013, as he led the Seahawks in receptions (64), yards (898) and tied for the team lead with five touchdowns. But he was rather quiet in most games as he recorded just two 100-yard games and reached the end zone in just four. In the postseason, he recorded just eight receptions for 61 yards, and was outshined by both Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin.
After he was not re-signed by the Seahawks, Tate signed with the Detroit Lions and got paid handsomely. If he can stay healthy, Tate will be Detroit’s No. 2 receiver and a good complimentary receiver to Calvin Johnson, but should fantasy football owners expect big things this year?
Durability and consistency have been a constant concern through Tate’s first four NFL seasons, with zero 16-game seasons on his resume. He had a career year last season, but failed to start in three games. He has also not started in 25 of his 58 career games due to injury or performance and has finished with 50 or more receptions just once. Also, just because someone is lined up opposite Johnson doesn’t always mean they will be successful fantasy receivers.
The Lions tried this tactic with another former Seattle receiver in 2010 with Nate Burleson. Burleson was not much of a factor as a fantasy receiver in the past four seasons and was more of a nuisance than a contributor, especially last season. Tate did become the leading receiver in Seattle, but the Seahawks were known to be a run-first team that didn’t take many chances in the passing game.
If former offensive coordinator Scott Linehan were still with the Lions, I would be sold on Tate as a No. 2 fantasy receiver because the Lions threw the ball a lot with him as coordinator. With new coordinator Joe Lombardi coming in, though, I would view Tate as a No. 3 receiver at best. In Lombardi’s offenses with the New Orleans Saints, the ball was spread around to multiple receivers with the tight end and the running backs getting most of the targets. Tate is definitely a draftable player, but don’t reach for him just because he lines up opposite Calvin Johnson.