Charlie Batch, Charles Rogers, Joey Harrington, Dan Orlovsky. These names don’t make you think about Fantasy Football. Partially because Fantasy Football wasn’t the phenomenon back then as it is today. But names like Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson have future 2o12 fantasy owners geeked up. The new-age Detroit Lions fans don’t show up to games with paper bags on their heads anymore. Not only do Lions fans expect a win in real life, they expect production from their Detroit fantasy players. The Lions are now relevant in both the NFL and the Fantasy Football world, so have a peek at how they will stir up draft boards in the upcoming months:
Calvin Johnson – With so much depth at the quarterback position when it comes to Fantasy Football, top-tier, dependable wide-receivers and running-backs are becoming scarce. An elite wide-out or work-horse running-back can lead you to a league championship. With that said, Calvin Johnson is the gold-standard of wide-receivers. Andre Johnson is coming off a hamstring tear and Larry Fitzgerald has Kevin Kolb throwing him the rock. Advantage Megatron.
Mega had 96 receptions and 16 touchdown grabs last season. I doubt he will match that ridiculously good production again, but he’s still going to “get his!”
I project Johnson to be the first WR drafted off most boards, as well as a top-ten draft pic in a fair percentage of leagues, especially in D-Town.
Matthew Stafford – What does a fully healthy season mean for Matty Stafford? It means 5038 yards and 41 touchdowns! I can’t even count how many Detroiters “reached” for Matt Stafford last year in fantasy drafts. But guess what!? They weren’t reaching! Anyone who drafted Stafford last year got a steal to say the least. He finished fifth overall in total fantasy points in 2011 and is now a major factor to consider for all 2012 draft boards.
The Lions running-back committee is poor so expect Stafford to air the piss out of the rock this season. I project Stafford to one of the top-five quarterbacks drafted in almost all leagues this year.
Titus Young – The kid had 48 receptions and 6 touchdowns last season and is now a year older and wiser. Well, not that much wiser but regardless he will get more targets this season. Young will be the beneficiary of consistent Calvin Johnson double-teams which will surely increase his value for 2012 fantasy owners. Titus could be a very solid number two WR this upcoming season.
Brandon Pettigrew – Again, another year older for the young tight-end should increase his production and value. Pettigrew quietly finished eighth overall in receptions last season, in the entire league! With 83 receptions and five touchdowns, Pettigrew certainly gained some attention and targets from Stafford. With Mega being double-teamed hard in the redzone, I project Pettigrew to get quality chances of finding that end-zone this year.
The Lions do have an array of weapons and pairing that with Pettigrew’s occasional butter-fingers leaves me skeptical. Draft at your own risk.
Paul Bentley is a contributor to Rant Sports
Follow Bentley on Twitter at @KKingBentley
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