May 25, 2019 | Posted in: Sports

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The 2019 Detroit Lions could be full of fantasy football studs you steal in the fifth round and beyond in your 2019 Fantasy Football Draft.  Frank Ragnow, expecting a move to his natural position of center and Graham Glasgow moving to his natural position of guard, gives quarterback Matthew Stafford better protection to uncork a Top 5 NFL offense.  

Maybe.  The 2019 NFL Season is four months away.  Anything can happen and every franchise fan base has something to be excited about until the games take place.  Running back Kerryon Johnson, expecting to be fully healthy at the start of training camp, sits with an ADP of 4.9 in a ten team PPR league.  Better offensive line play resulting in fluid opportunity for the second year back out of Auburn to steal the show in the Motor City during the 2019 NFL Season. There’s also a chance stud route running and receiving back Theo Riddick will not be on the Lions’ final 53-man roster, although signing C.J. Anderson could raise concern on Johnson’s touch total.

Solid options at Wide Receiver

Wide receiver Kenny Golladay (5.3 ADP) and fellow wideout Marvin Jones Jr., an absolute steal (11.06 ADP), both could eclipse 1,000 yards during the 2019 NFL Season with double digit touchdowns.  Danny Amendola could have fantasy viability from the slot although I expect second year man Brandon Powell to surprise.  Powell produced six catches for 103 yards Week 17 in 2018 during a 31-0 meaningless win against the Green Bay Packers. Trading target monger Golden Tate in 2018 to the Philadelphia Eagles creates 130+ targets requiring redistribution and spreading these targets among Golladay and Jones creates new, ripe, under the radar opportunity.

Hockenson the answer in 2019?

Rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson, selected eighth overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, holds an ADP of 13.03.  Lions nation can hope Hockenson blossoms in his second year, similar to George Kittle in San Francisco, as rookie tight ends are not historically a difference maker in the passing game. Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, catching 33 passes with two touchdowns in his first season and finishing his first two NFL seasons with four career touchdowns set the standard for a tight end to breakout in their third year. Antonio Gates, catching 24 passes for 389 yards with two touchdowns in his rookie year, burst on the scene in his second season with 81 receptions and 13 touchdowns. Rob Gronkowsi, in his first season, caught 42 passes for 546 yards and ten touchdowns and is the best Lions nation can hope in 2019 from their rookie tight end. Hockenson’s blocking in the run game could help spring Johnson loose.  Matthew Stafford is being drafted in the 16th round or beyond and could have a 5,000 yard season with 40 touchdowns, producing just such a season in 2011.  

Stout defense in the Motor City?

Second year head coach Matt Patricia, signing former New England defensive end Trey Flowers to a mega contract, lauded for drafting cornerback Amani Oruwariye in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and trading for nickel corner Justin Coleman, hopes to solidify a pass defense anchored by the aging Darius Slay and missing all-world free safety Glover Quin.  Second round linebacker Jahlani Tavai was a curious selection, berated by nearly all analysts, and currently sits behind middle linebacker Jarrad Davis on the depth chart.  Linebackers in coverage will continue to be a hole on the 2019 version of the Lions and is the reason Devin Bush was a better selection at eight overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. Pittsburgh, trading up to draft Bush tenth overall, exemplifies “the rich” franchises from the “poor” franchises.

Detroit, ranking tenth overall in total defense by yards allowed and eighth overall against the pass by total yards allowed, could be a Top 5 unit, improving on their 22.5 points per game allowed during the 2019 NFL Season.  A top five offense and defense equals playoffs. Every fanbase, even the most tortured, can have hope.    

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