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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.
The Detroit Lions enter this season at a crossroads. Matthew Stafford enters his eleventh season with zero career playoff wins. Is this Stafford’s last year in the NFL?
Matthew Stafford’s wife has been in and out of the hospital suffering from a brain tumor. Stafford is under fire for his lack of playoff performances during his first ten seasons in the Motor City. Head coach Matt Patricia enters his second season at the helm and may not be the Grand Master everyone hopes after serving under Bill
I want to be optimistic for the Lions as no city needs a title more than Detroit. Cleveland’s title in 2016, in the NBA, moved the city of Detroit to the top of the list for an embattled fan base in all four sports. Detroit’s 2004 title in the NBA was electric and unexpected, yet times were different in America because this was before the global economic meltdown in 2008. No city has suffered more from the economic woes from the economic implosion 11 years ago than Detroit. Detroit could so use a title. Getting swept in 2012 in the World Series by another improbable San Francisco Giants team only added to the Most Embattled Sports Fans, fans of Detroit sports through and through.
Lion’s open 2019 with a tough schedule yet maybe a win
A road game out west begins the Lions 2019 campaign, facing the Arizona Cardinals and first-round draft pick Kyler Murray. The game is currently listed as a pick-em with over/under of 49. Eastern time zone teams traveling out west put the Lions at a further disadvantage and playing on the road in the NFL is a challenge. Arizona’s run defense should be atrocious again in 2019, perhaps a fully healthy Kerryon Johnson, better play on the offensive line, and a big game from either Kenny Golladay or Marvin Jones Jr.
Week 3 of the 2019 NFL Season finds the Detroit Lions hosting the Kansas City Chiefs, 2019 AFC favorites. Could the schedule be more brutal for the Lions to open their season? Week 4, the Lions travel to Green Bay. Week 5, the Lions host the Vikings. The Lions could open the season 1-4.
Week 2 of the 2019 NFL Season finds the Lions in their home opener against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Lions have a scheduling advantage as a west coast team traveling to the east coast in a road NFL game favors the home team. However, the Chargers went 12-4 last year and look to be every bit as competitive in 2019 with future Hall of Fame quarterback Phillip Rivers entering his age 38
Can Kerryon Johnson stay healthy?
The rookie out of Auburn was brilliant times in 2018. However, a knee injury November 18, 2018, sidelined Johnson for a month and he was placed on season-ending injured reserve December 19th, 2018, with the Lions firmly out of the NFC playoff picture. Johnson’s slow start was compounded by poor coaching decisions to split carries with LeGarrette Blount. In Week 3, Detroit’s win at home against New England 26-10, Johnson rushed 16 times for 101 yards becoming the first Lion to rush for 100 yards in a game since 2013. As late as Week 5, a 31-23 win at home against division rival Green Bay, Johnson rushed 12 times for 70 yards while Blount rushed 12 times for 22 yards. Adjustments were made during the Week 6 bye involving personnel grouping changes and play calling.
Kerryon Johnson’s breakout was in Week 7 last season resulting in wise fantasy owners of Johnson profiting. Johnson rushed 19 times for 158 yards and added 21 yards on two receptions. The Lions triumph, 32-21, moved the Lion to 3-3 and the season. They owned statement wins against New England and Green Bay. There was a potential playoff vibe in the Motor City.
Detroit’s Week 8 loss to visiting Seattle, 28-14, begins Detroit’s slide out of the postseason picture. Johnson was held to eight carries as Stafford was forced into throwing situations yet the rookie nabbed six passes for 69 yards and provided the only cheers from the crowd offensively in the first half. Minnesota’s domination of the Lions Week 9, 24-9, sees Johnson netting 44 yards from scrimmage on 15 touches. Detroit’s 34-22 at Chicago Week 10 sees Johnson score two touchdowns on 89 scrimmage yards.
Week 11, against Carolina, Johnson was on his way to a big game before his late third-quarter injury, effectively ending his season. Johnson with 17 touches resulting in 97 scrimmage yards and a touchdown. The Lions won the game 20-19 yet the offense wasn’t the same without Johnson the rest of the season and the Lions would finish 2-4 in their next six games and a 6-10 overall record.
Johnson healthy and better offensive play (Hockenson is a Stud blocker) in 2019 resulting in 1,200 yards from scrimmage and double-digit touchdowns. Johnson tops the list on my fifth/sixth round RB, the second RB I will add to my fantasy roster this August. Fantasy anyone? Do you need some Fantasy Football Content?
Lions to win it all
Lions win Superbowl, .25 Unit (80-1). Lions win NFC Championship, .25 Unit (60-1). Lions win NFC North .25 Unit, (15-1). Finally, .25 Unit Over 6.5 wins (-110). It’s a $3,800 payout. And it’s gambling yo and it’s fun to make a wager with a friend and spend the season cheering for the Lions. Come on America, the Lions need all the fans they can get.