Scratching the Fantasy Itch: Detroit Lions

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It is very interesting looking at the fantasy football information that is available right now.  If you are a fantasy geek like me you are getting the itch.  Over the past few days I have been scratching that itch and I have come across some surprising things.

First and foremost among the list of surprises is the number of our beloved Lions that are being selected early in fantasy drafts.  It tells me a few things.  First and most important is the fact that fantasy players across the country have taken notice of what the Lions are doing on offense.  Second, it also speaks volumes of the expectations that are being heaped on this offense.  Lastly, the Lions defense is being touted as a force and that defense might be responsible for getting the offense more opportunities in the form of turnovers, field position, etc.

Right now you can go to any fantasy football site and look for something called an APD.  ADP is short for “average draft position” and basically gives you a general sense of where players are being picked.   The ADP list is a very handy tool when it comes to preparing for fantasy drafts.

 As of July 14, Calvin Johnson is the No. 2 wide receiver behind Andre Johnson and is being selected as the No. 11 player overall which puts him as a late first rounder.  That is very impressive but those of us who watch him every week know that is where he should be. I would make the case that he should be the No. 1 wide receiver selected.  Imagine the numbers he will put up in this offense if Matt Stafford can stay healthy.  We already know what he will do with backup quarterbacks.  In my opinion the sky is the limit for Calvin.  Period!!!

Jahvid Best is the No. 21 running back and the No. 47 overall pick but goes higher in a point per reception format.  Fantasy players are making Jahvid Best a starting running back on their team and in leagues where receptions count Best is being relied upon for even more.

Matt Stafford is the No. 14 quarterback and the No.  88 overall selection.  I think that he will get drafted much higher if there is a preseason and if he shows anything in the preseason.  There are always a few quarterbacks that significantly outperform their ADP and Stafford might be that guy this year.  If Stafford plays 16 games he is easily a top 10 fantasy quarterback.  His stock will rise steadily through the preseason.

Rookie Mikel Leshoure is the No. 37 running back and the No. 92 overall selection.  Fantasy players are drafting him as a primary backup and that is saying something for a rookie.  The thought is that Mikel Leshoure is the guy that will finish games and will be a primary ball carrier if Best were to get dinged up. 

Brandon Pettigrew is the No. 14 tight end and the No. 124 overall selection.  Brandon Pettigrew is another prime candidate to significantly outperform his ADP.  He will be open all year with opposing defenses trying to take away Calvin Johnson, Jahvid Best out of the backfield, Nate Burleson in the slot and Titus Young over the top.  My senses tell me that Pettigrew will be running down the seams all year taking advantage of open areas vacated by defenders worried about other players.

The Detroit Lions Team Defense is the No. 12 defense being selected.  I am not going out on a limb to say that the Lions should finish better than that.  Last year they were the No. 11 fantasy defense and with a few free agent transactions and the addition of Nick Fairley they could and should be better.  Certainly the sacks will be there and the Lions are a good start at home almost anytime.

Nate Burleson is the No. 70 wide receiver and the No. 211 overall selection.  He is dramatically undervalued right now and as the season gets closer Burleson’s stock will rise.  My guess is that his value is low right now due to Matt Stafford’s shoulder concerns. Nate Burleson is more than a No. 6 WR on a fantasy roster.

Titus Young is the No. 88 wide receiver and the No. 260 overall selection.  Fantasy players are making him a depth player right now.

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Tags: Andre Johnson Brandon Pettigrew Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions Jahvid Best Matt Stafford Mikel Leshoure Nate Burleson Titus Young

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