If you’re a fantasy football addict like myself, you find articles about the game all over the internet always interesting reads. They’re almost always purely speculative, but different perspectives are nice to read about especially when planning for your league’s draft. And, if you dabble in the fantasy sports world of speculative journalism, you’ve most likely read an article or two by Matthew Berry, who does an annual piece that declares a lofty feat he expects each NFL team to accomplish that season.
Here’s what Berry had to say about the Detroit Lions this year:
1,000 yards for Titus Young. My thinking: Well, when they’ve triple-covered Calvin …
Aside from the rather lethargic effort put into this “bold” prediction, I find nothing gutsy about Young emerging as one of the league’s best second receivers whilst tallying 1,000 yards.
Here’s my thinking on that: The Lions completed 423 passes for 4,814 yards during the 2011 regular season. Calvin Johnson accounted for 96 of those passes and 1,681 yards. That means there were 327 passes and 3,133 yards that went to receivers not named Megatron.
Titus Young had 607 receiving yards on 48 receptions, or, 19.4% of all passing yards and 14.7% of all receptions after Johnson was fed.
After a season like Johnson had, it would be foolish to think he could repeat the performance in 2012. Nate Burleson is getting old and it looks like he’s set to move into the slot while Young move out wide in more three and four receiver sets. Young will understand the playbook and playing in the NFL better in his second season. Add in the fact that the Lions’ run game is, yet again, beaten up, unreliable, and largely unproven, it’s not out of the question to think that the Lions might even be throwing the ball MORE this year than they did in 2012.
For all these reason, more balls become available for Titus Young, who is sitting in the starting blocks ready to explode. Berry was making no leap of faith by suggesting that Young’s total receiving yardage would only increase by 66% between his rookie and second NFL years.
Now, how about a bigger bold prediction for the Lions?
Jason Hanson breaks his own franchise record of 132 total points in a season.
My thinking: Spoiler Alert: The Lions are going to score points. A lot of them. Not only will Hanson rack up a ton of PATs, but I think he’ll have more field goal attempts this year as well. I’m concerned that they may struggle once they hit the red zone. Johnson will be triple teamed, Pettigrew will get more looks from the defense, and without a consistent power running back, the defense won’t have to stack the box to stop the run.
I think a new franchise record is being a bit more bold than a fairly predictable increase of receiving yards for an up-and-coming Titus Young.