Lions 2021 fantasy football outlook: Starters, avoids, sleepers

T.J. Hockenson #88 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
T.J. Hockenson #88 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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D'Andre Swift
Detroit Lions Running Back D’Andre Swift (32) Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

As most NFL fans start to prepare for their fantasy drafts, I wanted to give Detroit Lions‘ fans an outlook of where their favorite players stand. Here is a list of what to keep in mind as you get ready for your respective draft.

Starters: D’Andre Swift, T.J. Hockenson

D’Andre Swift

Starting with running back D’Andre Swift, we’re looking at a low-end RB1/high-end RB2. Lions’ offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn stated that he’ll stick with the hot hand during games. However, looking back to last season, that wasn’t exactly the case with the Los Angeles Chargers.

In every game that running back Austin Ekeler played, he led the team in carries in all of them but two. When Ekeler was injured, that’s when we saw Lynn stick with the hot hand.

So, I don’t think there is any need to worry about Swift’s carries. Not to mention, he’ll also see a lot of action in the Lions’ passing attack. Thus, making a good option for the third or fourth rounds in standard PPR leagues.

Lions’ fans, I’d caution drafting D’Andre Swift any earlier than the third round. There’s an added risk with a new quarterback, system, and offensive line that might not be as great as we want it to be early on. So expect a potential adjustment period before he really starts to get hot. Now, I’m not saying that this will happen, but you never want to get burned by your first two picks.

On the other hand, Detroit’s change in offensive system projects to benefit Swift’s play style. And with Swift’s similarities to Austin Ekeler, he’s sure to be a favorite of Lynn’s.

T.J. Hockenson 

Moving on to tight end T.J. Hockenson, I have him ranked as a tight end four. While most people overdraft on tight ends Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, and George Kittle, you could go for Hockenson in the fourth through sixth round. Who might just put the same production as those three.

In the last two years under quarterback Jared Goff, tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett combined for an average of 135.5 targets. Both share the role of starting tight end. Hockenson won’t share the spotlight with anyone, and it’s safe to say we can see him surpass over 100 targets.

He’s a player to have circled on your draft board. And if you could get him at his draft position, you’ll be poised for a good season.