5 Detroit Lions who could become fantasy football stars in 2022

D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)
D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) /
2 of 6
Credit: Arizona Republic-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Arizona Republic-USA TODAY Sports /

5. LB Malcolm Rodriguez

Walk down a path with me, will you? Alex Anzalone was downright bad last year, but the Lions had no other viable options to take over the green helmet dot or play nearly every snap when he was healthy.

Rodriguez, a sixth-round rookie out of Oklahoma State, has made a positive impression upon arrival in Detroit. He appears able to be a fast learner, and possibly able step in and have the green dot in his helmet to communicate with the sideline right away. Thus far in training camp he is making a serious push for a starting job (Anzalone’s, to be specific).

Production is of course the name of the game in fantasy. Rodriguez topped 100 total tackles in two of his last three seasons at Oklahoma State, and if 2020 was a normal season (82 tackles in 11 games) he surely would have made it three out of three.

In 2021, Rodriguez added 16 tackles for loss, three sacks, an interception, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and four pass breakups to his Big 12-leading 129 total tackles. He had three sacks in each of his last two seasons in Stillwater, with 11 combined forced fumbles over that span.

Rodriguez of course has to win a starting job in camp to be an option in IDP leagues right away when the season starts. But combined talent and clear instincts for his position with that opportunity, and you have a potential immediate fantasy star.