Lions

With Stafford Out, Which Lions Can You Trust? – Zavier Gussett

by Zavier Gussett

After the Lions announced Matthew Stafford will miss the majority of the remaining season in the midst of a career-year, many fantasy owners are wondering how their Lions players will produce without him at Quarterback.  Whether you own Kenny Golladay, or are indecisive on adding newly signed Running back Bo Scarbrough, this article will help you determine which Lions players you should, and shouldn’t trust moving forward.

Players you SHOULD Trust:

Jeff Driskel, QB

Through his first two career starts, the former 2016 6th round pick has certainly impressed NFL fans around the league after 18 and 27 point games with Detroit.  Driskel has shown he can pick up solid points as a dual-threat Quarterback, as he has combined for 478 passing yards, along with 88 yards on the ground after just two games.  The new Lion’s QB looks like he can provide owners with productive play in most matchups, and with upcoming games against the Redskins, Buccaneers, and Vikings, Driskel will likely have some big games for owners as long as he is under center for the Lions.

Kenny Golladay, WR

Golladay is someone who owners might panic on after a slow start without Matt Stafford throwing him the football.  As one of this season’s top surprises, Golladay’s 6’4″ frame has made him a go-to in the Lions’ offense due to his ability to score touchdowns better than anyone else.  Although it might look like the change at Quarterback may be affecting his production, replacement QB Jeff Driskel has targeted Golladay the most through his two games despite playing both the Bears and Cowboys elite secondaries.  After leading all Detroit Wide Receivers in snaps played week 11, Kenny Golladay is still undoubtedly the #1 in the Lions’ offense and shouldn’t be taken out of your lineup any time soon.

Danny Amendola, WR

Danny Amendola has been an inconsistent fantasy option as the team’s third option at Wide Receiver for most of this season.  Though he’s proved that when he does see targets, he can be reliable to put up good points.  In his 4 games this year with 8+ targets, Amendola is averaging almost 17 points per game.  Fortunately with Jeff Driskel at Quarterback, it looks like the offense might look to Amendola as a slot receiver more often. As over the last 2 games, he is tied with Kenny Golladay for the most targets (14) on the team.  Danny Amendola is surely someone to keep rostered as depth, and looks to be a safe option in deeper leagues with any favorable matchups.

Players NOT to Trust:

Marvin Jones, WR

After being one of Matt Stafford‘s top targets offensively, Marvin Jones has looked like a top fantasy receiver at times this season.  After posting 19.9 points on Sunday, It seems his production might not take a huge hit in response to the change at Quarterback.  Jones’ 5 targets in each of his last 2 games is a real concern though, leaving questions if he can consistently put up numbers going forth.  With matchups facing the Redskins, Bears, Vikings, and Buccaneers in their next 4, Jones could nonetheless find ways to continue producing as long as the Lions are forced to pass the ball often. Though, with none of those teams being elite scorers he could lose out on receiving more volume.  It looks like Jones has room to maintain fantasy production to close the season, but his inconsistent play this year should keep owners slow to trust him weekly.

Bo Scarbrough, RB

In his first ever start, Bo Scarbrough earned the bulk of the Lion’s groundwork, and brought himself into fantasy conversations after picking up 11.5 points against the Cowboys.  Despite the Lions going with a running back-by-committee approach since losing Kerryon Johnson, Scarbrough was given 49% of the offense’s snaps in Week 11.  However, Scarbrough’s fantasy output looks very touchdown-dependent after more than half of his points came as a result of his only touchdown, along with not receiving a single target from QB Jeff Driskel.  As his upside gives him only flex consideration in most leagues, Scarbrough shouldn’t be trusted in most fantasy lineups. Though he could be a player worth stashing on your bench in the case that he takes on more volume in Detroit’s offense.

J.D. McKissic, RB

McKissic’s 6 total touches in Sunday’s game, along with being on the field for only 23% of snaps on offense, makes it hard to trust him enough to start him even in deep leagues.  His only value came as a pass catcher, but now as it looks like he is the third option in a Running Back committee, McKissic is losing most of his value in PPR leagues.

T.J. Hockenson, TE

Ever since his huge 25 point performance in week 1, the rookie Tight End has been an inconsistent player for owners.  His 5.3 point average since then, has left him as a bench player on most teams as he is too unpredictable for owners to feel confident starting.  Even with the replacement of the QB throwing him passes, Hockenson hasn’t done much with his 8 targets from Jeff Driskel as he has only put up 9.3 points combined.  Hockenson should be strictly a depth player at this point, due to his lack of significance in Detroit’s offense from a fantasy aspect.

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