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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Team Talk: Detroit Lions

Three-a-days?  How about four-a-days?  Okay, you got it!  Adam Filadelfo has been working like crazy cranking out these team previews for you.  The Team Talk series continue with two more entries - the Lions now and the Packers later on today.

If you want to follow Adam on Twitter, click here: @Frostt24

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It wasn't that long ago, that Lions fans were wearing paper bags over their heads because they were so ashamed of their team. Two years ago, the Lions made the playoffs. They could be back there again thanks to some of these key contributors.

Matthew Stafford - He has had more passing attempts than any other quarterback the last two seasons. Based on that stat alone, Stafford should get you major fantasy points. He can throw for 300 yards on any given Sunday regardless of the opponent . The touchdowns will be there too... don't worry about his lower number in 2012.  If you average his last two seasons he's still over 30, a number that you can reasonably predict this year. Stafford would be more reliable if he cut down on the number of interceptions which is another reason he can be selected later on in drafts. If you wait until after the top quarterbacks are selected, Stafford is a great choice. He can definitely be counted on every week.

Calvin Johnson - The nickname says it all: Megatron. When talking about wide receiver tiers, CJ is in a tier all by himself at the top. in fact, he's the only receiver that can be selected in the first round that won't get you taunted by the rest of your league. He's a total difference maker at the receiver position who will have a ridiculous amount of receptions and yards. His touchdowns were down last year but that shouldn't concern owners since he led the league in times tackled inside the five yard line. Those touchdowns are expected to go back up which lead to Megatron being the top receiver again in fantasy football.

Reggie Bush - There are very few running backs that have the explosiveness of Reggie Bush. He's one of the few that can turn a broken play into positive yardage. Bush will rack up receptions and yards and will reward owners immensely this year. He could see upwards of 70 receptions (or even more) which would make him an excellent RB2. (And tremendous in PPR.) However, he shouldn't be counted on as your top back due to the fact he does miss time with injuries. It's not enough to pass up on him in drafts but he's a great compliment to a back you drafted earlier. Besides missing a game or two, the touchdowns may not be there. He could finish with single digit scores which will disappoint some fantasy owners but he will more than make up for that with receptions and yards.

Ryan Broyles - I suppose playing across from Megatron has its advantages but to me, Broyles is nothing more than a late round flyer who has a good chance of failing to live up to expectations. With defenses game planning for CJ on a weekly basis, it is possible Broyles makes some noise. If the pickings are slim late in your draft, take a shot on Broyles. There is a little upside there but don't get your hopes up.

Brandon Pettigrew - For the last few seasons, Brandon Pettigrew's name has been tossed around as a tight end who's ready to take the next step. Honestly, I believe what you see is what you get with Pettigrew. This is who he is. While he's not a bad option at tight end to own in fantasy football, it always seems like he's not able to take that next step. In an offense that throws the ball 700 times a year, you'd think Pettigrew would have a few more receptions and yards. While the potential is there and Pettigrew isn't a bad choice to fill your tight end position, I'd like to see a bit more from him before I draft him.

Joique Bell - If you're looking for the handcuff to Reggie Bush, Bell should be your guy. While not as explosive as Bush, Bell could be a nice option if/when Reggie misses time. He'll get some carries and also his share of targets in a pass happy offense like the Lions. He could be worth a late round pick for Reggie Bush owners.

D/ST
- There's always a chance this defense can come up big because their defensive line is so monstrous. If Suh can keep his composure and Fairly takes a step forward, watch out. I still think Detroit has more high scoring affairs than not but the defense could produce a lot of sacks with that front line. I'd still use a wait and see approach with them but this is a defense to keep an eye on once bye weeks start.