Lions 2016 detroit lions Fantasy Preview

The Lions 2015 season is a tale best told in two parts. The first features a struggling offense that mustered a mere 19.9 points per game and struggled to run the football. During the second installment, however, the offense soared to new heights averaging 26.1 points and 369 yards per game, while improving the rushing attack by giving the ball to its best rusher more often -- Ameer Abdullah. The reason for this stark contrast is a man by the name of Jim Bob Cooter, who became the offensive coordinator in Week 8 (right before Detroit's bye) and promptly turned things around. The entire offense surged to a strong finish, with Matthew Stafford completing 70 percent of his passes with 19 touchdowns and just two interceptions over the final eight games. Of course, the offense must endure a major change heading into 2016, as Calvin Johnson officially retired this offseason. Whether or not Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Anquan Boldin, and Eric Ebron can collectively pick up the pieces of Megatron's departure will be a key storyline to monitor in terms of this unit's potential fantasy success.



RB - Lions

FACT: Abdullah's rookie year was a disappointment, but he averaged 4.7 yards per carry under Jim Bob Cooter during the second half of the season.
Offseason Moves

Calvin Johnson hanging up the cleats is by far the biggest move in Detroit this offseason. It forced the team to spend big on Marvin Jones in free agency and add Anquan Boldin right before camp in an attempt to fill the massive Megatron-sized void left in the offense. No one will replace Johnson, but this wide receiver committee approach should help keep the offense afloat. The team also brought in veteran Stevan Ridley to the backfield. If he earns any sort of role with the team, it'll likely be as Joique Bell-2.0 where he's only deployed in short-yardage and goal-line work -- a disastrous result for Abdullah's 2016 fantasy outlook.

Sleepers & Busts

Ameer Abdullah's hype-train was rocketing him all the way up to the third round of some fantasy drafts last fall, but a bumpy rookie season in a crowded committee quickly derailed that ride. Is now the time to get back on? Abdullah is falling into the middle to late rounds of mock drafts this summer, and could present a huge sleeper value. He looked much more effective in Jim Bob Cooter's offense, and with Joique Bell gone, the team could lean more on the talented second-year rusher. Marvin Jones is the other name to circle as a sleeper in Detroit. He and Golden Tate are billed as a 1a-1b tandem, and considering Jones is going off the board a few rounds later, he's the much better value of the two.

Fantasy Depth Chart
QB Matthew Stafford Dan Orlovsky
RB Ameer Abdullah Theo Riddick Zach Zenner Stevan Ridley
WR Golden Tate Marvin Jones Anquan Boldin Jeremy Kerley
TE Eric Ebron Brandon Pettigrew
K Matt Prater

Top 5 Board
#NamePos. Rank
1 Matthew Stafford QB17
2 Ameer Abdullah RB30
3 Golden Tate WR25
4 Marvin Jones WR41
5 Eric Ebron TE16