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 Lions 2014 detroit lions Fantasy Preview

For years, the Lions' fantasy success has funnelled through one man: Calvin Johnson. So what happened when Megatron missed three games and was all but immobile with an injured ankle for two others? His teammates rose to the occasion. Matthew Stafford, Joique Bell and Golden Tate all posted top-15 fantasy seasons picking up the slack (even though Megatron still managed to post top-15 numbers as well). The team made the playoffs in 2014, and will be looking to pick up where they left off with an offense loaded with talent. New arrival Ameer Abdullah could also provide a fresh spark on offense, helping to fill the void for the departed Reggie Bush. It'll be interesting to see if head coach Jim Caldwell and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi can continue to "fix" Stafford in Year 2 of their system.

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Golden
Tate

WR - Lions

FACT: Tate had 40 percent of his receptions and 45 percent of his yards from Week 4 to 8, when Calvin Johnson was injured.
Offseason Moves

The Lions let the now 30-year-old Reggie Bush walk via free agency after an injury-plagued season, but were quick to acquire his replacement when they took Ameer Abdullah in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Abdullah is more than just a pass-catching scat back, however, and has the talent and skills to potentially take over this backfield. He's been earning rave reviews from the team all offseason and will be climbing up draft boards as the season approaches. The team's first-round pick, offensive guard Laken Tomlinson, should help stabilize an o-line that let Stafford get sacked 45 times in 2014. The biggest changes were on defense, though, as big-bodied disruptors Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley left in free agency. The team signed Haloti Ngata to help fill the void, but he will have his work cut out for him.

Sleepers & Busts

Bell, coming off of Achilles' Tendon and knee injuries, is a risk to disappoint fantasy owners given his Round 5 ADP. The young, talented Abdullah could eat into Bell's early season work, if not take over the lead role by season's end. Abdullah is worth a middle-round investment in all formats. Tate had a top-15 finish among wide receivers, but much of his production came during the five games where Megatron was most seriously injured. With both of them healthy to start the season, he could still post solid WR2 or WR3 numbers, but fantasy enthusiasts may want to temper expectations for Tate in 2015.

Fantasy Depth Chart
POSFIRSTSECONDTHIRDOTHER
QB Matthew Stafford Dan Orlovsky Kellen Moore Garrett Gilbert
RB Joique Bell Ameer Abdullah Theo Riddick George Winn
WR Calvin Johnson Golden Tate Corey Fuller Lance Moore Jeremy Ross
TE Eric Ebron Brandon Pettigrew Joseph Fauria
K Matt Prater - - -

Top 5 Board
#NamePos. Rank
1 Calvin Johnson WR2
2 Ameer Abdullah RB28
3 Joique Bell RB22
4 Matthew Stafford QB14
5 Golden Tate WR24
NFL News
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