USA Today/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Detroit Lions 2021 Fantasy Football Preview

Things are pretty bleak for the Lions heading into 2021. Here's a breakdown of the roster for fantasy this season.

It has been a long time since the Super Bowl, and remembering exactly how things left off last year can be a challenge. So, I’ll be writing up a fantasy preview for each NFL team to give us a quick refresher on what happened last year, and what changes took place in the offseason. All fantasy stats will be in ESPN scoring format unless otherwise noted. 

If I missed any change or left out any big notes, throw them down in the comments for me!

What Did They Do Last Year

The Lions went 5-11 in Matt Patricia’s swan-song performance, bringing an unmerciful end to another chapter in this horror-storied franchises all-to-perfect of a representation of its beleaguered host city. 

The Lions also fired General Manager Bob Quinn, traded Matthew Stafford, and parted ways with Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay. It will be a marvel of masochism if the Lions are able to better attendance figures from 2020 with this absolute embarrassment of a roster.

I’d be inclined to give the Lions a little credit for moving in the right direction if they’d shown any proclivity for doing anything other than grasping at straws and continuously hitting the reset button while ruining promising players’s careers.

Quarterback
OVR RankPlayerGCOMPATTYDSTDINTATTYDSTDFFPFFP/G
15Matthew Stafford1633952840842610291120256.616
57Chase Daniel4294326412216012.23
74David Blough1610490111801.81.8

The Lions traded their best player and franchise quarterback for Jared Goff and a pack of circus peanuts. 

The optimist would point to Detroit’s not-terrible offensive line as reason for hope for 2021, after they graded out as the 9th best pass blocking and 13th best run blocking line by PFF grades. The addition of rookie tackle Penei Sewell should help build on the only real strength the Lions have going in to 2021. Perhaps Anthony Lynn can help Goff color-by-numbers as well as Sean McVay did in LA.

Wide Receivers
PPR RankSTD RankPlayerGTGTRECYDSTDSTD PTSSTD PTS/GPPR PTSPPR PTS/G
1815Marvin Jones16115769789151.89.5227.814.24
7180Danny Amendola146946602060.44.3106.47.60
10197Quintez Cephus113520349246.94.366.96.08
10299Kenny Golladay53220338245.89.265.813.16
106104Marvin Hall113218302242.33.860.35.48
153163Jamal Agnew13201389010.20.823.21.78

Whichever receiver is tabbed with running short, quick hitter routes is maybe a late-round volume dart. Rookie fourth round pick Amon-Ra St. Brown’s strength is running good routes and getting quick separation. With Goff’s propensity to throw short, St. Brown could end up being a contributor on your fantasy team sooner rather than later. 

Running Backs
PPR RankSTD RankPlayerGATTYDSTDTGTRECYDSTDSTD PTSSTD PTS/GPPR PTSPPR PTS/G
1820D'Andre Swift13114521857463572143.811.1189.814.60
3933Adrian Peterson16156604718121010112.57124.57.78
6467Kerryon Johnson145218122619187152.83.871.85.13
6869Ty Johnson10542541211699147.34.763.36.33
140158Jonathan Williams1150442100.60.64.64.60

One of the few moves the Lion’s made this offseason was bringing in former Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams. Williams proved he was a plus back with Green Bay last year, and the only plan that seems like a viable one for Detroit is to run, run, run. 

D’Andre Swift is the most electric back and should end up with the most touches in this backfield. It is tough to bet on him being able to overcome what may end up being one of the most anemic offenses in the league even with the addition of Sewell. He’ll likely be drafted way too high for me this year. 

Tight End
PPR RankSTD RankPlayerGTGTRECYDSTDSTD PTSSTD PTS/GPPR PTSPPR PTS/G
56T.J. Hockenson16101677236106.36.6173.310.83
5557Jesse James122214129224.92.138.93.24
9892Hunter Bryant2314404.42.25.42.70
114115Isaac Nauta221300.30.21.30.65

Goff tends to take the easy throw at all costs, something that may benefit Hockenson believers. It will be tough to guess if the Lions will score enough touchdowns for Hockenson to get the five to six he’ll need to be at all worth the draft capital his big name will demand.

2021 Draft

Sewell was a huge get for the Lions as he was expected to go a few picks earlier. St. Brown is interesting due to an overall lack of talent and returning targets.

The Schedule

The Lions will be battling it out with the Chicago Bears to be the worst team in the NFC North, and they won’t be helped at all by the schedule-makers, picking up a ninth road game. 

Detroit plays the NFC West (Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams) and the AFC North (Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals). They’ll get a little relief facing the Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, and Atlanta Falcons too. 

Additional Notes

It’s hard to imagine things being worse in Detroit, but ownership surely giving it their best shot. 

What Does It All Mean?!?! (AKA – Bold predictions)

I hate betting on bad teams for fantasy, and Detroit is going to be bad. 

Arrow down, down, down.

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Thanks to FFToday.com for hosting such great stats info!

Thanks to TheHuddle.com for their great Coaching Change Tracker