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Detroit Lions June Scouting Report
James Hintz

Things are slow this time of year but we do have a look at the schedule, plus some news and notes as the Lions have been working through this offseason virtually like the rest of the league.

QB: An early peek at some cheatsheets shows QB Matthew Stafford enters this season as a borderline fantasy starter. Last June he was ranked in the 20s by most and he over performed that ranking for the 8 games that he played. Things remained pretty stable from last year to this year offensively as far as talent, coaching, and philosophy, so I think Stafford should pick up where he left off. There was a story in the news recently about Stafford putting his house on the market. There were certain websites out there that talk about pro football who tried to spin this into something bigger than what is actually is. The truth is that there is nothing to read into here. Stafford and his wife have three young children with a fourth on the way, so they decided it wasn’t practical to live on a lake. This has nothing to do with the silly trade rumors from earlier in the offseason or anything to that effect. Getting back to on the field stuff, Stafford has worked together with various teammates throwing the ball around during the loosely organized workouts, much like the stories we have heard around the league.

RB: There was a little bit of action on Twitter recently with RB Kerryon Johnson responding to some fans about the fact that the Lions used a high pick on a running back (RB DeAndre Swift). Not a big deal; Kerryon seems like a good dude and he has said all the right things to the media about having Swift as a teammate. How will this split backfield work exactly? The consensus from the experts shows they believe in Swift as he is ranked higher than Kerryon. People have talked about how it might be tough for rookies to contribute immediately considering this unusual offseason, but running back is a position where rookies can get it done. I’m expecting a 50/50 split early in the season.

WR/TE: There was some news over the last month about a position switch for CB Jamal Agnew, who apparently is moving to wide receiver full time. He has been a backup defensive back, kick returner, and gadget player on offense. I’m not too excited about this move because to be honest I think Agnew might be getting caught up in a numbers game when it comes to a roster spot. I am still expecting WR Kenny Golladay to get that big contract extension done around the time training camp starts. The Lions have plenty of cap space to work with. They are still working on getting their draft picks signed so some of that space will get used up but Golladay should get his. The experts have Golladay as a top 10 receiver in the early rankings so you’ll need to invest an early pick on him, but I think he is a solid choice. Maybe not explosive enough for huge upside, but a solid floor. WR Marvin Jones projects as a possible late round pick. Various articles that focus on possible breakout players are mentioning TE TJ Hockenson, and he is a very obvious pick for a potential breakout season. His ranking seems to have a wide range right now. Remember he had a huge game in week 1 last year then struggled after that, so he is still a bit of an enigma.

K/DST: Not a surprise, the Lions declined the 5th year option on LB Jarrad Davis. Motivation has never been a problem for him but he could have some extra juice this year knowing he is playing for a contract, so he should be on your radar in IDP leagues. PK Matt Prater remains a very draftable kicker. The Lions DST should probably remain on the waiver wire, although their week 1 matchup is favorable for streamers.

2020 Schedule:

Week 1 Sept. 13 vs. Chicago 1:00

Week 2 Sept. 20 at Green Bay 1:00

Week 3 Sept. 27 at Arizona 4:25

Week 4 Oct. 4 vs. New Orleans 1:00

Week 5 Oct. 11 BYE

Week 6 Oct. 18 at Jacksonville 1:00

Week 7 Oct. 25 at Atlanta 1:00

Week 8 Nov. 1 vs. Indianapolis 1:00

Week 9 Nov. 8 at Minnesota 1:00

Week 10 Nov. 15 vs. Washington 1:00

Week 11 Nov. 22 at Carolina 1:00

Week 12 (THU) Nov 26 vs. Houston 12:30

Week 13 Dec. 6 at Chicago 1:00

Week 14 Dec. 13 vs. Green Bay 1:00

Week 15 Dec. 19/20 at Tennessee date/time TBA

Week 16 Dec. 26/27 vs. Tampa Bay date/time TBA

Week 17 Jan. 3 vs. Minnesota 1:00

Schedule thoughts: If you don’t like worrying about players who are game time decisions in prime time games, get as many Lions on your fantasy rosters as possible. The Lions and Redskins are the only teams with no night games, barring potential flexes. It’s an early bye (week 5) for the second year in a row. Not a lot of potential for bad weather games. The visit to Green Bay is early, so really it’s just Chicago and Tennessee in December that could be rough.

I will be back next month with a training camp preview.



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