The Lions plan to play 1st-round LB Jarrad Davis in the middle "we hope for many years to come," GM Bob Quinn told the Detroit Free Press. But Davis will have to compete with others in the corps before settling into his spot. "He's a guy that we feel that can play mike (middle) and will (weak-side) so we’re going to put him in the mix with all the guys we have on the roster and just kind of figure out what’s the best way to use him," Quinn said. "But he definitely has position flexibility." Davis should quickly emerge as the top player in the group, however, and lock down a starting job either on the middle or the weak side. Meanwhile, Tahir Whitehead is no lock to remain in the lineup after a breakthrough fantasy season in 2016, which particularly found him struggling in coverage. Free-agent addition Paul Worrilow will also compete, along with 4th-round rookie Jalen Reeves-Maybin. Quinn said the team likes Reeves-Maybin on the weak side. The whole competition will be interesting to watch for IDP owners.
According to Kyle Meinke of MLive.com, the Lions "straight up told" 3rd-round WR Kenny Golladay that he'd get a chance to compete for a starting job in 2017. "I think primarily we'll start him off on the outside, but he has some pretty unique route-running skill-sets for a big guy that can kind of do some inside things," GM Bob Quinn said. "So we'll work him in there and we'll see how it plays out here in the next couple months." Of course, starting doesn't mean that Golladay has a shot to push Golden Tate or Marvin Jones out of the lineup. But Anquan Boldin remains a free agent, and Andre Roberts -- the only other Detroit wideout to catch 10+ passes -- has already moved on. A good spring and summer could land Golladay in that #3 role, in an offense that has leaned pass for years and got a disappointing debut from Jones. And Tate is signed through just 2018. Keep Golladay in mind as you head into dynasty rookie drafts.
Lions GM Bob Quinn called RB Ameer Abdullah his starting RB following the NFL Draft. “I feel pretty good about the position," Quinn said via Detroit Free Press. "There were a couple running backs that we looked at in the middle part of the draft, but just no one we felt that was going to come in and really unseat any of the guys that we have on our roster. So I feel good about that spot.” Abdullah appeared in just 2 games last year before undergoing season-ending foot surgery. If healthy (he’s already participated in spring workouts) the 3rd-year man has a chance to excel as the lead back. Of course, Theo Riddick will help lower Abdullah's receiving upside. But note that Detroit upgraded the O-line in free agency with G TJ Lang and RT Ricky Wagner.
The Lions drafted Miami QB Brad Kaaya with the 32nd pick of Round 6. That's surprisingly late for a 6'4 signal-caller with solid arm strength, 3 starting seasons and quality numbers (including 69 TDs vs. 24 INTs). Landing in Detroit puts Kaaya behind Matthew Stafford, who's heading into just his age-29 season. That makes Kaaya a non-factor in all but the deepest of dynasty rookie drafts.
The Lions added Toledo TE Michael Roberts in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The 6’4, 270-pounder turned in 1 of the craziest lines of last season: 45 catches, 533 yards and … 16 TDs! Roberts posted just a 4.86-second 40 time with a 30-inch vertical at the Combine, but he did show plus agility with a strong 3-cone. Scouts laud his body control and catch radius. And he certainly has the size to develop into a plus blocker. Roberts doesn’t seem like the type who will emerge as a fantasy difference-maker, but he could turn into an asset for QB Matt Stafford as a solid all-around TE.
The Lions selected Northern Illinois WR Kenny Golladay in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Golladay goes 6’4, 218 pounds with 4.5 speed and a 35.5-inch vertical. It earned him a 66th percentile SPARQ score. He faced inferior college competition but did total 160 catches, 2,285 yards and 18 TDs across 2 seasons. Detroit is set at the top of the WR depth chart with Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, but Golladay should at least be in the mix for the #3 job.
The Lions selected Florida LB Jarrad Davis with the 21st pick in Round 1. The selection is most noteworthy because they made the pick with Alabama's Reuben Foster still on the board. Davis should compete for a starting job right away, most likely outside in DeAndre Levy's vacated slot.
Lions RB Theo Riddick had surgery on both wrists, according to insider Dave Birkett. Riddick missed the final 4 games of last season with the issue, but we don't know exactly when went under the knife -- or exactly what the surgery repaired. Birkett says, though, that Riddick is expected to be a full participant in OTAs. As long as that's the case, there won't be any reason to worry about his 2017 outlook. Riddick finished 18th among RBs in PPR points in 2015 and 8th in PPR points per game last year.
The Lions will release OLB DeAndre Levy, according to multiple reports. Levy appeared in just 6 total games over the past 2 years while dealing with multiple lower-body injuries. He'll turn 30 this month, but we'd bet on him getting another shot at a greatly reduced salary.
Lions RB Ameer Abdullah has been medically cleared from his September surgery to repair a torn ligament in his foot. He was off to a good start before the Week 2 injury, carrying 18 times for 101 yards and hauling in 5 balls for 57 more. Abdullah will return to a crowded backfield that includes Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington. But he should be considered the favorite to lead-back duties. Abdullah is still only 23, was a 2nd-round pick and posted a SPARQ score in the 98th percentile among RBs.
Lions RB Ameer Abdullah told reporters on Monday that he expects to be "full go" for OTAs this spring. He suffered what was reported as a torn ligament in his left foot in Week 2 and ended up missing the rest of the season. Abdullah looked good before going down, carrying 18 times for 101 yards (5.8 YPC) and catching 5 balls for 57 yards (11.4 YPC) and a score. He'll return to a crowded backfield, though, that also includes Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington.
Lions RB Theo Riddick (wrist) is out for Sunday night’s game vs. Green Bay. That leaves Zach Zenner as the likely lead back after he out-touched Dwayne Washington 14 to 8 last week.
Lions RB Theo Riddick (wrist) remained sidelined on Thursday. Detroit would love to get him back for Sunday night's massive game against the Packers, but it doesn't look like that's in the cards. Riddick's absence would likely mean another game as lead back for Zach Zenner.
Lions OLB DeAndre Levy (knee) is active for Monday night's game against the Cowboys. He posted 8 solo tackles last week and should be a decent option for IDP owners who have waited for him.
Lions RB Theo Riddick (wrist) missed practice again on Friday and looks unlikely to play against the Cowboys on Monday night. That’d again leave lead-back duties to Dwayne Washington, who’s seen 33 touches over the past 2 weeks. He’s totaled just 114 scoreless yards, though, and is no better than a RB3.
Lions RB Theo Riddick (wrist) did not practice on Thursday. It's not a good start for his chances of returning for Monday night's game against the Cowboys. Fantasy owners can't be counting on Riddick in Week 16 lineups.
Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder) and OLB DeAndre Levy (knee) are active for today's game against the Giants. Having them in the lineup certainly helps the defense overall, but neither looks like a good IDP choice. Ansah is still chasing his 1st sack of the season, and the Giants have yielded the 5th lowest sack rate to date. Levy has returned to a part-time role after missing most of the year.
Lions RB Theo Riddick (wrist) is inactive for today’s game against the Giants. RB Zach Zenner (concussion) is active and will serve as the #2 RB behind Dwayne Washington. Washington is a solid bet for 15+ touches but is just a RB3 or flex against a tough Giants defense.
The forecast for today's Lions-Giants game calls for a 65% chance of rain with winds of 10-20 mph. Not ideal. It's especially concerning for Lions QB Matt Stafford, who will be playing with an injured middle finger on his throwing hand. He's no better than a mid-range QB2 for Week 15.
Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder) and LB DeAndre Levy (knee) are questionable for Sunday's game against the Giants. Ansah put in limited practices Thursday and Friday after sitting out Wednesday's workout. Levy put in limited practices all week and played through the issue last time out. He's playing a limited role, however, and shouldn't be in IDP lineups at this point. We'll update the status for each on Sunday.
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