Lions WR Marvin Jones spent part of his offseason working out with future Hall-of-Famer Randy Moss. “I was getting a lot of insight from him in terms of what I wanted to focus on, including my lower-body strength, and (improving) yards after the catch," Jones said. HC Jim Caldwell liked what he saw from Jones this spring: "He’s had one of those springs that you kind of look to. This guy is right there on the verge of maintaining that kind of explosive start that he had last year. He’s really, really had a real good spring.” That explosive start Caldwell is referring to included 408 yards through Jones' first 3 games and 4 TDs through his first 6. He was sitting 3rd among WRs in non-PPR points through Week 6 and 7th in PPR. Jones totaled just 26 catches for 401 scoreless yards the rest of the way, though, ranking outside the top 70 at his position. Expect his production to level off in 2017. He's still set to play a big role in a Lions offense that's ranked top 12 in passing yards in 3 straight seasons. Jones could prove a strong value at his recent WR52 ADP.
Lions RB Ameer Abdullah revealed this week that it was a Lisfranc tear that ended his 2016 season in Week 2, a detail the Lions reportedly (allegedly) removed from the podcast recording where Abdullah revealed it. That makes for a fun story, but the situation likely doesn't matter a whole lot. We already knew that Abdullah tore a foot ligament and required surgery. And then the Lions added little to the backfield in the offseason while calling Abdullah the starter. We'll see how he looks in training camp and the preseason after limited spring work.
The Lions have signed RB Matt Asiata. A fantasy undertaker in Minnesota, Asiata vultured 19 total TDs over the past 4 seasons -- despite averaging just 3.5 yards per carry. He joins Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington in Detroit's backfield. Those final 2 and Asiata might be battling for 1 or 2 roster spots. We hope Asiata doesn't turn into a fantasy factor again.
Lions WR Kenny Golladay has been a standout at OTAs this week, according to insider Kyle Meinke. The rookie has been working both outside and in the slot. "Golladay's hands look as good as advertised too, sucking in every ball I saw thrown his way," Meinke writes. Detroit invested a 3rd-round pick in Golladay this spring and has a hole at the #3 WR spot after letting Anquan Boldin walk. Others vying for that job include T.J. Jones and Jared Abbrederis, but our money is on the rookie. Boldin saw 95 targets in that role last year, so Golladay could make some noise if he wins the job.
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.
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 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.
The Niners on Monday placed LB Nick Bellore on IR after he suffered an elbow injury in Sunday's loss to the Falcons. The team added LB Carl Bradford off waivers from Green Bay. Gerald Hodges and Michael Wilhoite figure to man the ILB spots against the Rams this Sunday, assuming Hodges doesn't violate any more team rules in the meantime.
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.
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