Shark Bites

Drew Brees spoke glowingly of former QB coach and current Lions OC Joe Lombardi.  Brees believes Lombardi will be especially effective improving QB Matt Stafford's mental approach to the game.  "I think in regards to thought process," Brees explained. "We have countless conversations throughout the week on protection. Thought process on certain concepts, on timing of when certain things get called. It allows you to maybe see things from a different perspective and also maybe to add certain elements into your thought process that maybe weren't there before that help you be more efficient."  We like Stafford's odds of emerging as a better real-life QB under Lombardi.  We'll see about his fantasy prospects, though.  Detroit figures to run more under new HC Jim Caldwell.

Lions new OC Joe Lombardi likes what he's working with in QB Matt Stafford. "The good news is that he's not broken, that much is clear" Lombardi said. "There's an awful amount of talent there. His arm is something to behold. We used to sit in the Saints quarterback room and just marvel at his passes — all the depths, the whole field in play. He really can sling it. That's a great thing to have.  I am not worried about Matthew. I am excited to be working with him, and we'll get started soon. I can't wait."  Lombardi comes from a good lineage after working with Sean Payton and Drew Brees in New Orleans the past 7 years.  We like his arrival for Stafford's fantasy prospects in 2014 and beyond.  He has plenty to work on, but note that Stafford is still only 25.

Lions QB Matt Stafford broke an NFL record with 727 pass attempts last season.  The signal-caller admitted that playing from behind necessitated taking to the air more than the team really wanted. "We were behind in games late in the game and it's tough to justify handing the ball off a lot," he said. "We have to find a way to be more explosive in the run game and a little bit more balanced as well."  Detroit has passed at a 65% clip each of the last 2 seasons, but will look for more balance in 2013.  Reggie Bush's addition should help ease some of the pressure off Stafford's arm.  The 5th-year QB is still a rock-solid fantasy option even with a likely dip back under 700 pass attempts.  Click here to see our projections for him this season.

The Lions and QB Matt Stafford have agreed to a 3-year, $53 million extension.  It tacks on to the 2 years remaining on his current deal.  In total, Stafford will earn $76.5 million over the next 5 seasons in Detroit.  That $15.3 million annual salary ain't chump change, but it's considerably lower than Joe Flacco and Aaron Rodgers' recent contracts.  The deal is also interesting because it only extends through the 2017 season.  Stafford will be just 29 at that point.  If he's healthy and has continued to pile up numbers, he'll be in line for another big pay day.  For now, though, he remains hitched to stud WR Calvin Johnson.  That's great news for Stafford's fantasy outlook.

Lions QB Matt Stafford has been sacked 93 times over his first 4 NFL seasons.  That's tied for 20th most in the league, despite the fact that he's missed 19 games over that span.  ESPN's Seth Wickersham suggests that Stafford might be wearing down as a result.  "Watch highlights of his rookie season or even his college years, and you'll see a cleaner release," Wickersham writes.  "Stafford has never been a classic, over-the-top thrower like Peyton Manning, but his motion at times has dropped from three-quarters years ago to almost underhanded."  We noticed Stafford displaying goofy mechanics on plenty of occasions last year.  And his 59.8% completion rate and 6.8 yards-per-attempt average were both well below his 2011 marks.  Of course, Detroit's pass-heavy offense keeps Stafford's fantasy floor relatively high.  An NFL record 727 attempts boosted him to a 10th-place fantasy finish last year.  He's a safe bet to rank among the top 10 once again in 2013 -- barring injury.  And there's upside well beyond that.

The Lions' official website says WRs Nate Burleson and Ryan Broyles are both "ahead of schedule" and are "expected to be ready to roll come Week 1 vs. Minnesota."  It's been an impressive recovery for both guys.  Burleson broke his leg last October but was on the field for minicamp.  Broyles is returning from a torn ACL -- his 2nd in as many years -- and was also able to get on the field for minicamp.  We'll see how both guys look when the hitting starts in training camp.  A healthier and more experienced Burleson still looks like the favorite to open the season as Detroit's #2 WR.  But Broyles could surpass him by October.  The real winner here is QB Matt Stafford, who possesses clear top-5 upside with a healthy WR corps.

1 year ago

Lions QB Matt Stafford (hip) is active for today’s showdown with the Vikings. He’s fine to square off against a Vikings defense allowing just 209 passing yards per game.

Lions QB Matt Stafford (hip) is listed as probable for this weekend's game against the Vikings.  He put in a full practice on Friday and shouldn't be limited when Sunday rolls around.  Use Stafford as you normally would.

Lions beat writer Chris McCosky reports that QB Matt Stafford (hip) is on the field for Thursday's practice.  "Stafford looked comfortable," McCosky tweeted.  "Moving well."  Stafford will likely be listed as a limited participant, but he's on track to play against the Vikings this weekend.

As expected, Lions QB Matt Stafford (hamstring, hip) did not practice on Wednesday.  He probably won't do much -- if anything -- tomorrow either.  The real test will come on Friday.  We're tentatively expecting Stafford to play this weekend.  He reportedly showed no signs of being injured while walking around the practice field today.

ESPN's Adam Schefter believes Lions QB Matt Stafford will play this weekend.  "Knowing Stafford's toughness, my sense is he'll be out there," he writes. Schefter is clearly just speculating here, but he usually has a pretty good read on these situations.  He also mentions that Stafford's injury is more of a hip issue than a hamstring.  Regardless, he remains questionable for Sunday's game.  Let's see what he's able to do in practice this week.

According to insider Jason La Canfora, the Lions aren't yet sure whether QB Matt Stafford (leg) will be ready for Week 4.  We're still waiting to hear the results of his MRI.  The good news is that it sounds like Stafford avoided a multi-week injury.  If he can't play against the Vikings on Sunday, QB Shaun Hill will get the start.

Lions HC Jim Schwartz revealed in his post-game press conference that QB Matthew Stafford has a hamstring injury.  He reportedly played through it for much of Sunday's game against the Titans, although it looked like he really tweaked it while chasing down a defender on a fumble return later in the 4th quarter.  Stafford never returned after that. We'll continue to update his status through the coming week.

1 year ago

Lions QB Matt Stafford appeared to injure his leg late in Sunday's game against the Titans.  He was limping on the sidelines -- looked like a quad or hamstring.  QB Shaun Hill entered the game and has led a furious comeback to send the game into overtime.  It doesn't look like Stafford will return.

ESPN's Adam Schefter confirms that Lions QB Matt Stafford (hand) is expected to be ready for Week 1.  Stafford broke a blood vessel in his non-throwing hand over the weekend but likely would have returned had it been a regular season game.  The injury won't be a factor this year.  Stafford remains a top-5 fantasy QB.

While the team has yet to provide an official update, it sounds like Lions QB Matt Stafford's left hand injury is no big deal.  X-rays came back negative, and beat writer Tim Twentyman hears that Stafford would have returned to last night's game if it were a regular-season outing.  HC Jim Schwartz didn't sound concerned either.  "He got his hand banged," he said. "We’ll see. I think he’s okay."  We'll pass along any other updates we get, but consider Stafford's fantasy stock unaffected.

Lions QB Matt Stafford left Saturday night's preseason game with a left hand injury.  We'll update his status when we learn more.  The good news is that it's his non-throwing hand.

Update: HC Jim Schwartz doesn't seemed overly concerned about Stafford.  "He got his hand banged," Schwartz said. "We'll see.  I think he's ok."

Lions QB Matt Stafford threw without a glove or splint on his injured right index finger on Tuesday.  It's a good sign that he's close to 100%.  Stafford has tossed 9 INTs in his 3 full games since suffering the injury.  No player in the league has a more favorable stretch-run schedule though.  After this weekend's game against New Orleans' 17th-ranked defense against QBs, Stafford's final 4 games all come against teams in the bottom-8 in fantasy points allowed to QBs.  Stick with him as a fantasy starter.

2 years ago

As expected, Lions QB Matt Stafford (finger) is active for today's game against the Panthers.  He reportedly threw the ball well in practice.  Stafford comes with risk after last week's dismal performance, but we'd feel comfortable throwing him back out there as a mid-range QB1.

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