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Detroit Lions Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2024

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

Lions HC Dan Campbell said Thursday that S C.J. Gardner-Johnson is ready to return from his Week 2 pectoral tear and could start practicing as soon as next week. "He's one of the X-Men, he's got these mutant genes because he has healed extremely quickly, and he's gotten his strength back. It is secure," Campbell said, according to ESPN's Eric Woodyard. "So, yeah, he's going to be ready to go here pretty soon." Campbell added that they still need to work out the "plan" for getting Gardner-Johnson back into football shape. It's tough to expect him to make an impact in IDP lineups before the end of this season, but we'll watch the safety's status.

Lions LB Alex Anzalone put in a full week of practice and doesn't appear on the final injury report ahead of Sunday's game against the Bears. That means he's ready to return after missing Week 13 with a hand injury. Anzalone's return should decrease the playing time for rookie LB Jack Campbell, who got a boost with Anzalone out. Campbell did notch 9 tackles (5 solo) on just 61% playing time in the Week 11 meeting with the Bears but shouldn't be central to your Week 14 IDP plans. Check our Week 14 LB rankings to see where both Lions LBs land.

Lions LB Alex Anzalone is doubtful for Sunday's game against the Saints with a hand injury that kept him out of practice all week. He hurt the hand late in the Thanksgiving loss to the Packers. DC Aaron Glenn said Friday that LB Jack Campbell will take over the MLB role and call plays in the defensive huddle. That gives Campbell significant fantasy upside, especially in a game that could find RB Alvin Kamara leading New Orleans in receiving. We've boosted Campbell into LB2 territory of our Week 13 IDP rankings.

Lions rookie DB Brian Branch returned Sunday after missing two games with a sprained ankle. But returned to a smaller role than what he left. The second-round pick played 68% and 69% of snaps the first two games. That grew to 100% in Week 3, after the team lost S C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Branch again started in Week 4 and appeared headed for similar use but left that game early with the ankle injury. But in his return game against the Ravens, the rookie played just 50% of snaps. He closed the practice week with a full Friday workout and carried no injury designation into the game. So we're not betting the ankle limited his time. Instead, it appears the Lions preferred to keep more LBs on the field and run fewer alignments of 5+ DBs. That left Branch, the nickel CB, less involved. Based on how Detroit has run its defense otherwise, we're guessing it was a specific shift for Lamar Jackson. It did not work. Branch's usage will make him tough to trust in Week 8 IDP lineups for an upside Raiders matchup. We'll watch for some indication that his playing time will increase.

12:23pm EDT 10/22/23

Lions CB Jerry Jacobs is inactive for today's game against the Ravens. He was a late addition to the injury report with a knee issue. Pregame warm-ups found him unready to play.

Lions DB Brian Branch is off the final injury report and ready to play Sunday against the Ravens. The rookie missed the past two games after suffering an ankle sprain against the Packers in Week 4. He finished this week with a full Friday practice, though, and no game designation. Branch said earlier in the week he expected to play. Bet on a return to full playing time. Although he's listed as a safety on most fantasy platforms, Branch has primarily played slot CB. That should keep him busy in this matchup, with Nelson Agholor, Zay Flowers, and Mark Andrews all seeing significant time there. We have bumped the rookie way up our Week 7 DB rankings.

The Lions have ruled S Brian Branch (ankle) out for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers. Without Branch last week, the Detroit secondary found Kerby Joseph and Tracy Walker at safety with Will Harris manning the slot between CBs Cameron Sutton and Jerry Jacobs.

Lions CB Emmanuel Moseley will miss the rest of the season after tearing his right ACL in Sunday's win over the Panthers. It's especially bad luck for Moseley, who was making his Detroit debut after recovering from a torn left ACL he suffered in Week 5 of last season. Losing Moseley shouldn't have much impact on a Lions defense that has been playing without him anyway so far.

Lions S Kerby Joseph (hip) and CB Emmanuel Moseley (knee, hamstring) are active for today's game against the Panthers.

The Lions have ruled DB Brian Branch (ankle) out for Sunday's game against the Panthers. They might get S Kerby Joseph (hip) and CB Emmanuel Moseley (knee, hamstring) back. Both are officially questionable but finished the practice week with full participation Friday.

The Lions didn't practice Wednesday but listed DB Brian Branch as a non-participant in their estimated injury report. That doesn't bode well for his Week 5 status. It's been nearly a week since Branch left the Thursday night win at Green Bay with an ankle sprain. We'll see about his status heading into the weekend, but plan on starting someone else in that slot of your IDP lineup. S Kerby Joseph (hip) was listed as limited. He's a candidate to return after missing the past two games.

Lions S Kerby Joseph (hip) and CB Emmanuel Moseley (knee, hamstring) are inactive for tonight's game against the Packers. Joseph's absence -- for the second straight week -- should mean more playing time for rookie Brian Branch once again. He went from 68% and 69% snap shares the first two games to playing every snap last week. That helped Branch rack up 11 solo tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 2 passes defensed in the win over the Falcons. He has moved up our Week 4 DB rankings.

Lions S Kerby Joseph (hip) and CB Emmanuel Moseley (knee, hamstring) are questionable for Thursday night's game against the Packers. Joseph missed last Sunday's game after sitting out the whole practice week. He returned to limited workouts this week but remains a question mark and is probably not worth the risk in IDP lineups. Moseley has yet to play in a game this year and didn't get any live practices in this short week. He shouldn't be in IDP lineups yet but sported some upside when he started with the 49ers.

The Lions fear S C.J. Gardner-Johnson tore a pectoral muscle in Sunday's loss to the Seahawks, NFL Network reports. If confirmed, that would knock Gardner-Johnson out for at least a while -- and likely the rest of the season. We'll watch for confirmation.

Tim Twentyman of the team website lists Lions rookie DB Brian Branch as a player who has "stood out" early in training camp. Branch, a second-round pick, has been working in with the first team. He saw time in CB and safety roles at Alabama before dropping to Round 2 after running slow at the Scouting Combine. Detroit presents opportunity for Branch to earn a regular-season role in either position group. We'll keep watching for more specifics on what role he might fill. We've gone ahead and added him to the IDP rankings, though.

Lions DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson was carted off the practice field Monday morning after suffering a non-contact knee injury, according to multiple reports. We'll await an official diagnosis, but this obviously sounds pretty serious. A healthy Gardner-Johnson would be a candidate for both the primary slot CB role and some safety work. We'll see about Detroit's defensive plans going forward.

Update: NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that the injury doesn't appear to be serious, according to team sources.

10:20pm EDT 4/27/23

The Lions spent the 18th overall pick of the NFL Draft on LB Jack Campbell. The former Iowa LB delivered strong tackle numbers across four seasons, including leading FBS in that category in 2021. He also defensed 15 passes over the past three years. Campbell closed his Hawkeyes career by earning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and the Butkus Award (nation's top LB) in 2022. He followed that with an 80th-percentile speed score and 9.98 relative athletic score (out of 10). That's the sixth best among 2,600 LB prospects since 1987. We'll see about Campbell's immediate fit in Detroit, which re-signed LB Alex Anzalone in free agency. But Campbell clearly fits squarely into the Lions' defensive plans going forward. He sat No. 2 in our IDP rookie rankings heading into the draft.

The Lions are bringing LB Alex Anzalone back on a three-year, $18.75 million deal, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That's particularly noteworthy money for Anzalone, who played each of the past two seasons for Detroit on one-year pacts. He got just $1.75 million in 2021 and then $2.5 million last year. But Anzalone increased his playing time each season vs. what he got across four seasons in New Orleans. That included playing 95.1% of the snaps across 17 games last year. Anzalone also saw boosts in his Pro Football Focus grading across categories and cracked the top 30 LBs in fantasy points. Expect him to remain the Lions' best bet for full playing time at the position, heading into his age-29 season. There's still room for 2022 rookie Malcolm Rodriguez to grow his role, though, vs. where Rodriguez finished the season.

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