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Detroit Lions Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2022

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

Lions QB Jared Goff spoke glowingly on 2nd-year WR Amon-Ra St. Brown. "I'm looking for him when things break down, and I'm looking for him when we need a play," Goff said. "Right now, he's that guy. He can take a sweep to the house. At the same time, he understands defense and coverage, and it's so rare for a young player to have that ability. He keeps asking the right questions and understanding what's going on over there. He's going [up]." St. Brown’s ADP has dropped since early in draft season. As the WR32 in FFPC Main Event drafting, he’s now coming at a reasonable price.

Lions WR D.J. Chark has been "impressive all camp," Tim Twentyman of the team's website writes. Chark, who signed a 1-year, $10 million contract with Detroit in free agency, "had a monster practice" on Saturday, including this diving catch. Still just 25 and with a 1,000-yard season under his belt, Chark could be a strong value at his current WR60 ADP.

The Lions signed RB Justin Jackson. The 26-year-old has flashed over 4 NFL seasons, averaging 5.0 yards per carry and 7.8 yards per catch. But he's reached double-digit carries only 6 times and had trouble staying healthy. It's also notable that Jackson had to wait until August 1 to land a job. We'll see if he can push Jamaal Williams for Detroit's #2 RB job. Jackson's arrival shouldn't impact RB D'Andre Swift's role.

The Lions have declined to give a public timeline for WR Jameson Williams' return to the field, but it doesn't seem like it's coming soon. According to Nick Baumgardner of The Athletic: "That rehab schedule might stretch on for a while. Not just through training camp but, perhaps, into a chunk of the season." Williams looks like a strong candidate to open the regular season on the PUP list. Consider him no more than a late-round flyer for 2022 redraft leagues.

Lions HC Dan Campbell comped RB D’Andre Swift to Alvin Kamara. “It goes without saying, Swift is one of our most explosive players on offense,” Campbell said. “Like, literally, we feel like, ‘All right, man, if we set this up right and there’s any space, this guy can take it to the house.’ He’s got that ability, and so — my gosh, man — you want those guys out there every play.” Swift has missed 7 games over the past 2 seasons, but there’s top-5 PPR upside here if his health cooperates.

Lions WR Jameson Williams (knee) has been placed on the non-football injury list. He gets that designation, rather than PUP, because his injury happened before he was drafted. Recovering from a January ACL tear, Williams isn't expected to be ready for Week 1 and probably won't be a real factor before the 2nd half of the season.

The Lions re-signed LB Alex Anzalone this offseason and opened spring workouts with him and 2nd-year LB Derrick Barnes as starters. LBs coach Kelvin Sheppard says no one's job is "safe," though. "[Anzalone] has the most time-on-task in my room, but that doesn't designate him the starter," Sheppard tells PrideofDetroit.com. "The things we did last year are not acceptable ... so don't tell me about what a guy did last year." Detroit also added Chris Board and 6th-round rookie Malcolm Rodriguez, brought back former Lion (and 1-year Jet) Jarrad Davis, and got Shaun Dion Hamilton back from a full year spent on IR. In the same interview, Sheppard had praise for Barnes ("The sky's the limit for him."), Board ("He has a unique skill set."), Anthony Pittman ("putting on a clinic so far") and Rodriguez ("It's arrows up on him."). Sheppard added that Rodriguez has already showed the potential to call the defensive plays, which would mean wearing the green dot and likely staying on the field 3 downs. The whole situation will need to play out in camp and preseason, and we're not ready to invest in any of them. Barnes and Rodriguez look most intriguing as dynasty stashes and late-round dart throws in IDP fantasy football leagues.

Per Lions beat writer Kyle Meinke, “the table is set for [Jared] Goff to improve dramatically this season.” As Meinke points out, Goff improved down the stretch last year when OC Ben Johnson took over the offense. This unit is suddenly deep at pass catcher, too, although the health of Jameson Williams (ACL) will be key. Goff might enter the spot-start radar for fantasy, but a lack of rushing upside makes him a clear QB2 for season-long projecting.

Lions HC Dan Campbell doesn't expect 1st-round WR Jameson Williams to be on the field for the start of camp. "I don't see him being ready for training camp," Campbell told reporters this week. "We'll see then. I'm very hopeful, but I don't see it. We're going to do this thing the right way, and when he's ready, he'll be ready. I don't feel like you're going to see him out there Day 1." That makes sense and falls in line with recent word that Williams is no lock to begin the regular season on time. "He needs a lot of strength development in that body, his lower extremities, his legs, his knees, his everything," Campbell added. The Lions have reason to be cautious with Williams this season, and cautious definitely seems like the ideal way to approach to the rookie's fantasy outlook.

Lions TE T.J. Hockenson expects to be used more creatively this season in new OC Ben Johnson's scheme. Johnson was Hockenson's position coach the past 2 years. "Ben has seen me do routes that most guys or coordinators wouldn't think that a tight end could do," Hockenson said. "Splitting me out, running a comeback, splitting me out and running things that really only wide receivers do. He's seen me run it and he's seen me run it well. Just being able to have that in his head – we're already seeing it now (with me) being split out and doing some things and showing what we got." QB Jared Goff likes what he's seen with Hockenson's usage so far this offseason. "T.J. is a unique player and somebody that we need to take advantage of his full skill set," Goff said. "No one knows him better than Ben, so having him in that (OC) spot to make those decisions and draw things up is helpful. But he's doing a great job creatively with T.J." Hockenson is a safe pick in mid-range TE1 territory and might still have untapped upside beyond that.

The Lions are hoping to get RB D’Andre Swift to play through the pain more in 2022. Note that the talented RB has played 13 games in back to back seasons. “Injuries happen, but one of the things Swift and I had a conversation about -- is you’ve got to be able to play through some of these injuries as a running back,” RB coach (and former pro) Duce Staley said recently. “We all know there’s a difference between being injured and hurt. As soon as you step in this building as a running back, Day 1 training camp, you’re not going to feel the same. There will be some things you have to fight through.” Per beat writer Kyle Meinke, Swift bulked up a bit over the offseason. Only 23, Swift’s consistency should improve in a revamped Detroit offense.

Lions OC Ben Johnson admits that it'll be a "challenge" to get WR Jameson Williams ready for the start of the season. The 1st-round rookie continues to rehab his January ACL tear and isn't participating in OTAs. "That’s a real struggle for us is to get him back, to get him healthy, and then (get him) as many reps as possible with the quarterbacks so that we know exactly where he’s going to be, we can anticipate the throw," Johnson said. Williams seems like a long shot to be active come Week 1 and might even open the season on the PUP list, which would cost him the first 6 games. Fantasy owners shouldn't be expecting him to contribute early, although he could be an asset over the 2nd half of the season.

Speaking at rookie minicamp, Lions WR Jameson Williams said he doesn’t have an update on when he’ll resume running routes. Williams tore his ACL on January 10 — 8 months prior to Week 1. “We’re taking it slow,” Williams said. “I’ve been out here getting some good rehab with the trainers two times a day. So everything’s been going good so far.” HC Dan Campbell passed on putting any sort of timetable on Williams’ return to the field, but it’s safe to call the ‘Bama stud questionable for Week 1. We’ll update his status throughout the summer.

Lions WR D.J. Chark said he’s not limited in offseason workouts. Chark, of course, is coming off a late September ankle fracture. "They’re always there to let me know like, if it’s bothering me I don’t have to push it as hard or things like that, cause they want me to be where I’m at my peak when the season starts," Chark, 25, said. "But no, I do everything that everybody else does. That’s just how I am. I wouldn’t feel good going home knowing that I didn’t do whatever because the other guys, and I feel like that’s how you earn your respect and your keep around here.” Chark signed a 1-year, $10 million deal back in March. He'll fill an intermediate/deep role in a suddenly-strong Detroit offense.

The Lions selected EDGE Josh Paschal in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. Paschal delivered career highs in tackles (52), tackles for loss (15) and sacks (5) as a senior. Paschal brings decent speed and athleticism but profiles as more of a run defender than threatening pass rusher. He, of course, follows Aidan Hutchinson to a Detroit team that also returns DEs Charles Harris and Romeo Okwara. Paschal might be hard-pressed for early playing time and might top out as a rotational player.

The Lions traded up 20 spots to select Alabama WR Jameson Williams with the 12th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Detroit sent the 32nd, 34th, and 66th picks to Minnesota to make the big move. A torn left ACL suffered in January’s National Championship prevented Williams from working out in the pre-draft process. But the tape is clear: Williams has unnatural speed. He blows by defenders in his routes and destroys angles after the catch. He averaged a huge 19.9 yards per catch at Alabama last year, including 9.3 yards after the catch, and scored 4 TDs of 70+ yards. Williams led the Tide and ranked top 5 in the nation with 1,572 yards and 15 TDs. He also averaged 35.2 yards per kick return with 2 TDs, earning SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Year honors. That, curiously, followed 2 mostly invisible seasons at Ohio State, where Williams totaled just 15 catches. It’s worth factoring into his NFL projection – but it’s tough to look at his 2021 production and tape and not come away excited. We’ll, of course, need to keep an eye on that left knee. Williams underwent surgery on January 13. University of Alabama team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lyle Cain, who did the procedure, said in March that he expects Williams to be ready by training camp. When healthy, he’ll join D.J. Chark and Amon-Ra St. Brown as Detroit’s top 3 WRs.

EDGE Aidan Hutchinson landed with the Lions in the 2022 NFL Draft. Hutchinson topped 60 tackles in each of his 2 full seasons starting at Michigan (among 4 total). He finished with a school-record 14 sacks in his final season. But Hutchinson’s career 0.76 tackles for loss per game ranks just 16th in this edge class. He’s an above-average athlete and hard worker but doesn’t profile as quite a top-shelf pass rusher.

The Lions are re-signing WR/KR Kalif Raymond, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. Raymond caught a career-high 48 balls in 2021, his 1st year with Detroit. We wouldn't bet on a repeat, though, with T.J. Hockenson and D'Andre Swift returning from injuries, Amon-Ra St. Brown having broken out late in the year and D.J. Chark arriving in free agency. (Plus, we'll see what the team does in the NFL Draft.)

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that former Jaguars WR D.J. Chark is signing a 1-year deal with the Lions. The contract will pay $10 million guaranteed, with a max value of $12 million (per ESPN's Adam Schefter). Chark suffered a broken ankle in Week 4 of last season, which is almost certainly why he's landing only a "prove it" deal in his 1st crack at free agency. Detroit presents obvious opportunity in an offense that was light on WR talent last season. Amon-Ra St. Brown was the only Lions wideout to exceed 71 targets or reach 50 catches. We'd bet on St. Brown beating Chark in targets this season, but Chark adds a significant challenge to St. Brown on that front and lowers the fantasy ceiling for the 2nd-year WR. Getting Jared Goff as his QB, though, also limits the ceiling for downfield threat Chark.

9:25am EDT 3/14/22

The Lions have agreed to a 1-year, $2 million deal with QB Tim Boyle, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. That's not necessarily primary backup money, so we'll see what else Detroit elects to do at the position this offseason.

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