The Lions signed undrafted rookie TE Hunter Bryant. We got Jordan Reed vibes watching Bryant — a comparison also drawn by NFL.com's Lance Zierlein. Like Reed, Bryant is undersized at 6’2, 248 pounds and is basically a WR playing TE. Of course, that can be a good thing for fantasy football. Bryant flashed as a true freshman at Washington back in 2017 before tearing the ACL and MCL in 1 of his knees. He tore his meniscus the following spring and played in only 5 games in 2018. Bryant broke out this past year, racking up 52 catches for 825 yards and 3 scores. He averaged a big 15.9 yards per catch, and his 2.71 yards per route run ranked 3rd among 18 of this year’s top WR prospects. We’re guessing Bryant’s medicals played a big part of him going undrafted. He looks like a fantasy long shot but is at least worth monitoring going forward.
The Lions selected Wisconsin WR Quintez Cephus in the 5th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Cephus trudged to a 4.73-second 40 time at the Combine, although he did post above-average marks in the vertical and broad jumps at 6’1 and 202 pounds. He’s obviously not going to win with athleticism as a pro, but Cephus does a lot of little things well. He can beat press coverage, is an advanced route runner and is strong in contested situations. Cephus missed the entire 2018 season after being accused of sexual assault. He was later acquitted of those charges and returned to Wisconsin to post a 59-901-7 line this past year. Cephus tallied nice market shares, and his 3.1 yards per route run ranked 5th among 30 of this year’s top WR prospects. He figures to battle with Geronimo Allison for the #4 WR job in Detroit this season behind Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola. But all 4 of those guys are currently scheduled to hit free agency next offseason.
The Lions chose DE Julian Okwara in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. The little brother of Lions DE Romeo Okwara enjoyed a breakout 2018 campaign that included 12.5 tackles for loss and 8 sacks. Pro Football Focus credited him with the 6th-most pressures (61) in the nation that season. Okwara's prediction fell back a bit in 2019, which ended early with a broken fibula against Duke in November. Landing with the Lions and their 4-3 base defense should mean a DE/DL designation for Okwara in fantasy. We're not chasing hard after him in dynasty rookie drafts, though.
The Lions selected Georgia RB D’Andre Swift with the 35th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. Swift earned playing time as a true freshman in 2017 in a backfield that included NFLers Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, averaging a big 7.6 yards per carry on 81 attempts and actually leading the backfield with 17 catches. He took over as Georgia’s lead back the past 2 seasons, totaling 2,267 yards and 17 TDs on 6.3 yards per carry. He also posted receiving lines of 32-297-3 and 24-216-1. Swift is on the smaller side at 5’8 and 212 pounds, never reached 200 carries in a college season and dealt with leg, foot and shoulder injuries at Georgia. So he doesn’t project as a workhorse ball-carrier in the NFL. But Swift looks like a lead back with ready-made ability in the passing game. We’ve heard multiple scouts compare him to Dalvin Cook. In Detroit, Swift will duke it out with Kerryon Johnson for 2020 snaps. Considering the draft capital invested in Swift here, we’d consider him the favorite to lead the backfield in touches.
The Lions took Ohio State CB Jeffrey Okudah 3rd in the 2020 NFL Draft, making him the 1st DB off the board. Okudah spent 2 seasons starting for the Buckeyes, breaking up 17 passes with 3 INTs over that span. He also averaged just 2 solo tackles per game, though. Okudah figures to start opposite Desmond Trufant right away, but we’re not getting fired up for his IDP outlook.
The Lions have reached a 1-year deal with former Packers WR Geronimo Allison. ESPN reports that it's for just the league minimum, a fraction of the $2.8 million Allison commanded in the 1-year pact he signed with Green Bay last offseason. Despite playing all 16 games last season, Allison ranked just 6th among Packers in receptions. Barring injuries to others, Allison's high point in Detroit looks like the #4 role behind Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola.
The Lions have reached a 3-year deal with LB Jamie Collins worth $30 million, according to multiple reports. Collins joins a LB corps in need of playmakers and should see full-time snaps right away. Bet on Collins leading the group in fantasy scoring, with upside into LB1 range at the position overall.
Lions GM Bob Quinn said from the Combine on Tuesday that QB Matt Stafford (back) will be a "full-go" for the start of the team's offseason program. Stafford's 2019 campaign ended in November with tiny fractures in his upper spine. He avoided surgery, although ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in late November that the injury is "potentially chronic" and "could be an issue for him for years to come." Stafford will be worth watching closely this offseason -- but he looks like a fine value at QB14 ADP in early FFPC best-ball drafts. Lamar Jackson was the only QB to average more fantasy points per game last year.
Lions WR Kenny Golladay was knocked out of Sunday's game against the Packers with a 2nd-quarter concussion. It's his 1st documented concussion.
Patriots LB Jamie Collins (shoulder) is active for today's game against the Dolphins. He entered questionable for the 2nd week in a row but played through it last week. Collins should be fine for normal IDP use.
Lions S Tavon Wilson (hamstring) and LB Devon Kennard (shoulder) are active for today's game against the Packers. Both players finished the week with a full Friday practice and should be OK for normal IDP usage. DT A'Shawn Robinson is inactive with a shoulder injury.
Lions RBs Kerryon Johnson (knee) and Bo Scarbrough (ribs) are active for today’s game against the Broncos. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport gave us a convoluted report on this backfield this morning that didn’t help much. Try to avoid the situation — but if you’re forced to invest, Johnson is your best bet.
Lions RB Kerryon Johnson is expected to play today against the Broncos, which would be his first action since landing on IR after Week 7. So how many carries can we expect? Here's the goofy way NFL Network's Ian Rapoport stated it Sunday morning: "Johnson may not come out as the starter today, but he's expected to get his full share of carries along with Bo Scarbrough." When last we saw Johnson, he topped 70% playing time in 3 straight games and was dominating Detroit's backfield work. He has since missed 8 games with a knee injury, and Scarbrough has played well in his absence. Here's what HC Matt Patricia told reporters Friday when asked if Johnson would be limited, according to SI.com: “I would say that, I don’t know if you want to use the word ‘limit’ or just try to be smart, probably a better way to put it. From that standpoint of just being very aware, but certainly when you get in to the game some things change from that aspect of it, and you see how it goes. But again, he hasn’t played football in a while, so that’s definitely a factor.” It sounds like Scarbrough is expected to play through his questionable tag today, and it sounds like Detroit coaches will go in not planning to overwork Johnson. Combine the murky outlook with a negative matchup at Denver, and you get a fantasy backfield best avoided for Week 16.
The Lions have activated RB Kerryon Johnson from IR. HC Matt Patrcia said earlier in the week that the team would be "smart" with Johnson if he returned from his knee injury. The smart thing to do with your fantasy football lineup seems to be avoiding the Detroit backfield altogether in Sunday's negative matchup with the Broncos.
Patriots LB Jamie Collins (shoulder) is active for today's game against the Bills. He entered questionable but is OK to use in IDP lineups if you planned to. We have Collins as merely a low-LB3 option.
The Athletic's Chris Burke reports that Lions RB Kerryon Johnson is expected to return for Sunday's game against the Broncos. He's been on IR since injuring his knee in Week 7 but is eligible to be activated this week. It's entirely uncertain how big a role Johnson will play, though. And in Denver vs. the league's 10th-ranked RB defense, he'd just a desperation fantasy play.
The Lions have placed QB Matt Stafford (back) on IR. It never made any sense for them to bring him back in what's become a lost season. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in November that the tiny fractures in Stafford's back are "potentially chronic" and "could be an issue for him for years to come," so his recovery will be worth monitoring closely this offseason. QB David Blough will close out this year as Detroit's starter.
Lions RB Bo Scarbrough (ribs) is inactive for today’s game against the Bucs. That leaves Detroit with RBs Ty Johnson, J.D. McKissic and practice squad call-up Wes Hills. Try to avoid the situation vs. Tampa’s 3rd-ranked RB defense.
The Lions on Saturday placed MLB Jarrad Davis on IR, as he deals with knee and ankle injuries. The move clears the way for rookie Jahlani Tavai to start the final 3 games. Tavai racked up 10 tackles in the Week 14 game that Davis left early, while playing just 68% of the snaps against the Vikings.
Lions RB Bo Scarbrough (ribs) will be a game-time decision today against the Buccaneers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Detroit promoted RB Wes Hills from the practice squad Saturday, so there's legitimate concern for Scarbrough's status. Combine that with a matchup vs. the league's top run D, and we sure hope you don't need to rely on Scarbrough today.
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