2017 Detroit Lions DraftKings DFS Preview is now available at DraftKingsMaster. The 2017 Detroit Lions will most likely look similar to the 2016 version. Lots of scoring & excitement, but with chances for other teams to get DraftKings points in many ways. Overall, the Lions were solid on defense, ranked 20th overall in yards allowed. In fantasy, the Lions were okay. The team averaged 88 DK points per game. Matthew Stafford accounted for over 400 DraftKings points. Not flashy, but not too bad either.
Detroit Lions DraftKings Fantasy Opportunities – Quarterback
Stafford will be in line to have another big year. This should be the first year of a new contract extension, meaning he is the unquestioned leader in town. Fans wondered how he would respond after losing Calvin Johnson after the 2015 season. Stafford quieted nay-sayers quickly, throwing for 4,327 yards, 24 touchdowns & only 10 interceptions.
However, Stafford wasn’t always good to the fantasy owners. He averaged only 17 DK points per game, with some of the biggest stats coming late. The Lions had several 4th quarter comebacks, which was fine, but kept fantasy owners stressed out. The receiving core stays in-tact with Marvin Jones & Golden Tate, allowing for Stafford to have his threats.
Stafford will still lack a true outside threat early on, however. Anquan Boldin is solid, but age is starting to catch him. Tate & Jones are strong route runners, but not always able to take the top off the defense. Stafford knew when Johnson was with the Lions, he could throw jump balls & Megatron would make the play.
When Might Matthew Stafford Be Good For DraftKings Players?
The key will be to look at the schedule closely & the matchups against the run. The team brought in Matt Asiata from Minnesota this year, and while that is good for the team overall, DraftKings points could go away from Stafford. The Lions running game has not been strong for years, but that has been a major benefit for Matthew Stafford DraftKings owners. In a world where the more passes thrown, the better the chance of scoring, the Lions QB sometimes became too predictable, which can lead to interceptions.
The Lions 2017 NFL Schedule is full of opportunities for Stafford to show out. The Lions will be lucky to have the Saints, Browns, Packers, Steelers, and Bears on the schedule. While the Steelers & Packers are always formidable, their passing defenses were not strong. Stafford will have an upgraded offensive line with the additions of former Packers G (and Eastern Michigan alum) T.J. Lang & former 1st round pick Greg Robinson, who comes over from the Los Angeles Rams. When Stafford has time (like any great NFL QB) has time to go through progressions well, he is as deadly a passer as any the league has ever seen.
Detroit Lions DraftKings Opportunities – Running Backs
Of all the offensive units in the NFL, Detroit Lions running backs have possibly been the worse of all. The team became very pass oriented when Stafford was drafted in 2009, and hasn’t helped him in that area. The team averaged only 81 rushing yards per game last year, and their running backs were not traditional north/south runners. Zach Zenner showed some promise, but he is not an every down back that can be called upon to get 95-100 yards consistently.
As mentioned earlier, the team signed Matt Asiata from Minnesota. Asiata had a strong 2016 campaign after taking over for Adrian Peterson, having 6 rushing touchdowns. Asiata is a goal-line threat, similar to Zenner, which could make for an interesting battle in training camp for that position in red zone opportunities.
The other RB positions could be filled by committee. Ameer Abdullah showed signs of being a big-time back in 2015, but injuries slowed him last year. Theo Riddick was reliable, but he is a guy who will be valuable across the board. He can catch & run well, and possess the ability to break away for big gains. The opportunities haven’t always opened up, however. If Abdullah is healthy, the Lions can diversify their attack, but diversification will cut into usage. Lower use will mean lower DraftKings DFS stats.
Detroit Lions DraftKings Opportunities – Wide Receivers & Tight Ends
One position on the Detroit Lions roster that always has a good chance for points is the wide receiver position. With the passing attack being the top offensive weapon for the team, receivers & tight ends have a chance to make big points. We still like them in more tournaments than cash games, but the upside is strong. Golden Tate & Marvin Jones can take patterns to the end zone almost at will.
They are not the type that will take the top off the defense, however. The Lions are a true pattern-based offense. They run slants, curls & routes overall as good as any team in the league. Tate & Jones alone are scary & when TE Eric Ebron is in the offense, its almost unstoppable. Ebron’s ability to catch & get good YAC helps for opening opportunities for wide receivers in single coverage.
The Lions receivers are still good for tournament plays. Cash games with any part of this offensive unit will be tough to go with because of the up & down nature of the team. The offensive line upgrade will help, but more needs to be seen in order to call the Lions a consistent DraftKings threat.
Detroit Lions DraftKings Opportunities – Defense
The Lions on defense are a play to go with this year. They will not be drafted many weeks, but this is a team that has true playmakers in all levels. Ezekiel Ansah is an underrated pass rusher in the league. Look for him to have a bounce back in his third season. The Lions 1st round pick, Jarrod Davis (Florida) will help to solidify a linebacking group that has become better over the last few years.
Davis will be replacing Stephen Tulloch, who retired after last season. Tahir Whitehead & Paul Worrilow will be looked upon to continue their volume tackling skills. Both showed true playmaker potential in stopping the run & getting pressure on the quarterback.
In the secondary, this is where DraftKings fans will look for big production. Darius Slay & Glover Quin are one of the best tandems in the NFL & know how to get the football & force turnovers. Slay & Quin, when healthy, can lock down #1s and make life difficult on QBs, leading to sack, fumble & turnover chances.
Take the Lions defense individually, as opposed to a stack or tandem play with TEs or RBs. The Lions defense has the chance to become elite & put up major DraftKings points, despite the running game.
Detroit Lions DraftKings Fantasy Chances Overall
This is going to be an interesting watch. Stafford, Jones & Tate are going to be strong in tournaments. The upsides for all three are outstanding. On defense, most weeks, the Lions should be a safe play there because of turnover potential & sack potentials. Look at Ebron at TE if there is a rash of injuries during a certain week.