Fanelli’s Fantasy Files: Detroit Lions Bold Fantasy Predictionsby Mike Fanelli June 22, 2021 0 comments
While the 2021 NFL season is still months away, it is never too early to prepare for the fantasy season. Whether it’s research, mock drafts, or going with your gut, everyone has a way to prepare for their fantasy drafts. However, this isn’t another article to help you prepare for the fantasy season. Today, I am going to give three bold fantasy predictions for the Detroit Lions in 2021.
All stats are base on PPR scoring.
Be sure to check out all of Fanelli’s Fantasy Predictions.
Amon-Ra St. Brown leads all Rookies in Receptions
Last season Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, Mohamed Sanu, and Jamal Agnew combined for 172 catches on 260 targets. All five receivers will play elsewhere in 20201. To replace them, the Lions signed Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman. However, over the last two seasons, the duo combined for 108 catches on 194 targets in 40 games. Despite seven picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Lions only used one on a pass catcher; St. Brown. Meanwhile, Perriman has one season in his career with 70 or more targets, while Williams hasn’t played since 2019. St. Brown will be the starting slot receiver come Week 1. Given Jared Goff’s history with Cooper Kupp in Los Angeles, expect St. Brown to turn into a target machine as a rookie.
D’Andre Swift Finishes as a Top-Five Running Back
Swift will be the focal point of the offense, thanks to a lack of receiving weapons. More importantly, the addition of Anthony Lynn as the offensive coordinator is a dream come true for Swift’s fantasy owners. During his four years with the Los Angeles Chargers, the running backs averaged 22.8 rushing attempts and 9.8 targets per game. Furthermore, the running backs averaged 30.2 fantasy points per game with Lynn. Meanwhile, the Lions running backs averaged 27.3 touches per game last season. However, Kerryon Johnson and Adrian Peterson, who combined to average 15 touches per game, are no longer with the team. Replacing them is Jamaal Williams, who has averaged 10.4 touches per game for his career.
During his rookie year, Williams had a career-high in touches in 11.1 per game. Even if he averages 15 per game this season, Swift will still finish as a top-five back. If Williams received 15 of the 32.6 touches per game Lynn has given running backs over the last four years, Swift would average 17.6 touches per game. Based on his 1.2 fantasy point per touch average last season, Swift would average 21.1 fantasy points per game with those 17.6 touches. If Swift averaged 21.1 fantasy points per game, he would have finished as the RB4 on a per-game basis. To help Swift out, the Lions used their first-round pick on Penei Sewell, improving their offensive line. It wouldn’t be surprising if Swift finishes as the overall RB1 this season.
T.J. Hockenson leads all Tight Ends in Receptions
Other than St. Brown, the Lions lack weapons in the passing game. Last season, Hockenson broke out catching 67 of his 101 targets for 723 yards, six touchdowns, and 11 fantasy points per game. Hockenson finished second on the team in every category, only behind Jones. However, with the dramatic changes at wide receiver, Hockenson is in line for a monster 2021 season. Last year, Hockenson finished fourth in catches among tight ends. While Darren Waller and Travis Kelce finished with over 100 catches each, Hockenson was only six catches away from finishing third. However, with the lack of weapons around him, Hockenson is in a prime position to not only lead all tight ends in catches but the entire league.
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