Detroit LionsFantasy Football

Detroit Lions Fantasy Football Preview

Kerryon Johnson
Kerryon Johnson will need a huge year in 2020 to keep the starting spot from D’Andre Swift the speedy back from Georgia.

By Craig Forrestal

The pressure is on Matt Patricia this season as many expect him to be shown the door at the first sign of struggles this season. Now, that is not an ideal situation for a coach to be in after a 3-12-1 season and back-to-back Top 10 overall draft picks. Hopefully, the return of Matthew Stafford can provide enough offense to keep the Lions competitive in most games to avoid the coaching shuffle mid-season. The defense was near the bottom last season and I’m not sure it gets drastically better in 2020.


  • Week 1: Bears
  • Week 2: @ Packers
  • Week 3: @ Cardinals
  • Week 4: Saints
  • Week 5: Bye
  • Week 6: @ Jaguars
  • Week 7: @ Falcons
  • Week 8: Colts
  • Week 9: @ Vikings
  • Week 10: Washington
  • Week 11: @ Panthers
  • Week 12: Texans
  • Week 13:@ Bears
  • Week 14: Packers
  • Week 15: @ Titans
  • Week 16: Buccaneers
  • Week 17: Vikings

Players To Know

  • Matt Stafford-QB: Last season the Lions got a glimpse into what the Post Stafford era could look like. Stafford missed time due to injury which is uncharacteristic, to say the least. In that time the football world was introduced to the QB play of David Blough and reunited with Jeff Driskel and the offense struggled mightily at times. So the hope is that Stafford can bounce back from injury and return to his former back-end/fringe QB1 range. Another great thing about Stafford is the number of dome games he has this season; 11. Stafford has 8 home games, 1 in Minnesota, 1 in Arizona and 1 in Atlanta. And outside of that, I would argue his toughest weather outdoor game would be Week 13 in Chicago other than that he has a schedule that should present ideal conditions. 4350 passing yards and 30 TDs.
  • Kerryon Johnson-RB: Kerryon Johnson has a lot working against him right now. The Lions added a RB with mouthwatering potential in D’Andre Swift and Johnson was fairly ineffective in his 8 games last season. The injury concerns are the other with Johnson. He missed 4 games with a knee injury in 2018 and 2019 he missed 8 games due to knee surgery. He is a young RB with knee injuries in each of his seasons and that could signal the end of his primary back usage in Detroit. I expect Johnson to be involved less and less as the season goes on and given his injury history I think he will miss games this season as well. 600 rushing yards and 4 TDs.
  • D’Andre Swift-RB: I think the road has been cleared for Swift to take control of the backfield and almost immediately. Swift has undeniable potential and has his fantasy arrow pointing up due to the Kerryon Johnson injury history. While it is widely expected for Johnson and Swift to split work I do not think that is how it will play out. I feel 15 touches a game early on still makes him a lethal aspect of this offense. I am confident playing Swift as my FLEX initially and plan on him being an every-week fantasy RB by midseason. If you want him you have to be prepared to pull the trigger somewhere near Round 5. 800 rushing yards, 6 TDs, 40 receptions for 375 yards and 3 TDs.
  • Kenny Golladay-WR: Golladay was a top-end fantasy WR without Matt Stafford last season and I expect him to be in the top-tier again this year with Stafford healthy and under center. Also, his 11 TDs last season make him a legitimate red-zone threat and while that number is high a repeat isn’t out of the question. With a healthy Stafford, he should flirt with the Top 5 overall fantasy WRs. 70 receptions for 1125 yards and 8 TDs.
  • Marvin Jones-WR: Marvin Jones is the ultimate WR3/FLEX play in my opinion. He was a Top 30 overall WR last season and is being drafted somewhere around pick 100 overall from the half-point PPR mock drafts I’ve been involved with. Jones is an ideal candidate to outperform his draft slot with Stafford back and he is going for pennies currently. 60 catches for 825 yards and 5 TDs.
  • Danny Amendola-WR: While there is some hope for the shifty veteran slot WR due to 97 targets a season ago and better QB play but he only hit the endzone once. And 1 TD just won’t cut it in fantasy land. However, I’m on the outside looking in with Amendola. Golladay and Jones will get their targets no matter what but it is in who the #3 will be for targets and I think it is Hockenson. I think Amendola will be left to fight for work in the passing attack. He is off the fantasy radar to begin the season. 45 receptions for 550 yards and 0 TDs.
  • TJ Hockenson-TE: While the future is bright for Hockensonbased on what we saw last season it is tough to picture him becoming an every week TE in 2020. Hockenson will have some nice streaming matchups at points this season and that is how I see him best used this fantasy season. 55 receptions for 600 yards and 4 TDs.


Desmond Trufant, Jamie Collins and Danny Shelton to the defense but it was so bad last season the additions of those three and Jeffrey Okudah, first-round rookie CB from Ohio State, it is tough to see the defense turning it around so quickly. The defense was arguably one of the 3 worst three overall in the entire league last season so while there are some solid additions to the defense it is not enough to propel them into fantasy consideration.

Potential Breakout Player

  • D’Andrew Swift-RB

Rookie To Know

  • D’Andre Swift-RB

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