Shoes fit for a giant. That’s what Golden Tate in the wake of Calvin Johnson’s retirement will attempt to fill. In this edition of ‘The Stance,’ Brad Evans and Liz Loza push the pedal to the metal, touching on the fantasy potential of Detroit’s remaining standouts.
Megatron’s ride toward the sunset paves the way for Tate to be Matthew Stafford’s weapon of choice. Most agree he’ll entice at least 140 targets this fall, but common ground about his TD total is a different story. OVER/UNDER 6.5 end-zone dances for Tate this fall.
Liz – UNDER. Tate may have the stickiest mitts in the league and electric after-the-catch ability, but at 5-foot-10 and 198 pounds he’s not built to be a red zone threat. That’s why he’s never notched more than seven scores in a season (2011). In 2014 when Mega was sidelined and the Golden One’s targets multiplied he still only managed 4 TDs. The catch totals will be there for Tate in 2016. And I’m confident he’ll rack up over 1,000 yards. But he’s not besting his TD output from a year ago.
Brad – OVER. Only once in his six-year career has the maple bar kleptomaniac registered seven or more TDs in a season, but a career-best in the category is in the forecast. Recall last year, Tate enticed the same number of red-zone targets (18) as Johnson. Sure, Marvin Jones will carve out a role near the goal-line, but it’s likely Tate attracts some 20-25 looks inside the 20, which would place him near the top of the heap in the category. Remember only 10 wideouts totaled 20 or more red-zone targets last season.
Mark me down for eight TDs. Overall, Tate is slightly undervalued at his 32.0 (WR20) ADP.
Overly admired by the jackass who penned this article, Ameer Abdullah fell down an empty elevator shaft after a breakthrough performance Week 1. Slated to head up the Lions RBBC, featuring the likes of Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner and Stevan Ridley, is the second-year rusher OVERVALUED, UNDERVALUED or PROPERLY VALUED at his 79.5 (RB30) ADP?
Liz – OVERVALUED. In a previous edition of Pressing Questions, I rattled off 650 words explaining why I wouldn’t take Abdullah inside of the top-thirty players at the position. I’m sticking to that. Projected to churn out a little over 1,000 total yards and 5-6 scores, the explosive rookie figures to end the year on the RB2/RB3 bubble. But in a pass-happy offense and coming off of labrum surgery, I’d prefer to take either Giovani Bernard or Duke Johnson, both of whom are being selected after Abdullah.
Brad – UNDERVALUED. Full admission, I was head over heels for the then rookie a season ago. His flashy open-field moves and versatile skill set had my salivary glands working overtime. Though he disappointed, all signs point to the sophomore rusher heading up Detroit’s RBBC. Zenner, who I believe will nail down the big back role, will mitigate Ameer’s TD potential. However, if he holds onto the football and records some 14-15 touches per game, he should accumulate roughly 1,200 combined yards with 5-7 TDs. That is, if the Lions, who entertained Arian Foster, don’t bring in a challenger. Keep in mind Abdullah tallied 4.7 yards per carry with OC Jim Bob Cooter calling the shots.
Stafford is the definition of a quarterback who historically has done so little with so much. Still, thrust into a situation in which he should once again cross the 600-attempt line, predict the passer’s final season line (ATTS-PYDS-TDs-INTs-RYDS-RTD) and offer reasoning.
Liz – 601-4143-26-15-129-1
Without Megatron available to bail him out, Staff’s completion percentage and red zone efficiency is bound to regress. Jim Bob Cooter will attempt to minimize the Scruffy One’s mistakes by utilizing a lot of bubble screens and quick slants. That’s good for his team. But bad for yours.
Brad – 606-4288-26-16-84-1
Because of Detroit’s permeable defense, Stafford has historically been thrust into many high volume situations. On paper, it appears another 35-40 attempts per game is in the cards.
Though the loss of Calvin stings, he has enough adequate weapons around him (Tate, Jones, Riddick, Abdullah) to inflict significant damage, particularly if Eric Ebron secretes Krazy Glue from his hands and rises to the occasion. Ultimately Stafford should average around 18.0 fantasy points per game in traditional Yahoo leagues, making his QB15 (137.6) ADP accurate.