Hopefully everyone paid attention to Defenses & Dragons last week and slotted Kerryon Johnson into their fantasy lineups. The Lions committed to the running game and it paid off, as Johnson accumulated almost as many carries as Matthew Stafford had pass attempts. This is quite an anomaly for the Detroit offense and will probably not be the permanent situation going forward.
Instead, look for Stafford to throw the ball a little bit more this week against a Seahawks defense that is much less intimidating than it once was. With a trio of receivers—and maybe even a tight end?!—to choose from, the options are plentiful. Look for Golden Tate to be the main beneficiary, however, as he represents the Defenses & Dragons Player of the Week.
FantasyPros Ranking: WR16 (0.5 PPR)
FanDuel Pricing: WR18 ($7100)
Tate had a monster start to the season, averaging 18.0 points per game through the first four weeks. In the two game since then, the former Seahawk has tallied just nine catches for 78 yards without reaching the end zone. On an offense with so many weapons, ups and downs should be expected for all of the playmakers.
This week, the Lions will face a Seattle secondary that is decent against receivers, but definitely not shutdown. Teams like Dallas, Arizona and Oakland had minimal luck with their minimal assets, but the Broncos, Rams and Bears were able to have good days from multiple pass catchers.
The top point-getters against the Seahawks this year are Emmanuel Sanders (19.5 points) and Cooper Kupp (15 points), receivers who are not too dissimilar from Tate. Possession receivers who can catch the ball underneath and do damage with their feet are more likely to find success than big play threats against Seattle, which fits perfectly into the Lions’ plans.
Most experts recognize this and are ranking Tate as a mid-WR2. Do not be worried about Kenny Golladay or another day dominated by Johnson in terms of his production. As Stafford regresses toward his normal pass volume, Tate should be the one to reap the rewards. Even without any end zone targets to date, he has still found a way to produce.
Prediction: 9 receptions, 110 yards; 15.5 fantasy points