The post-Golden Tate world has not been great for the Lions offense, but there are still gems to be found. The skill players are all still in a position to succeed, but giving them the opportunity has been a challenge. Specifically, the offense line struggles have severely limited the passing game and has been a big detriment to finishing drives.
Obviously Matthew Stafford needs to be able to throw the ball for the offense to work. He has not been playing super well in his own right, but both the quarterback and the blockers in front of him are due for some positive regression. If they are able to bounce back, the receivers are in prime position to benefit. Kenny Golladay is the Defenses & Dragons Week 11 player of the week and a beacon of hope for the offense going forward.
FantasyPros Ranking: WR17 (0.5 PPR)
FanDuel Pricing: WR27 ($6400)
Like most receivers, Golladay’s fantasy output is highly dependent on targets. He has hit double-digit points in all five contests where he got at least seven targets, but was very pedestrian in the other four outings. Theoretically, losing Tate should give him a bigger slice of the pie, but he only saw four targets against the Vikings.
Knowing why exactly his target numbers fluctuate so much is difficult, but logic suggests that he should begin to find some more stability as the offense develops into its long-term state. With almost two season’s worth of experience, there is no reason for the Lions not to trust Golladay in the passing game. If they did not have big plans for him, there would have been more reluctance to trade Tate.
Wide receivers have found success against the Panthers, with five different players reaching at least 15 fantasy points. Only three running backs have hit this threshold, and only one has passed 20 points, so the likeliest Lion to have a good game is probably a pass catcher. While Marvin Jones Jr. is always a threat as well, Stafford will probably look for shorter routes more than deep bombs with the issues along the offensive line. This is where Golladay could feast.
Prediction: 6 catches, 75 yards, 1 touchdown; 16.5 fantasy points