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Notes: T.J. Hockenson named potential breakout fantasy star for 2020

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One ESPN reporter is expecting a big year from Hockenson in 2020.

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NFL: NOV 03 Lions at Raiders Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

T.J. Hockenson had a fairly disappointing rookie season, even when taking into account the long history of first-year struggles for tight ends. After exploding onto the scene with a record-breaking debut, Hockenson only managed 236 receiving yards in the other 11 games before suffering a severe ankle injury on Thanksgiving.

Expectations for Hockenson’s second year, however, are extremely high, and it’s not just people in Detroit claiming that. ESPN’s Field Yates listed 13 second-year players he thinks could be breakout fantasy players in 2020, and Hockenson was one of two tight ends to make his list.

“He was targeted on over 21% of his routes as a rookie and spent a large portion of his season with backup quarterbacks filling in for an injured Matthew Stafford,” Yates said of Hockenson’s rookie season. “Stafford’s return bodes well for all Lions pass-catchers, with Hockenson’s star potential being difficult to ignore. His final season at Iowa was one of the most impressive for any college tight end over the past decade, as he averaged 15.6 YPC on 46 grabs and scored six times. Bet on the talent here.”

Hockenson’s flashes last year were hard to ignore, but there should be at least a little caution about his 2020 season given how 2019 ended. As of just a month ago, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Hockenson was not quite 100 percent healed from the ankle injury that had the Lions tight end on a scooter for at least a month. Though we’ve seen Hockenson run routes since, there is no guarantee he’ll be in football shape when the Lions open camp in the next couple weeks.

Either way, given that he’s entering Year 2 after being taken eighth overall, a jump in production should be in the cards for Hockenson.

The Lions’ overall performance pointed to a team that should have won more than three games. Detroit was 3-8 in one-score games and performed more like a six-win team. They ranked 24th in injury luck and 22nd in fumble luck and were 10th in special teams efficiency.

  • Several Lions players, including Matthew Stafford, will be a part of a panel on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. discussing the importance of voter education and registration. Here’s more information, but check the Lions Twitter account for a live stream:

(Note: The stream will reportedly be live streamed on their Facebook and YouTube pages)

  • In just his second year in Detroit, Lions running back coach Kyle Caskey has created a foundation to improve the local community. Let’s just say you’re going to want to keep a close eye on this foundation in the next couple weeks:

  • Please.

  • A little humor to end today’s Notes: