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Detroit Lions Stats to Know & Top Takeaways (2022 Fantasy Football)

by Derek Brown | @dbro_ffb | Featured Writer
Jul 3, 2022
Jared Goff

The NFL landscape changes yearly. The variance spreads from free agent signings, NFL Draft picks, coaching hires and more. Understanding what a team’s offensive scheme could look like and meshing that with relevant nuggets from the previous year helps shape our view of teams and players for the upcoming season.

That’s where this series will come in handy. Discussing pace, red zone usage, deep passing and everything in-between, I’m venturing down the rabbit hole to provide context for all 32 NFL teams and the fantasy football players you’ll select this year.

NFC East

NFC North

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*All data utilized in this article courtesy of FantasyPros, PFF, Football Outsiders, Rotoviz and Playerprofiler.com unless otherwise specified.*

Detroit Lions Fantasy Football Stats to Know:

  • The Lions play seven games this season (PHI, WAS, MIN x 2, CHI x 2, NYJ) against teams that finished 24th or worse in DVOA against deep passing.
  • In his final collegiate season, Jameson Williams ranked fifth in deep receiving yards and 14th in yards per route run on deep targets.
  • In Weeks 12-18 last season, Detroit was 13th in EPA per play and seventh in EPA and success rate per dropback. In that stretch, Jared Goff was 13th in EPA per play and 9th in CPOE.
  • In Weeks 1-11, before D’Andre Swift was sidelined by injury, he was the RB7 in fantasy points per game, ranking second in routes, first in targets and 16th in yards per route run (among RBs, minimum 20 targets).
  • Last season the Lions ran the fourth-fewest plays ahead by seven or more points. They had the eighth-highest rushing rate in positive game scripts (ahead by seven or more points).
  • After Dan Campbell took over playcalling duties, the Lions went from 70% (seventh-highest) to 58% (24th) 11 personnel (3 WR) usage.
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown was 20th in route win rate and 25th in win rate versus man coverage. After Campbell started running the offense, St. Brown was 16th in yards per route run against man coverage and ninth against zone (minimum 10 targets).
  • T.J. Hockenson has ranked ninth and tenth in target per snap rate over the last two seasons.

Detroit Lions’ Top Fantasy Football Takeaways

The Lions’ offense took flight down the stretch as Jared Goff began to show glimpses of above-average play and evoked Rams’ memories. The 2022 squad is stocked to the brim with talent. Hockenson has been a top-end target earner over the last two seasons. Swift was on his way to a top-10 fantasy season among running backs before injury crushed his end-of-season finish. Adding Williams to this talented group could be the catalyst to a higher ceiling for this offense. With a schedule that lends itself to downfield throws for Williams, all we need is a clean bill of health to watch him blossom in his rookie season.

The volume could shift if this team takes a step forward for a full 17 games. With the Lions playing catch-up constantly last year (third-most trailing plays), Swift saw most of his volume through the air. While his target share and pass game role will still be present in 2022, he could get more rushing attempts if Detroit can muster more positive game scripts. Adding volume on the ground could help alleviate any concerns about his prospective target share.

Another wrinkle worth monitoring is Campbell’s preference for heavy sets once he took over as offensive coordinator. With Ben Johnson now holding the title, it’s up in the air whether we see their three-wide usage creep back up. Williams’ health and availability could also factor in here. He could push the 11 personnel rate upward with a formidable trio of him, D.J. Chark, and St. Brown. St. Brown displayed the ability to win against man coverage, so if he’s asked to play more outside, he should be up to the challenge.

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