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Detroit Lions

NFC North

It was reported by Kyle Meinke of MLive that Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson continues to stand out in camp. (Source: Kyle Meinke on Twitter )

Fantasy Impact: “That’s fun in training camp,” Hockenson said after catching a touchdown in practice. “Just things like that are fun. Being able to make plays. You get opportunities throughout training camp, and when the ball’s in the air, it’s yours. That’s your mindset all the time. That’s always fun.” After already taking a step forward from year one to year two, the Lions are in line to rely on Hockenson even more this season following the departures of Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. The targets Hockenson is set to see this year shouldn't be an issue. The biggest question will come down to how many endzone targets he'll see in this offense.

Projecting the Lions offense for fantasy football, The Athletic's Chris Burke wrote: St. Brown, meanwhile, already appears on track to establish himself as a trustworthy, chain-moving option. (Source: The Athletic)

Fantasy Impact: Burke added: If I were a betting man, though, I’d take St. Brown and a healthy Williams to surpass Perriman’s totals in 2021, at least in targets. Perriman still could lead the team in yards and/or touchdowns because of his deep-ball ability, but Williams offers a bit more versatility and knows Lynn’s system. The beat writer acknowledged the WR room isn't built for fantasy football production - unless fantasy gamers attempt to play the matchups. The preseason will be important for St. Brown to establish a rapport with QB Jared Goff.

Category: Rumors

Detroit Lions defensive back Jeff Okudah (groin) underwent core-muscle surgery on both sides last season in December. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Okudah is fully recovered from core-muscle surgery and was given a clean bill of health entering training camp. “While he tore a core muscle on one side in ‘20, he had surgery to repair both,” said Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. “The non-injured side for precaution because if you tear one, you often tear the other.” The No. 3 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft rocked up 47 tackles and an interception over nine games in 2020. Okudah should be all systems go for training camp, and his presence on the field only helps the Lions' defense. Detroit allowed a whopping 285 yards per game through the air last season, which ranked 31st among all NFL teams. Even with a fully healthy Jeff Okudah, the Lions DST is currently 31st among all defenses in the latest ECR and is a DST to avoid in all league formats.

Category: Injury Updates

Free-agent WR Danny Amendola plans to play this season and has had several teams reach out to him, per Doug Kyed of PFF. (Source: Doug Kyed on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Amendola is being "selective and wants to play in the right situation," according to Kyed. He's been working out with Cardinals QB Colt McCoy. Amendola was solid for the Lions last year and has enough left in the tank to be a reliable WR. He will likely sign somewhere and play a rotational role as a possession-type receiver.

All-time great running back Adrian Peterson is still staying in shape in hopes to return to the NFL for yet another season at age 36. Peterson said, "My body feels good. I came out healthy from last season. My body feels strong. I still feel young. I still feel good. I'm ready to play ball." (Source: Sports Talk 790AM)

Fantasy Impact: Peterson had a pretty good season for a 35-year-old last year in Detroit. However, with their newly revamped running back room, they don't have a need for AP. Will a team come knocking before the season starts? If so, Peterson could carve out a role in your team's flex spot this season once again.

New Lions quarterback Jared Goff may be new to Detroit, but he has quickly made his presence felt during OTAs. "He throws a pretty ball, that's for sure," explained rookie head coach Dan Campbell. "I like his command in the huddle, and I would say he's progressing kind of right where you want at this point." (Source: Detroit Lions on YouTube)

Fantasy Impact: Goff was flipped to Detroit in an offseason trade that sent Matthew Stafford, two first-round picks, and a third-round pick to Los Angeles. The former No. 1 overall selection appeared in 15 games last year, completing 552 passes for 3,952 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. He ranks 27th among quarterbacks in the latest expert consensus draft rankings, with a depleted receiving core serving as the biggest factor in his fall outside of the top-24. Still, it's promising to hear Campbell sing his praises after watching him take the field this month.

Category: Rumors

Detroit Lions OC Anthony Lynn called Jamaal Williams "a classic 'A' back" during a recent interview. (Source: The Athletic)

Fantasy Impact: "Jamaal is what I’d call a classic 'A' back," Lynn said. "I like to break the backs down into A and B. My 'A' backs are normally my bigger backs. They can run between the tackles, block probably a little better than a 'B' back, they can also run the perimeter. I can leave those guys in there for all three downs." This is certainly high praise for the newly signed Williams, and it puts a damper of D'Andre Swift's fantasy value in redraft leagues. Detroit was always going to utilize both backs once they signed Williams, but perhaps fantasy players should exercise more caution when using an early-round pick on Swift. This will be a situation to monitor once training camp rolls around.

Detroit Lions OT Penei Sewell has reportedly agreed to terms with the team on his four-year, $24.1M fully guaranteed contract. This includes a $14.88M signing bonus. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Sewell lands in Dan Campbell's smash-mouth regime to begin his career. The 20-year old tackle out of the University of Oregon will be a great asset for Jared Goff and De'Andre Swift, as he allowed just one sack across his last two seasons in college and has shown smooth run-blocking ability, opening up running lanes for the backfield to seize upon. Sewell is an extremely young prospect but has incredible strength and balance, which will allow him to hold his ground as the Lions' starting right tackle come September.

Category: Transactions

Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the Philadelphia Eagles have claimed former Lions RB Kerryon Johnson on Friday. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Johnson ends up in Philadelphia after being waived by the Lions on Thursday. He will join a crowded Eagles backfield that includes Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Jordan Howard, and Kenneth Gainwell. The 23-year-old was unproductive in 2020, logging 52 carries for 181 rushing yards (3.5 YPC) along with 19 receptions on 26 targets for 187 receiving yards and three total touchdowns. Johnson was limited to 18 games in his first two seasons with the Lions and will compete for a spot on the Eagles RB depth chart. Kerryon is currently 72nd among all running backs in the latest expert consensus draft rankings.

Category: Transactions

The Lions have signed free agent tight end Darren Fells to a one-year deal. (Source: Dave Birkett on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Detroit was in need of tight end help after Josh Hill retired. Fells will instantly become the team's No. 2 tight end behind T.J. Hockenson. He's a solid blocker with tremendous value in the red zone. Over 16 games (14 starts) in Houston last year, he caught 21 passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns. With Detroit's lack of threats at wide receiver, Fells could be a decent deep stash in case Hockenson suffers an injury.

Category: Transactions

The Lions and center Frank Ragnow are in agreement on a four-year extension worth $13.5 million per year, bringing the total value to $54 million. The deal spans from 2023 through 2026. (Source: Tom Pelissero on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Ragnow is entering the fourth year of his contract and had his fifth-year option exercised, which is why the new deal won't take effect for another two years. Now, Detroit locks up a big piece of its offensive line for the next six years. It's the second big move in the trenches for the Lions, who drafted Penei Sewell at No. 7 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Category: Transactions

The Athletic's Chris Burke appeared on The Underdog Football Show With Josh Norris Monday, saying, "I think [D'Andre] Swift could touch the ball 20 times per game." Burke's interested to see if the Lions will use more two-back formations, adding, "[The Lions] don't even really have a slot receiver right now unless you're playing Quintez Cephus there as sorta a big slot or you're playing Hunter Bryant there, who they signed as an undrafted free agent last year." (Source: Chris Burke on The Underdog Football Show)

Fantasy Impact: Burke continued, saying, "There's an opportunity for Swift [and] Jamaal Williams to sorta bump out there and play some slot receiver reps and I think that they will do that. They really want to play with some speed at the skill positions. They want to use the play-action like I mentioned. So, that's a space where they can create some mismatches. Like you said, Jamaal Williams is a really good running back and he can be a three-down guy. And Swift, we've seen what he can do. So, I think that those two and T.J. Hockenson - as you look at the roster - those are really the three guys that I think can end up handling a bulk of the workload." Burke added things will change if the Lions draft a receiver or Kyle Pitts in the first round but that the team needs to address the defense, as well. Burke is asked about Swift at the 17:30 mark of the podcast.

Category: Rumors

Mohamed Sanu signs with 49ers

Sat, Mar 27th 1:49pm EDT
By Brendan Tuma

WR Mohamed Sanu signed a one-year deal with the 49ers. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Sanu was with San Francisco in 2020 before getting cut. He ended the season in Detroit, but will return to the 49ers to serve as receiver depth. He won't be a fantasy factor to begin the year.

Category: Transactions

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports former Lions WR Kenny Golladay has chosen the New York Giants. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Rapoport adds that it's a four-year deal worth $72 million, which includes $40 million guaranteed. The move gives Daniel Jones a true No. 1 wideout, although it's debatable how good this is for Golladay's fantasy value. New York apparently received all the answers they were looking for during their meeting with the star wideout on Friday.

Category: Transactions

K Matt Prater signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the Cardinals on Wednesday. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Prater joins the Cardinals after spending the last seven seasons in Detroit. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler coming off a down season. The 36-year-old converted 21-of-28 field goal tries and 38-of-41 extra point attempts. Prater will be a part of a high-scoring offense and is a top-10 kicker in 2021 fantasy drafts.

Category: Transactions

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports former Lions wideout Marvin Jones is expected to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: It's reportedly going to be a two-year, $14.5 million deal. The move reunites Jones with former Lions OC Darrell Bevell. Having just turned 31, Jones gives a young Jacksonville team some experience on their offense. Jones likely won't be a fantasy difference-maker with the Jaguars, but he'll be useable throughout the 2021 campaign.

Category: Transactions

Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Lions are resigning LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin to a 1-year deal worth $2,378,490 all of which is guaranteed. (Source: Ian rapoport of NFL Network)

Fantasy Impact: After letting go of LB Jarrad Davis in free agency, the move to resign Reeves-Maybin comes at no surprise. The veteran LB recorded just 10 tackles last season with the team.

Category: Transactions

Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Jets and former Lions LB Jarrad Davis to a 1-year, $7 million deal. (Source: Ian rapoport of NFL Network)

Fantasy Impact: After a disappointing career in Detroit, Davis decides to take his talents to New York with the Jets. Newly acquired Jets coach Robert Salah thinks the new addition can be a primary defender on the team after the Lions misused him.

Category: Transactions

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports the Lions re-signed pass rusher Romeo Okwara to a three-year, $39 million contract. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Okwara had a career year with 10 sacks in 2020. He'll be a major part of new coach Dan Campbell's rebuilding efforts this season.

Category: Transactions

Detroit Lions TE Jesse James has been released by the team, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: James spent two years playing in Detroit but was overshadowed by second-year tight end T.J. Hockenson in 2020, seeing just 22 targets and hauling in 14 receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns across their 16 game schedule. The sixth-year tight end showed his ability to operate as the TE1 during his four seasons in Pittsburgh and will join free agency looking for an opportunity to recapture a higher usage role in the passing game. James joins the many other players finding themselves looking for a home in 2021 due to the league's reduced salary cap.

Category: Transactions