Which Lions players should fantasy managers invest in this season?

In the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast, Matt Harmon and Scott Pianowski break down the draftable fantasy players from the Detroit Lions in 2022.

Video Transcript

MATT HARMON: All right, let's move to the Detroit Lions here, 'cause this team is interesting. Like you said up top, for fantasy, I'm gonna write a piece over the next couple weeks about the most-- actually, I might have to write it today. I kind of forget when it's due. Anyways, point is here, the teams that are-- like, we have to get right for fantasy this year, and I think the Lions are right in that conversation 'cause there's--

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Sure.

MATT HARMON: --for once, a lot of talented players here. They really didn't have any bigtime subtractions last year. Their only real bigtime addition was DJ Chark, who was terrible last year before he got hurt with the Jaguars, hasn't really been good in the last two years, frankly, as an individual player, but I do think adds depth to their receiver room. So maybe let's start off with how you feel about this team as a whole before we get into some of the more, like, microplayer decisions.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Yeah, they're a really difficult team to figure out because they have-- last year, they have a guy pop at the end of the year in St. Brown, when other people are hurt. They draft a first-round receiver who, I think-- in Jameson Williams, who everybody loves the talent. But it's just open question--

MATT HARMON: He's hurt.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: --what type of rookie year he's gonna have, because he's not gonna be ready right away. And the Lions, I mean, look, I get there's kind of a little buzz of, like, oh, they're like a fun NFC North sleeper. Maybe you'd get a good price on them or whatever.

But I think the Lions know who they are. They're a team that's trying to move in the right direction. They want the arrow pointed upward. But there's no reason to rush Jameson Williams back on the field. They basically want to get his feet wet at some point this year and then unleash him on the league next season.

So I don't think he-- I actually don't think he's draftable. I don't think he's gonna be in the way of whatever you think of the other guys. The two guys who I'm always befuddled with here, because they're so talented and I feel like they could literally-- they could be like one of the top two or three players at their position-- DeAndre Swift and TJ Hockenson. I don't know if I want it too bad. I doubt D'Andre Swift has that right answer upside. And--

MATT HARMON: Yeah.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Jamaal Williams is a good player, and the Lions like him and everything. But that doesn't mean Swift can't be the 70% of this backfield. With Hockenson, again, it's that chicken-egg thing, right? I mean, you want him to be-- at one point with the Lions, there's been junctures where he's been the off-the-bus we have to stop Hockenson guy. Now they have a good enough receiver room that probably goes away.

MATT HARMON: Yeah.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: And the thing with Jared Goff, I think people have to remember, is that, OK, yeah, I know he went, what, number two in his draft class? Or one? One or two, I forget which--

MATT HARMON: One.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: --one it was.

MATT HARMON: First of all.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Yeah. So he probably, in a different draft, might have gone 11th or ninth or 15th.

MATT HARMON: Yeah.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: I mean, yeah, he was a legitimate first-round pick, but he kind of was, like, well, the best quarterback here, so we're gonna take him. He's a good player. He's not a great player. He's not Matthew Stafford. He's not going to the Super Bowl.

He's good enough for-- yeah, he obviously was good enough for St. Brown last year. He's somebody who, in leagues where you need multiple starters, I'm perfectly fine if Jared Goff is my second or third starter. But Swift and Hockenson are the guys I struggle with.

And also St. Brown, too, because a guy who came into the league, what, fourth-round pick. OK, he's made the team. That's nice. He wasn't playing a lot right away. And then things fell perfectly for him. And he's like the, what, wide receiver two in the fantasy playoffs, and just blew up.

But now Chark's here. Now Hockenson's back. Now Swift is back. What type of player is St. Brown with everybody else? I think he's actually too good to, like, fall apart. I don't think it's gonna be like--

MATT HARMON: I agree.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: --oh, my god, remember the crazy one season that St. Brown had? I don't think we're gonna be saying that. But I don't really know where to draft him.

I think I'm more green light on Swift, I'm more yellow light on Hockenson. I think Goff, again, in deeper quarterback leagues is a great pick. You're not coming here for deep league quarterback advice.

But-- and I'm yellow to really close to, like, a cross between green and yellow on St. Brown, who-- I think it's a tough call, but I think he's gonna keep he's going to keep the majority of what we showed at the end of last year. I think he's going to catch 85 balls, something like that. It may just be from five touchdowns. But I think he'll be-- if he's, like, your third receiver, I think you've done really well.

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