Which Detroit Lions players will be the breakout fantasy stars of 2011?
The common and safe philosophy in each fantasy draft: when in doubt, draft a running back. Although still a good choice in most cases, there is no clear-cut number one back this year. With Arian Foster dealing with injuries and Chris Johnson holding out until just before the start of the regular season, Adrian Peterson emerged as the popular pick. The Lions Jahvid Best is a solid number two running back, despite missing significant time in 2010 with turf toe.
It’s no surprise that Detroit Lion Calvin Johnson is right in the mix of the top few wide receivers – he has been the lone representative of the team as a fantasy starter since his rookie season. Owners are excited about the possibility of an even stronger season than last, and keeping their fingers crossed that Matthew Stafford can stay healthy. With former number one guys Larry Fitzgerald and Reggie Wayne facing adversity with their quarterbacks, Andre Johnson and Roddy White are the favorites along with Calvin.
With his potential to pick up huge fantasy numbers, Michael Vick has been the top pick in leagues that reward extra points for rushing success by quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers is a popular number two coming off his monster Super Bowl season. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Phillip Rivers round out the top tier. And the sexy pick this year? You guessed it – Matthew Stafford. Undefeated and extremely efficient in the preseason, owners are jumping on the Lions bandwagon to fill out several slots on their roster.
The biggest shocker may be that owners are considering the Lions Defense for their roster, not only as a bye week replacement, but as a sleeper starter.
If owners are rewarded for their excitement about the Detroit Lions this year with fantasy success, the odds are the payoff will be both as league champion and a Lions playoff berth.