2014 Team Outlook: Detroit Lions
TE Joseph Fauria, --- - Not Draft Worthy
Fauria is purely a red zone target. In 2013, he caught 18 passes and managed to score on seven of them. Now he is clearly the third tight end on the depth chart behind first round pick Eric Ebron and veteran Brandon Pettigrew. The 6-foot-7 target proved to be valuable in the end zone, although it is unlikely he plays much when the Lions aren't in the red zone.
TE Brandon Pettigrew, --- - Bust (overvalued)
Since peaking in 2011, Pettigrew has been a bit of a disappointment in fantasy leagues. His numbers have come down (mostly in part due to his struggles catching the ball). Pettigrew is a huge target; however, he is not heavily utilized in the red zone. First round pick Eric Ebron is likely to get the bulk of the targets in the passing game, which leaves Pettigrew to stay in-line and block. Pettigrew will be involved in the passing game after signing a four-year, $16 million contract. That's too much money to give to a blocking tight end, so it will be interesting to see how the Lions fit all their tight ends onto the field.
Editor's note: Pettigrew was inconsistent with no competition at the position. Fauria stole his TD production last year and now Ebron will take away whatever he was collecting between the 20 yard lines. Look elsewhere if you're digging deep.
Detroit - Not Draft Worthy
The Lions' defense was very poor last season. There is some dominant talent (particularly in the defensive line) that could rescue them from being amongst the bottom feeders at the position. A new head coach and revamped secondary will help the Lions get back on track. The Lions' biggest issue is lack of discipline. Under former head coach Jim Schwartz, their defense was one of the most penalized and often close to the league leaders in 15-yard personal fouls. If they can be focused and controlled, defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, Ezekiel Ansah and Jason Jones could be one of the most menacing lines in the NFL. They also added rookie Kyle Van Noy to a linebacking group that already features veterans Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy. The secondary is a big question mark though. The Lions did go out and sign Ravens free agent James Ihedigbo. He isn't expected to be a big difference maker and will function more as a holdover until a long-term solution is found. How the secondary gels will have a huge impact on the Lions' fantasy value. Right now the Lions are not worth a backup spot. Leave them on waivers.