Welcome to our fantasy football wish lists, where we’re going through each NFL team and listing three things we’d love to see them do this offseason for fantasy reasons (but also real football reasons).
I hated the 2018 Detroit Lions for one simple reason: they ruined Matthew Stafford. For years I’ve been preaching the gospel of Matt Stafford as the perfect fantasy quarterback: a guy you can draft late but still gives you top 10 production. He’d finished a top 10 quarterback four out of the last five years and I was fully riding the Stafford train heading into the 2018 season. And then the train hit a penny, flew off the track, barreled down a 3,777 foot cliff—which, oddly enough, is the same number of yards Stafford threw this year, his lowest since 2010 when he played only three games—and exploded on the rocks below. That is where my confidence in the Lions currently lies: in a flaming, burning wreckage at the bottom of Hopeful Mountain. Time to crawl back up that mountain.
Sign Adam Humphries
Humphries isn’t the sexiest free agent wide receiver, but sadly Golden Tate is and the Lions shipped his ass out of Detroit at the trade deadline so I don’t think he’ll be walking through that door. However, Humphries isn’t a bad replacement. He’s coming off his best year in which he caught 76 balls for 816 yards and five touchdowns and can rack up the YAC yardage just like Tate did in Detroit. Last year he recorded 423 yards after the catch, 10th among wide receivers. Plus, hopefully the return of a reliable slot receiver would help set Matty Stafford back on course.
Draft a tight end
I’ve been trying my best with these wish lists to include free agents because that’s more exciting than just saying broadly “draft a player” but the tight end pool is pretty barren. There are some regonizable names—Jared Cook, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the guarantee that Tyler Efiert will get injured for you—but none of these names excite me enough to send them to Detroit. So, it’s off to the draft for the Lions. Getting a receiving threat who can score touchdowns in the red zone would be huge for this offense. Or maybe Gronk won’t shut down a trade to Detroit this offseason. Who says no?
Go big for Trey Flowers
While there are plenty of other pass rushers scheduled to be free agents this offseason, I highly doubt any of the top names actually make it to the open market. You can bet guys like DeMarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney and Dee Ford are all going to get hit with the franchise tag. And with Ezekiel Ansah set to also hit the open market, Detroit is in dire need of someone to get after the QB. Enter Trey Flowers, who, less we forget, Matt Patrica coached when he was with the Patriots. The head coach already knows how to use the player, the Patriots likely won’t franchise Flowers (they never do), the Lions have cap space to make it work, seems like a no brained.