Detroit Lions Stats & Top Takeaways (2022 Fantasy Football)

The NFL landscape changes every year. The variance ranges from free-agent signings, NFL draft picks, coach hires, and more. Understanding what a team’s offensive scheme might look like and connecting it to relevant nuggets from the previous year helps shape our view of teams and players for the upcoming season.

That’s where this series comes in. I cover pace, red zone usage, deep passes and everything in between, venturing down the rabbit hole to provide context for all 32 NFL teams and the fantasy football players you’ll be picking this year.

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*All data used in this article courtesy of FantasyPros, PFF, Football Outsiders, Rotoviz and Playerprofiler.com unless otherwise noted.*

Detroit Lions Fantasy Football Stats You Should Know:

  • The Lions are playing seven games (PHI, WAS, MIN x 2, CHI x 2, NYJ) this season against teams that placed 24th or worse in DVOA vs Deep Passing.
  • In his final collegiate season, Jameson Williams ranked fifth in deep receiving yards and 14th in yards per route executed on deep targets.
  • In weeks 12 through 18 of last season, Detroit was 13th in EPA per game and seventh in EPA and success rate per dropback. In that stretch, Jared Goff was 13th in EPA per game and 9th in CPOE.
  • In weeks 1-11 before D’Andre Swift was injured through injury, he was the RB7 in fantasy points per game, finished second in routes, first in goals and 16th in yards per route (among the RBs, at least 20 targets).
  • Last season, the Lions led the fourth fewest games by seven points or more. They had the eighth highest rushing rate on positive game scripts (by seven points or more).
  • After Dan Campbell assumed playcalling duties, the Lions’ usage went from 70% (7th highest) to 58% (24th) with 11 staffers (3 WR).
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown placed 20th in route win rate and 25th in win rate versus man coverage. After Campbell started offense, St. Brown ranked 16th in yards per route against man coverage and ninth against zone (at least 10 goals).
  • TJ Hockenson has finished ninth and tenth in target rate per snap for the past two seasons.

The Detroit Lions’ best fantasy football takeaways

The Lions’ offense took a downward slant as Jared Goff began sharing glimpses of above-par play and evoked Rams memories. The 2022 squad is chock full of talent. Hockenson has been a top target earner for the past two seasons. Swift was on his way to a top-10 fantasy season among running backs before an injury shattered his season-ending finish. Adding Williams to this talented group could be the catalyst for a higher cap on this offense. With a schedule that lends itself to downfield throwing for Williams, all we need is a clean bill of health to see him thrive in his rookie season.

The volume could shift as this team steps forward for a full 17 games. With the Lions consistently catching up last year (3rd most back games), Swift saw most of his volume through the air. While his target stock and passing game role will still be in place in 2022, he could rack up more rush attempts if Detroit can muster more positive game scripts. Adding on-site volume could help allay concerns about its likely target share.

Another aspect worth watching is Campbell’s penchant for heavy sets after taking over as offensive coordinator. With Ben Johnson now holding the title, it’s up in the air if we see her three-wide use creep up again. Williams’ health and availability could also play a role here. He could push the 11-person rate up with an impressive trio of himself, DJ Chark and St. Brown. St. Brown showed the ability to win against man coverage. So if he’s asked to play outside more, he should be up to the challenge.

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