A fantasy draft is all about obtaining the most value with each selection. There is value available throughout a draft, and grabbing it is one of the most important keys to a successful fantasy team. In an attempt to point out this value, we asked our staff to look through the top 150 players and identify players that should outperform their draft position.
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Player Receiving 9 Votes
Matthew Stafford, Detroit
Sigmund Bloom: Stafford was a top ten quarterback under new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter last year, and he has had a whole offseason to prepare for a more uptempo offense that will feature three quality wide receivers to help compensate for the loss of Calvin Johnson. Look for Stafford to be among the league leaders in pass attempts and contend for the top 6-8 among fantasy passers as long as the offensive line holds up.
Ryan Hester: Last season, Detroit was very pass-heavy – even when they began playing better and not trailing in games as they did early in the year. The loss of Calvin Johnson hurts, but adding Marvin Jones and retaining pass-catching back Theo Riddick and possession receiver Golden Tate should keep offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter dialing up passes often. Tight end Eric Ebron should also continue to develop and be a big-bodied option for Stafford in the red zone. In the team’s second preseason game, they ran almost exclusively no-huddle, suggesting they’re going to be an up-tempo offense all year. That benefits all parties involved, and with no true elite receiver or running back, all roads should lead back to the quarterback.
Dan Hindery: Stafford finished the 2015 on fire (19 touchdowns and just two interceptions in the second-half of the season). We have seen mid-career fantasy breakouts at quarterback often over the past decade (Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, etc.). At age 28, Stafford might be following a similar path. In Jim Bob Cooter's scheme, the game finally seemed to slow down for Stafford. The loss of Calvin Johnson could also be a blessing in disguise. Instead of dealing with specially designed new coverages every week (and feeling compelled to force the ball to the superstar regardless), Stafford will see teams play the Lions more traditionally. He will be tasked with spreading the ball around to the pass catching crew of Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Eric Ebron, Theo Riddick, and Ameer Abdullah. There are enough weapons for Stafford to pick up where he left off last season and emerge as a true QB1.