Detroit Lions Team Defense
|Outlook • Latest News|
Last year, the Lions were a team to watch that could finally make a jump into respectability as a fantasy defense. They were a team that you could draft after several top defenses were off the board and still feel comfortable about their expectations as a team that could surprise. Surprise they did. In many league formats, the Lions finished at the top or at least in the Top 5, thanks to a strong contribution from all areas. Their pass rush totaled 41 sacks, the team totaled 34 takeaways and altogether scored 7 defensive TDs, including 5 INTs returned for a TD. It may be difficult to repeat turnover stats from year to year, but the Lions have a strong core of young defensive standouts at DL, LB and secondary. The draft was top heavy with offense and brought in some defensive talent, but probably not anyone who will make an immediate impact this year. The Lions allowed 24.2 points per game last year and were among the bottom half in terms of passing TDs allowed, so there is cause for concern from that standpoint. They are not a stifling defense like Baltimore San Francisco or Pittsburgh, but they make plays, force turnovers and get pressure on the QB. The Lions are potentially a strong Def/ST, but the majority of their fantasy success last year came on turnovers and scores from turnovers - two facets of defense that are difficult to repeat, especially from a team that doesn't have a history of such. On the bright side, the pass rush is strong, the core of young talent is good and the coaching staff has worked wonders to improve an area that was lacking for years. The Detroit Def/ST will not be forgotten in drafts, due to their strong outcome last year, however they are a risky Top 5 selection. Consider pulling the trigger on Detroit after 8-10 other Def/ST units have been selected.