Future Fantasy Gems
When most people hear “Detroit Lions” a few things that come to mind: Thanksgiving, Barry Sanders and Matt Millen. For fantasy football owners, the Lions mean: Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush and Matthew Stafford. Lost in the shuffle of this trifecta there are some up and coming names to keep an eye. Not only could they be future impact players for the Lions franchise, but could also have increased fantasy value in the future.
Joique Bell: It’s no secret that Joique Bell is a good NFL running back. Bell showed what he was capable of in 2012 as a jack-of-all-trades running back. While Bell doesn’t have as many rushing attempts as fantasy owners would like to see from a running back, he does most of his damage in the passing game. Detroit always uses their running backs as receivers out of the backfield, making them valuable in PPR leagues. Bell gets enough work to warrant a flex play in PPR leagues right now, but could be even more valuable should Reggie Bush go down. At 27-years-old, I think Bell has at least a few more years left of solid production, however if he is catching more passes than rushing attempts, it may extend his career a bit, like with Darren Sproles.
Joseph Fauria: The undrafted free agent sure has made a splash this year. Fauria only has nine receptions, with five of those resulting in touchdowns. He is a big target, that seems to thrive in the redzone. With such a small sample size, I think it’s hard to tell what the future holds for Fauria’s fantasy value. That being said, Brandon Pettigrew becomes a free agent in 2014, so there may be a shot for Fauria to become the TE1 for the Lions and a future fantasy stud.
Kris Durham: This former Seahawk has seen the most playing time of his three year career so far this season. Most of that is due to all the Lions’ injuries at the wide receiver position. The 25-year-old 6’6” receiver is yet another great option for his former Georgia teammate Matthew Stafford and due to the Lions’ receiver situation, he could be in line for a starting role next season.
Theo Riddick: While currently the fourth running back on the Detroit depth chart, Riddick hasn’t seen much playing time this year. It will take some injuries for him to see the field, however he is a good pass catching back that works well in space, which is right up the Lions’ alley. Right now, Riddick is just a name to monitor and should only be owned in the deepest of dynasty leagues.
Cory Fuller: The 2013 sixth round pick is currently on the Lions practice squad. He is a great athlete that got some buzz in the preseason, but was eventually cut, then added to the Lions practice squad. Fuller is somewhat of a project receiver that might take another year to see the field. The Lions have a lot of depth at wide receiver on their roster, but none of them really stand out, with the obvious exception of Calvin Johnson. There may be an opportunity for Fuller to earn some playing time in the next few years.