Veteran Values: Matthew Stafford

Mike Wallace, Contributor 

Every year going into fantasy football drafts people are excited about the incoming rookies or other young players getting a chance for a larger role. Fantasy football buffs are excited by upside and seek the thrill of the chasing the unknown  that could help them win a fantasy league…if they beat the odds and pan out. Yet every year proven veteran performers drop a few rounds lower than they should. This series will highlight the veterans I expect to outperform their draft position and provide great value.

For the last three years Matthew Stafford has finished as a top 10 fantasy QB and according to early ADP information he is the 15th quarterback coming off fantasy boards. This is why every year I wait on drafting my quarterbacks, in non-superflex leagues. Instead of spending a high pick on one of top-end fantasy quarterback, I’m targeting Matthew Stafford.

Taking Stafford sets you up with a quarterback that will approach 4,500 yards and 30 TDs with limited interceptions. He is consistently in the top 10 in pass attempts so, there is no concern when it comes to volume. Watch people in your league draft younger quarterbacks like Jimmy Garoppolo (going over 3 rounds earlier in early ADP). Jimmy Garoppolo flashed last season in a limited sample size, but it is important not to fall in love with upside and ignore proven producers.

The Lions offense should only continue to improve. They have Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay as potent weapons at wide receiver. After flashing last year and then having some injuries I expect the Lions to utilize Golladay more in 2018. They moved on from Eric Ebron and have brought in Luke Wilson from Seattle to fill in their tight end void. Wilson is not anything spectacula,r but he has the size and a similar catch percentage and yard per catch to Ebron, so the Lions are unlikely to miss him. They still Theo Riddick catching passes out of the backfield and this offseason the team finally realized Ameer Abdullah is not the answer at RB; they brought in LeGarrette Blount and drafted Kerryon Johnson to improve their running game which will only help Stafford if defenses need to respect the run.

Fill your RB, WR, Flex and even a bench spot or 2 with talent to start the draft. The value Stafford offers when a team is constructed correctly is hard to beat. Do the smart thing, and take the solid value that too many people are ignoring.

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