Lions.com writer Tim Twentyman was asked via Twitter who will lead the team in catches. His response:
I think it will be hard for Theo Riddick to reach 80 catches again this season. Teams will scheme hard against him.
I expect Eric Ebron’s stats to take another significant increase in year three, but the 90-catch range is probably a bit high for him.
In the end, I expect Tate and Marvin Jones to be right there, with Tate edging Jones out.
Jones had a career-high 65 catches in 2015, so it's tough to see him pushing Tate, who has back-to-back seasons with 90-plus catches. Tate looks like a great value, especially in PPR formats.
Johnson’s future -- and the possibility of him returning -- came up in an interview Wednesday evening on the Mitch Albom Show on WJR-760 at the annual Taste of the Lions event at Ford Field.
“In my mind, I don’t see that happening,” Stafford said. “He retired because he wanted to. That’s it.”
It's up to Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and Eric Ebron to pick up the slack. Over the last two seasons, in 11 games in which Johnson was questionable, doubtful or out, Tate averaged 6.6 receptions for 77 yards and 0.73 TD. Fantasy-wise, that’s about what Allen Robinson scored as the #6 WR in PPR formats in 2015. It’s also solid WR1 production in standard formats. Jones has averaged 3.6 receptions for 48 yards and 0.44 TD in his last 32 games. The 6’2” receiver has been especially good at catching touchdowns (14 in his last 32 games), so he'll likely have a large role in the red zone.
Andy Dalton is back to zipping the ball. He’s got no restrictions with his throwing thumb; he’s got one visit under his belt to passing specialist Dr. Tom House last month, and after watching two of his most established targets leave via free agency he got one back with a Super Bowl ring and knows Pro Bowlers A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert are already here.
“It would be tougher if it was my first or second year, but this is year six,” Dalton says Monday from Dallas of his revamped receiving corps. “It’s easier for me now than early on in my career. That is going to be fun. We’ve got these guys from the start; we’ve got to get them exactly where we want them to be.
The two guys who lockered next to him and meant so much to the passing game won’t be here two weeks from Monday when the Bengals gather for offseason workouts. Wide receiver Marvin Jones turned down at least the same $40 million to go to Detroit and Mohamed Sanu got No. 2 money in Atlanta when a No. 4 role loomed in Cincinnati.
That means the Lions are looking for the supporting cast at WR to step up. Golden Tate will be featured prominently alongside Marvin Jones, and Detroit has acquired former Jet Jeremy Kerley to man the slot.
"We really expect him to come forward and be a little bit more of a prominent threat," coach Jim Caldwell said.
Jones was a sixth-round pick of the club in 2014, but experienced nerve pain following shoulder surgery that offseason and never played a down. He caught passes in four of the final five games including a 29-yard touchdown in a Week 16 win against San Francisco. Caldwell went on to say Jones return ability and scat-back ability, where he can catch screens and take off and go.
Marvin Jones signing in Detroit per sources.
Jones has averaged 3.6 receptions for 48 yards and 0.44 TD in his last 32 games. He's been especially good at catching touchdowns, so he'll try to pick up the slack after Calvin Johnson's retirement. Used inconsistently in Cincinnati, he should see plenty of work with the Lions, though we expect he'll play second-fiddle to Golden Tate in terms of total targets. This is a good landing spot for Jones. Consider him a fantasy WR4 with some upside heading into 2016.
Friday, January 1, 2016, 6:26pm
Wednesday, December 30, 2015, 6:13pm
Friday, December 18, 2015, 6:32pm
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (concussion, out) has been ruled out for Week 15. Eifert’s absence means that A.J. Green and Marvin Jones are a bit more attractive, though the loss of Andy Dalton doesn’t help.
Friday, December 11, 2015, 6:22pm
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (neck, probable) took full practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 14. He’s the #2 TE in the league in PPG, so he’s pretty much a must-start if he’s healthy. His return is a downgrade for A.J. Green and Marvin Jones, but Andy Dalton gets a small bump given Eifert’s effectiveness in the red zone.
Thursday, December 10, 2015, 6:31pm
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (neck) took full practice reps Thursday after being limited Wednesday. Eifert says he is “on track to play Sunday” and was a “full go” on Thursday. He’s the #2 TE in the league in PPG, so he’s pretty much a must-start if he’s healthy. His return is a downgrade for A.J. Green and Marvin Jones, but Andy Dalton gets a small bump given Eifert’s effectiveness in the red zone.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 6:33pm
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (neck) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Eifert says he is “on track to play Sunday.” He’s the #2 TE in the league in PPG, so he’s pretty much a must-start if he’s healthy. His return is a downgrade for A.J. Green and Marvin Jones, but Andy Dalton gets a small bump given Eifert’s effectiveness in the red zone.
Friday, December 4, 2015, 6:28pm
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (neck, doubtful) missed practice all week and is doubtful for Week 13. Eifert is still recovering from a Week 12 stinger. Owners should make other plans. A.J. Green and Marvin Jones may see more looks in the red zone with Eifert sidelined.
Friday, November 27, 2015, 6:20pm
Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 6:15pm
Friday, October 16, 2015, 6:15pm
Bengals WR Marvin Jones (foot, probable) took full practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 6. Jones appears to be good to go against the Bills. Buffalo has been pretty stingy against the run, so the Bengals may be forced to air it out.
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