Matthew Stafford Fantasy News

Caldwell: Matt Stafford's accuracy can be fixed
Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 9:21pm - [Full Article]

Among new Lions head coach Jim Caldwell's most pressing tasks will be fixing QB Matthew Stafford, the promising quarterback who has tumbled into mediocrity the past two years.

At the center of many of his problems is a decline in accuracy, which sank all the way to 58.5 percent last year. That was 30th in the NFL.

Fantasy Impact:

"Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely, without question," Caldwell said, when asked if accuracy could be taught. As the story points out, Caldwell has a pretty good resume with QBs: He worked with Peyton Manning for nearly a decade in Indianapolis, and took him to a Super Bowl in 2009, and later rode Baltimore's Joe Flacco to a Super Bowl in 2012. He has a reputation around the league for knowing the fundamentals of the position, and just how to impart them.


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Lions hope to get Matthew Stafford back on track
Sunday, January 26, 2014, 11:40am - [Full Article]

On the topic of Lions QB Matthew Stafford and his irregular footwork and release points...

"I think there certainly has to be some work done," general manager Martin Mayhew said last week. "I couldn't really quantify that."

Mayhew said Stafford can still be salvaged. That belief was a guiding principle during the Lions' two-week coaching search, and the subsequent week-long search for a staff.

Detroit eventually tabbed a head coach (Jim Caldwell) that worked for a decade with Peyton Manning, and an offensive coordinator (Joe Lombardi) who spent the past five years as Drew Brees' personal quarterback coach with the New Orleans Saints.

That's no accident.

Stafford will have at least two quarterback coaches on staff, and could have a third if the Lions hire an actual quarterback coach. Their exact plan remains unknown, but the moves are being hailed around the league as a perfect match for the talented yet middling quarterback.

"I have no doubt (Lombardi will fix Stafford)," Saints tailbacks coach Dan Roushar said. "I have complete confidence. Joe is a phenomenal football coach, and it's a great hire for Matthew."

Fantasy Impact:

Stafford's play has slipped since his 5,038-yard, 41-TD season in 2011. The Lions are hoping that they can get Stafford back on track, and the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem.

Lions hire Joe Lombardi as OC
Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 4:52pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Lions will hire Saints quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi as offensive coordinator, league sources told ESPN Senior NFL Insider Chris Mortensen.

Lombardi, grandson of Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi, emerged as the favorite among numerous candidates for the job since Jim Caldwell was hired last week as coach, sources told ESPN.

Lombardi spent the past seven seasons as an offensive assistant with the Saints, who promoted him to quarterbacks coach in 2009.

Fantasy Impact:

With Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush, the Lions have the key pieces to make an offense run. Lombardi comes from a great system in New Orleans and will have the chance to thrive in Detroit.

Lions to clean up Matthew Stafford's footwork
Monday, January 20, 2014, 1:01pm - [Full Article]

QB Matthew Stafford reached his zenith in 2011, with a 41-touchdown, 5,038-yard season, but he’s been only a 59-percent passer in the two seasons since—with some great days, but also some inconsistent ones.

Said new HC Jim Caldwell: “I’ve watched every throw Matthew made last season, because when I came here and met with him, I wanted to have some familiarity with him. We didn’t go through film together, but we talked about I saw, and I listened to him, and it was very beneficial. We have used a set of drills in coaching over the years that I think has added some consistency to all the quarterbacks we’ve coached. The great majority of poor throws—people look at the arm, and that’s important obviously, but I think footwork is the key. I can pull up any gamefilm and show you how our footwork drills help you. In a nutshell, the feet and eyes work together. If I’m throwing in a particular direction, my footwork is pointing in the same direction—directly at the target. We’ll work on it with Matthew, and he will do them flawlessly.”

Fantasy Impact:

Stafford's various release points have been a point of comedy in football circles, but it sounds like Caldwell is intent on cleaning up his QB's footwork at the very least. It's safe to say that Stafford has regressed from his 5,038-yard, 40-TD season in 2011.

Monday, December 23, 2013, 10:36am

Detroit News - [Full Article]

In the biggest game of the season, Calvin Johnson was reduced to a decoy and a bystander. He was targeted four times, caught three of them for 43 yards. He was not targeted in the second half.

“He wasn’t his full self,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said.

Coach Jim Schwartz said that on top of the right knee issues he’s dealt with all season, he’s been hampered by an ankle injury the last two weeks.

“His absence obviously affects things,” Schwartz said. “But Calvin is a tough guy. He tried to do whatever he could today. Calvin is beat up, he’s been beat up the whole year. But he tried to do what he could. We tried to use him on third downs and in the red zone but he was nowhere near 100 percent.”

Fantasy Impact:

Schwartz didn't rule out Johnson playing this week when he was asked if the team will shut him down for the season. But with the Lions eliminated and Week 17 now meaningless, it seems like it would be in the team's best interest to hold Johnson out.

Monday, October 14, 2013, 8:34am

Detroit News - [Full Article]

Calvin Johnson wasn’t exactly used as a decoy Sunday, but he clearly wasn’t able to be his normal, All-Pro self.

“It was going to be all up to him,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said on the Lions’ plans for Johnson Sunday, who returned to active duty after missing last week with an injured right knee. “He was battling as hard as he could to be out there as much as he could.

Johnson only played 14 snaps in the first half and he dropped two passes. He played a lot more in the second half, though mostly he lined up in the slot. Most of the routes he ran were short, ball-possession plays.

Fantasy Impact:

Megatron wound up with eight targets and three catches for 25 yards. It sounded like the team knew he was going to be limited and tried to save his snaps for the second half. HC Jim Schwartz said his presence helped Reggie Bush and TE Joseph Fauria have big days. Unfortunately, owners don't get fantasy points for being a decoy, but the good news to take out of it is he appeared to come out of the game healthy and should be more involved going forward.

Reggie Bush banged up after Week 1
Sunday, September 8, 2013, 9:11pm - [Full Article]

Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush put together a monster performance in the team's season-opening victory over the Minnesota Vikings, but he finished the contest a little worse for wear.

In the first quarter of Sunday's 34-24 win, Bush suffered injuries to his thumb and groin.

Trying to haul in a low pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford on a 3rd-and-1 play in the red zone, Bush's thumb was dislocated.

The next offensive series, Bush suffered another injury, this time tweaking his groin.

Fantasy Impact:

Bush said he felt great after the game, despite saying his thumb was "facing the wrong direction." It could be a different story in a day or two when the pain killers wear off. However, it was a good sign he came back and it looks like he'll be fine for Week 2 at Arizona. Bush went over 100 yards receiving with a TD and added 90 rushing yards.

Calvin Johnson (bruised knee) returned to practice Saturday
Saturday, August 17, 2013, 9:07pm

Detroit Free Press - [Full Article]

Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson didn’t miss a beat when he returned to practice Saturday after he missed the second exhibition game of the season with a knee bruise.

Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford connected on several pass plays, including some deep balls, as the offense continues to try to hit its stride.

Fantasy Impact:

No worries here.

Friday, August 16, 2013, 6:59pm - [Full Article]

Lions WR Nate Burleson is supposed to be Matthew Stafford's No. 2 receiver, but instead dropped two balls against Cleveland and has yet to record a catch in the preseason. In fact, Stafford has completed passes to only two receivers in all of the preseason (Johnson and Patrick Edwards), despite Johnson not even playing against the Browns. Part of the problem is Burleson, who is struggling to gain separation and not completing catches when he does.

Fantasy Impact:

From a fantasy standpoint, as long as he stays healthy, it's only a matter of time before Ryan Broyles passes Burleson on the team's depth chart.

Monday, July 15, 2013, 9:48am

Detroit Free Press - [Full Article]

Lions WR Calvin Johnson came within 36 receiving yards of 2,000 in 2012. He broke Jerry Rice’s single-season record in 15 games. He had a streak of eight straight 100-yard games.

Yet quarterback Matthew Stafford said he thinks the Lions’ receiver could surpass his 1,964-yard effort in 2013.

“He thinks he can, which is all that matters,” Stafford told the NFL Network’s “NFL AM” last week.

“That guy works harder than anybody I know, and he thinks he can get better, so I wouldn’t put anything past him. He’s a guy that can obviously run all of the routes — inside, outside — make all of the catches and is a smart football player and a really good teammate.”

Fantasy Impact:

We predict Megatron to top 1,600 yards this season, but with 10 TDs compared to only 5 last year. Remember, he was tackled inside the 3-yard line six times in 2012. His middle-of-the-first round ADP says he's first to go after some of the star RBs come off the board.

Matthew Stafford on verge of contract extension
Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 2:57pm

Detroit Free Press - [Full Article]

Lions QB Matthew Stafford is on the verge of agreeing to a three-year contract extension that will keep him a Lion through 2017 and make him – for the second time in his short career – one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.

The 25-year-old already owns team single-season records for passing yards, touchdowns, completions and attempts, and he should break Bobby Layne’s career passing mark this fall.

He’s thrown for more than 10,000 yards the last two years, and joined Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Dan Marino as the only quarterbacks to top 5,000 yards in a single season in NFL history.

Fantasy Impact:

Stafford was a bit of a disappointment last season. After throwing for 41 TDs and over 5,000 yards in 2011, he finished with 20 TDs, 17 INTs in 2012. His mechanics have come under fire, and recently Ron Jaworski of ESPN rated him just the 16th overall QB. We rank Stafford 9th among our QBs this season with an ADP of the seventh round. He's just one of a group of QBs with big upside that you can wait on and take in the middle rounds if that's the strategy you choose. And, Stafford is surrounded by enough talent that could potentially land him in the top-five when all is said and done.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 12:31pm

Detroit Free Press - [Full Article]

QB Matthew Stafford will be in Allen Park on Monday when the Lions open their off-season program, as he has almost every other day since the end of last season's 4-12 finish.

Stafford always has been a diligent worker, but in his first few years in the league he spent large chunks of time rehabbing in Florida, or in his native Texas or adoptive Georgia training the winter away.

This year, he has made it a point to stay local, working out at the Lions' facility, meeting with coaches and general manager Martin Mayhew, even helping woo running back Reggie Bush in free agency.

"There is not a guy that's done more for this franchise in this off-season than Matthew Stafford," president Tom Lewand said at the team's town-hall meeting last week. "The guy's been in the building every day. He's been living here the entire off-season. He's been working out, he's helped us recruit free agents, he's been involved on a daily basis in trying to get ready for the season, and he would do anything to help us be successful."

Fantasy Impact:

This can only help Stafford's relationship with his teammates. It's good to see him focused and in a leadership role after the Lions' disappointing season. He'll be a nice value in the middle rounds as the last few fantasy QB1s start to fall off the board.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 9:52am

The Detroit Free Press - [Full Article]

The Lions' interest in Reggie Bush is real.

Who knows what happens with Bush at the end of the day, but plenty of NFL people at the combine believe the Lions will make Bush a primary target in free agency.

It might take $5 million or so a year to land the speedy running back, and Bush's desired destination isn't known. But the Lions' M.O. in recent years has been to try to surround Matthew Stafford with as much talent as possible (drafting Jahvid Best, Titus Young, Mikel Leshoure, Riley Reiff and Ryan Broyles, etc.), and that's not about to change.

Monday, December 10, 2012, 1:08pm

Detroit Free Press - [Full Article]

It didn’t take long for Kris Durham to establish himself as the Detroit Lions’ No. 2 receiver.

Signed off the practice squad Tuesday, Durham started in his first career game with the Lions, caught four passes for 54 yards -- more than he had in three games as a rookie with the Seahawks last year -- and played 78 of 84 offensive snaps in Sunday night's loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Durham, who played three years with Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford at Georgia, was on the field more than every Lion but Stafford, Calvin Johnson and the starting offensive line.

Fantasy Impact:

That also includes WR Mike Thomas, who many thought would easily earn the starting WR job with no more Nate Burleson, Ryan Broyles or Titus Young. Durham made some mistakes, but there's some value there for a guy who played that many snaps in an offense that likes to throw the ball. This time of year, fantasy playoffs, would be a tough part of the season to trust him in your lineup, though.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 7:04pm

Texans CB Johnathan Joseph (hamstring, questionable) is questionable for Thanksgiving Day. The fact that he is questionable is good news for Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford.