Sleeper Files: Matthew Stafford
By Tommy Harvey
In 2019, Matthew Stafford was well on his way to a career type year. Through eight games, Stafford had 2,499 yards passing, 19 touchdowns, and only 5 interceptions. His 312.4 yards per game were the second best in his career only to his 314.9 yards per game in 2011. He had a great chance to reach 5,000 passing yards for the second time with the Lions. Then, things took a bad turn for the Detroit quarterback. He fractured bones in his back against the Oakland Raiders and was eventually placed on season ending Injured Reserve.
Now, headed into the 2020 season, Matthew Stafford is back and the Lions should be counting their blessings. In the eight games Stafford played in 2019, Detroit was 3-4-1. In the eight games after his injury, the Lions were a putrid 0-8 and averaged an underwhelming 192.3 yards per game through the air. Can you see his value???
Stafford has an exceptional wide receiver in Kenny Golladay, who is coming off consecutive 1,000 yard seasons. Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola also return to go along with up-and-coming second year TE TJ Hockenson. In April, the Lions drafted RB DeAndre Swift out of the University of Georgia to pair with Kerryon Johnson in the backfield. The weapons are there for Matt Stafford to continue to put up monster numbers, and I don’t think he will disappoint.
2020 Prediction and Fantasy Outlook:
4,605 passing yards, 28 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 76 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 2 fumbles lost
Matthew Stafford is being drafted on average as the QB13 in early 2020 fantasy drafts. If you can get him in that range, I’d consider him a draft day steal. I think his value is more in the QB8 range and could reach QB6 by the end of the season. His overall ADP is around 96th, which is the beginning of the 8th round in 12 team leagues. With my QB8 prediction, he should be going in the middle of the 6th round.
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