This is the day when you start chucking your fists of fury, declare how much you hate fantasy football, and just give up to go study giant turtles in the Galapagos Islands. Why? Why not? Nothing makes sense any more, nothing is fair, and nothing is aligned as it should be. Just…just give me some space for a second.
Remember that week when Ryan Broyles was among the great value fantasy players at his position, and I wrote as many love letters to him as I did, say, Knowshon Moreno and Colin Kaepernick? Yeah, that was this week after Broyles busted out for 126 receiving yards and on six catches and 12 targets on Thanksgiving Day, and he looked prepared to win a few fantasy championships down the stretch. Optimism for that outcome rose even higher when Titus Young’s continued douche act landed him on the inactive list again today, solidifying Broyles’ status as Matthew Stafford’s No.2 target opposite Calvin Johnson.
Now what have we learned? We still can’t have nice things.
Hope. Sometimes it’s all we have. So if there’s any justice in this world, Jim Schwartz will continue Titus Young’s punishment next week by putting his name behind Ryan Broyles’ on the Lions’ wide receiver depth chart. We know you’re mad, Jim, especially after losing today on a call that’s so embarrassing it made the simultaneous catch botching look tame by comparison, but leave Broyles out of it.
All he did was come within 14 yards of Calvin Johnson’s total receiving yardage today on two fewer receptions.
The best way to defend Calvin Johnson is to place a safety right over top of him in a cover-2 (two safeties). For this to work properly, a defense needs the talent and balance to shut down other threats without help from that safety. As Alen Dumonjic points out, defending Megatron is made easier by a cornerback who plays with flawless technique.
However, more teams are attempting to limit Johnson and force somebody else beat them. This makes the Lions’ other threats very viable fantasy options. Titus Young had already taken Nate Burleson’s starting job before Burleson went down with a season-ending injury. Young, a second-round pick in 2011, hasn’t been a favorite of the coaching staff thus far. Why? Young punched teammate Louis Delmas and was accordingly banned from the team’s practice facility. He also headbutted CB Janoris Jenkins, which resulted in a second half benching against the Rams. You could say he’s a bit of a loose cannon.
Young has never really clicked on the field with Stafford, which led to Burleson winning the starting job opposite Megatron again in training camp. If we remove his miracle, game-tying touchdown as an outlier, Young has only one week with more than two fantasy points.
Ryan Broyles is now almost a year past his torn ACL that he suffered as a senior at Oklahoma. That injury unquestionably hurt his draft stock and bumped him into the middle of the second round last spring. He’s getting stronger every day and should be nipping at Young’s heels for targets. That started on Monday as Broyles hauled in Detroit’s only TD and finished with eleven fantasy points to Young’s eight.
He’s included in this week’s watch list, along with a few other prominent backups.