Is Matthew Stafford a Viable QB2?
As a rookie, #1 overall pick Matthew Stafford completed 53.3 percent of his passes for 2267 yards, 13 TDs, and 20 INTs for a passer rating of 61.0. Those aren’t exactly numbers that make you clamor over him in your upcoming fantasy draft, especially when you consider 422 of the yards and 5 of the TDs came against the Browns in a Week 11 shootout. However, it is not unrealistic to foresee dramatic improvement from Stafford in 2010.
For starters, he gained invaluable experience by playing in ten games as a rookie. He learned how to prepare for a game, what to expect from defenses, and he became acclimated with the speed of the NFL. That gave him plenty to chew on as he prepares for his sophomore season.
There also is the hope that Calvin Johnson returns to form. His 2009 season was plagued with injuries. If he’s healthy this year, that gives Stafford one of the best threats in the game. He has the size, strength, and speed to put up monster numbers.
The Lions have provided some help for Johnson and Stafford. Defenses won’t be able to key in on Megatron like they did last year with the additions of WR Nate Burleson and TE Tony Scheffler. Assuming Brandon Pettigrew can return from his knee injury, Stafford will have a plethora of options that he just did not have last year.
The Lions also bolstered their running attack by drafting rookie Jahvid Best. He gives the Lions a gamebreaker that can score from anywhere on the field. He should help keep defenses honest.
With all of these pieces falling in place, I believe Stafford will make great strides in his second season. Enough so that I have him ranked as the 18th fantasy QB (click to see rankings). He squares off against the Rams in Week 5 making him a nice backup to Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, who are on bye that week. Chad Henne is also on bye that week if you wait for a QB and play the match-up game.
Prediction: 3600 passing yards, 19 TDs, 20 INTs, 150 yards & 2 TDs rushing
What do you expect from Matthew Stafford?
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