Titus Young: Lions WR Now Droppable in All Fantasy Leagues

Zach KruseSenior Analyst IDecember 1, 2012

Nov 18, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and wide receiver Titus Young (16) chat before the game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-US PRESSWIRE

Despite playing in an offense tailor-made for big numbers in the passing game, Detroit Lions receiver Titus Young has pushed his fantasy relevance to the brink of extinction for the 2012 season.

The second-year receiver is now droppable in nearly all fantasy leagues, regardless of size and format. 

A host of disciplinary problems is to blame for the drastic fall in Young's fantasy stock.

Originally suspended on Nov. 19 for detrimental conduct, Young finally returned to Lions practice Wednesday. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Young played with the second team and was relegated to the end of line in each individual receiving drill.

Birkett also learned that Young "purposely" lined up in wrong positions during a game against the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 18. Receivers coach Shawn Jefferson was seen during the television broadcast exchanging heated words with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, which was later found to be directly related to Young's freelancing.

From Birkett:

In a loss to the Green Bay Packers two weeks ago, [Young] purposely lined up in the wrong spot on the field multiple times and mouthed off to receivers coach Shawn Jefferson on the sideline before being removed for the game’s final series.

On one such play, Young was notified that he lined up wrongly but ignored the change. The Lions then jumped offsides. Detroit ended up losing 24-20. 

According to Anwar Richardson of MLive.com, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz wouldn't commit to Young playing again during the 2012 season when asked about that possibility this week: 

Potentially. This is a decision who the best 46 were on Sunday (this past week against the Houston Texans). That will continue to be evaluated. There's been times he's been very productive in our offense. He's been an asset for our offense, an asset for our team. That's where he needs to get back to.

Even fellow teammates appear against Young, as center Dominic Raiola told reporters Friday that the Lions offense has "moved on" from the young but talented receiver. We won't embed the tweet because of the vulgar language, but the link to Chris McCosky's tweet on Raiola's comment can be found here

The developments are frustrating for both the Lions and fantasy owners. Owned in 50.8 percent of ESPN leagues, Young plays in a seemingly perfect fantasy situation. 

The Lions are one of the NFL's most pass-heavy teams, Matthew Stafford is a high-volume quarterback and Calvin Johnson demands double teams on nearly every snap. 

Everything about being the No. 2 receiver in Detroit screams big fantasy potential. Young has never seemed to realize or act upon the opportunity in 2012.

Young caught 33 passes for 383 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games this season. Last season, Young caught 48 balls for 607 yards and six touchdowns. 

Now, Young will likely be asked to play the role of No. 4 receiver in the Lions offense. 

Rookie Ryan Broyles earned another start opposite Johnson after catching six passes for 126 yards against the Houston Texans in Week 12, and it's possible he won't let go of that position the rest of the season. 

Recently acquired receiver Mike Thomas has also showed flashes of being a productive No. 3 receiver during his brief time in Detroit. 

As much as the Lions would love to have an explosive vertical threat like Young available for a high number of snaps, his troublemaking is enough to keep him latched to the bench. 

Unless something drastically changes over the next handful of weeks, Young is a drop candidate in any format or sized fantasy league. He won't help you down the stretch, and there are better options available for the final month of the season.