Ryan Broyles vs. Kris Durham: Fantasy Outlook After Calvin Johnson's Injury

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2013

Sep 29, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Kris Durham (18) runs with the ball during the second half against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. The Lions won 40-32. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Calvin Johnson owners everywhere are despondent after learning the wide receiver will be inactive against the Green Bay Packers in Week 5. That raises one question for fantasy owners: Which player will step up in his stead for the Detroit Lions, Ryan Broyles or Kris Durham?

We start with Megatron, who won't be active for the first time in quite awhile. From the Lions' official Twitter account:

While Broyles is the more talented player, he has just five receptions for 61 yards and six total targets on the season. Thus far, his production has been less than that of both Durham (eight receptions for 132 yards, 19 targets) and newly signed Kevin Ogletree (10 receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown, 25 targets in fives total games with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and now Lions). 

The simple solution is avoiding both of these players if you can, though they are the two receivers you should turn to in a pinch. Trusting that either Ogletree will have instant chemistry with Matt Stafford or that Patrick Edwards will produce after returning from injury is way too risky.

Which means that, if you are going to start a Lions receiver this week, it should be Durham. 

Sure, it's probably terrifying trusting a player who has just 19 receptions for 287 yards and a touchdown in his three-year career. And yes, the Lions will probably lean heavily on Reggie Bush and Joique Bell in this game, while Stafford could look to Brandon Pettigrew quite often.

The popular choice for fantasy owners will be adding or even starting Broyles this week. But remember, Broyles is coming off of an ACL tear. It wouldn't be surprising if the Lions brought him along slowly, even in a week they desperately need production from someone not named Megatron. 

Keep in mind that last week Durham played 61 of Detroit's 66 snaps, while Broyles played 44.

Given that fact, it seems more likely that if any Detroit receivers produce for fantasy owners, it will be Durham. 


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