It couldn't get any worse for the Detroit Lions going 0-16 for the season. The Loins seemed to have a revolving door at quarterback all season long. Starting with Jon Kitna to Dan Orlovsky to Daunte Culpepper from the street and finally more Orlovsky.
In between the quarterback moves the Lions finally fired general Manager Matt Millon.Then the Motor City franchise also traded wide receiver Roy Williams to the Cowboys for a first round pick in 2009.
Despite all this second year wide receiver Calvin Johnson seemed to be unfazed.
With 1,331 yards receiving, 17.2 yards per catch and 12 touchdowns Johnson had one of the top seasons for any wide out in the league in 2008. This I find truly rare because even great receivers tend to have bad years when their team has everything go wrong for them.
But still Calvin posted the type of numbers that were top rate in the league. One has to ask themselves when considering Johnson for their fantasy football team, "if Megatron can play like that in 2008, he could do it any season."
Change has come to the 2009 Detroit Lions
This offseason Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz signed with the team as the new head coach. Then management let go of quarterback Dan Orlovsky and resigned Daunte Culpepper to start for the team in 2009.
Former first round pick wide receiver from originally the Cardinals Bryant Johnson signed on to be the No. 2 receiver in the offense.
The 2009 NFL Draft
With the first selection overall the Lions choose Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Matthew Stafford for the future. This strong armed QB while young should have the luxury of learning behind Daunte Culpepper.
This is key because it is very hard for a young No. 1 pick quarterback to make it in the NFL. Mostly because the supporting cast isn't very good and the coaching staffs tend to change from year to year. Just look at San Fransisco 49ers first rounder from 2005 QB Alex Smith.
This will be Simth's fifth season on the team and in five years he's had five different offensive coordinators!
Or how about poor David Carr with the Texans, he never had an offensive line and got beat to hell.
Even legends like Troy Aikman and John Elway struggled mightily in their early years in Dallas and Denver.
With the first round pick they acquired from Dallas in the Williams trade the Lions selected big Tight End Brandon Pettigrew from Oklahoma State. This will provide Stafford with a nice target over the middle other than Calvin to go to. Brandon has the tools to start right away and be effective in doing so.
But a young quarterback needs a good running game and the Lions have a capable runner in last years third round pick Kevin Smith. I know Smith was knocked in college for having an attitude but I liked his fire last season. Every week he did his best to try and help the Lions overcome their 0-16 run.
While he wasn't successful in avoiding that embarrassing record, Kevin showed people he is a future leader on this team. Not to mention that Smith can handle the rock as he toted the ball over 400 times in his final season in college. If Kevin is successful on the ground it will help ease the pressure for the young quarterbacks transition to the NFL.
Sadly, I was disappointed that the Lions didn't draft nor sign anyone significant on the offensive line. This to me is the true hole Stafford or Culpepper for that matter will have to over come. Yes Mathews situation is defiantly one like David Carr's as opposed to Alex Smith.
Guess we will see if young Stafford can take a hit or should I say 1,000 hits. Get this kid some more line please!
Calvin Johnson and the Lions fantasy football strategy for 2009
Calvin Johnson—Johnson's Fantasy value this year I say ignore the fact that his offense and team are a loser at this time. Hey if the guy had 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns last year he can do that any year. Draft him in the seconnd round of your fantasy draft and sleep sound that night knowing you have a stud.
Running back Kevin Smith—This runner will make a fine No. 3 back for your team in the coming season. Weather he's a start/flex play or just filling in for you he will give you good work most of the year.
Look for Smith in the mid rounds of the draft because most of your fellow counter parts will shy away from a runner on a 0-16 team. To combat that thinking all I'm asking you do is go back and look at Kevin's teams he played. Then see how he preformed in second half of the year.
True this kid is not an explosive game breaker but he is a very steady hard working "cow bell" in the offense.
Tight End Brandon Pettigrew—If you want him on your team draft him at the end and stash him away behind another good tight end.
Lions Quarterbacks—If your desperate go ahead and grab Culpepper late as a backup. Other than that stay away for this season. Even though Calvin Johnson is on the team and will have success, it's hard to trust the quarterback situation from week to week.
Written By: Sean Douglas- fantasy-info.com