Kenny Golladay Fantasy Outlook with Jeff Driskel After Matthew Stafford Injury

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2019

Detroit Lions Kenny Golladay (19) runs for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)
Darryl Webb/Associated Press

As Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford deals with a back injury and is reportedly set to miss Sunday's game, the ramifications of his absence could stretch well beyond the confines of the Motor City. 

Fantasy football owners will now face tough decisions in regards to their lineups, whether it be finding a replacement for Stafford or wondering what the injury's impact on the rest of the Lions' playmakers will be.

A third-round pick in 2017, Kenny Golladay took a massive leap forward last year to get the attention of fantasy owners. He hauled in 70 catches for 1,063 yards and five touchdowns in 2018.

Arguably nobody was a bigger beneficiary of the midseason Golden Tate trade than Golladay. Prior to the trade, he averaged just 6.3 targets per game. He averaged 9.4 targets per game over the final eight games (with Jones sidelined for the last six), as he piled up 586 yards in the process.

Golladay has the potential to still be a productive fantasy player without Stafford, but Detroit does not figure to air the ball out as much with Jeff Driskel under center. Until it becomes clearer how offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will call plays in the meantime, fantasy owners should proceed with caution in regards to Golladay and the other Lions pass-catchers like Marvin Jones.

Both Golladay and Jones should be considered low-ceiling flex considerations with Stafford injured. It's possible both won't miss a beat, but it's always a risk for pass-catchers when their starting quarterback misses time, especially when the backup is a less proven and less decorated option like Driskel. 

He wasn't particularly good in his nine games with the Cincinnati Bengals last season, throwing for 1,003 passing yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions while completing just 59.7 percent of his passes.

The ground game figures to be leaned upon more heavily with Stafford sidelined. 

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