Fantasy Oasis

The key to any successful fantasy football team is landing late gems. With all the extensive research done by owners, it has become tougher and tougher for secrets to be hidden. There is a team full of players that has the potential to grow exponentially, as they just seem to be poised to develop.

The Detroit Lions hung around the majority of last season, due to the struggles of the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers. This season though, they believe they have what it takes and are built for take off.

Last season could have been an early start for success, if Joey Harrington didn’t falter with inconsistencies and face hurting performances. Matt Millen and the Lions organization have put the pressure on Harrington, and any disappointment will result in him being benched. Jeff Garcia has struggled himself the past few seasons, but he is a former Pro Bowl quarterback that was in a bad situation in Cleveland. With Mariucci and the preprogrammed west coast offense set, Garcia could be the immediate answer.

With the insecurity and prevalent prior offensive woes, it’ll make fantasy owners skeptical on where and when to draft a Lions player. Kevin Jones has so much upside, but is still not fully considered a number one fantasy back. If you’re an owner that goes with the simple strategy of stocking up on running backs with your first two picks, than you can start doing your weekly appraisal to Mr. Jones. He will commonly be a second running back and fantasy leagues, and is a lock to be the most successful on that tier. It might be worth the gamble to draft a sure fire quarterback (Manning) or receiver (Moss, Harrison, Chad Johnson, etc) in the first round and snatch up Jones in the second.

After struggling through the first half of last season, Jones quietly finished the season with a rapport of monster games. His staggering numbers were so ridiculous that in his last eight games he totaled 906 yards rushing. Of course any back in a west coast offense has to be versatile, and Jones will get you an extra two to four points with receiving yards. He did all of this, with a quarterback that’s efficiency was below a high school quarterback at times.

If Charles Rogers can stay healthy, it’d be hard to argue that the Lions don’t have the best group of receivers in the NFL. The only downside is that the cast is young, and egos could become a problem. Everyone wants the football, and when that doesn’t happen consistently the ranting and raving on the sideline begins. It shouldn’t be a problem this year because both Mike Williams and Charles Rogers are set out to prove themselves and doubters. Mike Williams has to answer critics after he didn’t play any college football last season, and Rogers has to show he can stay away from being prone to injury. Roy Williams is going to get his, as last year when the Lions receivers were riddled with injuries, he made perennial poster book catches while being double and even triple teamed.

Of course, you can have all the talent on the field, but if the right quarterback isn’t behind center that is all for naught. The Redskins learned a great deal of that last year, but it shouldn’t be a problem for the Lions. Harrington has had his ups and downs, but has shown promise before. Hopefully during the off-season he was able to clear his head, and get ready for a fresh start. Green Bay and Minnesota have always been the beasts in the North, but the Lions and Bears creep has begun. The Lions defense is even improving as they’re aggressively pursuing signing R.W. McQuarters or Ty Law.


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