A Calvin Johnson-sized void remains in the Lions’ offense, but Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are capable of producing in his place even if they never live up to the name of the man who preceded them. Against a vulnerable Colts defense, Tate and Jones could wreak havoc during a game that has shootout written all over it.
With a game script likely to favor the pass, Matthew Stafford makes for a sneaky QB1/QB2 option, especially with a full offseason of work with Offensive Coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, who turned the Lions’ offense around once he took over in Week 10 of 2015. Theo Riddick is also a beneficiary of this game script, as he remains a huge part of the receiving game and draws a Colts defense with slower linebackers and a suspect safety tandem. He would garner worthy flex consideration in PPR leagues of all sizes.
Though Ameer Abdullah has tons of natural ability, it’s risky to deploy him into lineups from the get-go, with both Zach Zanner and Dwayne Washington threatening his goal-line work in addition to Riddick being a mainstay in the passing game. Upside for Abdullah certainly exists, but he is too volatile an option at the moment until he proves otherwise.
Andrew Luck is back, which is welcome news for fantasy owners who hope the Colts return to 2014’s form. If Luck is at that point, he is an unquestioned QB1 who will elevate players like Donte Moncrief and T.Y. Hilton into the fantasy elite. Both of those receivers deserve starting consideration on Sunday.
Frank Gore’s wheels have to fall off at some point, but he has once again emerged atop the depth chart and has a firm grasp on the backfield. Amid a high-scoring offense, Gore figures to get enough goal-line chances to cash-in as a bargain RB2, which isn’t a stretch to predict for Week 1.
Though Dwayne Allen is the lone tight end on the roster worth having on fantasy teams, it would do well to keep him benched until he shows signs of life coming off of a lethargic 2015 campaign.