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Detroit Lions 2023 Fantasy Football Team Preview

Detroit Lions fantasy team preview graphic

As we inch closer to opening day of the NFL season, we want to get you prepared for your fantasy football drafts. That process begins with our team previews, where we’ll break down each team’s offense while providing players we’re targeting and, in some cases, avoiding.

>> READ: Lions Season Preview from Mike Martz

Lions Fantasy Football Team Preview

Head Coach: Dan Campbell (third season)

Offensive Coordinator: Ben Johnson (second season)

Key Offensive Additions:

Key Offensive Departures:

Key Offensive Rookies:

Points Per Game: 26.6 (fifth)

Passing Yards: 251.8 (eighth)

Rushing Yards: 128.2 (11th)

Vacated Targets: 160 (12th)

Pass: 59 percent Run: 41 percent

Pace: 15th

OL Rank: second


Jared Goff was 14th among qualifying quarterbacks with 17.1 fantasy points per game last season. Goff is a pure pocket passer with no rushing upside, which makes his fantasy production entirely reliant on what he does through the air.

Last season, Goff threw for the third-most passing yards (4,438) in his career and the second-most touchdowns (29). He would need a true outlier season to exceed his production from last season significantly. Treat Goff as a fringe QB1 with high-end streaming potential in advantageous matchups.

Running Backs

The Lions selected Gibbs 12th overall in the recent NFL Draft, doubling down on the archetype they thought they had in D’Andre Swift. Gibbs is undersized (199 pounds), but he has elite speed and a pass-catching skill set in a similar realm to Christian McCaffrey.

McCaffrey’s rookie season is a nice benchmark — he turned 117 carries and 113 targets into an RB10 finish in PPR leagues. Expect around five yards per carry from Gibbs behind the Lions’ mauling offensive line, along with a few long touchdown receptions.

Montgomery signed a fairly large, multi-year deal with the team this offseason. He has 25 pounds on Gibbs and is the favorite for goal-line work. Montgomery is one of the more consistent veterans, with at least 235 touches for 1,074 yards in all four of his NFL seasons. Expect 225-250 touches from him, skewed toward carries. However, given Goff’s lack of mobility, Montgomery could bring in 40 receptions like he’s already done twice in his career.

The Lions led the NFL in PPR fantasy points per game from their backfield, and one, if not both, of these two players should have a standout fantasy campaign. Behind them, Craig Reynolds and Justin Jackson are vying for next man up and should only be considered in the deepest fantasy leagues.

Wide Receivers, Tight Ends

The Lions' best offseason move was retaining offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, ensuring continuity for their elite offense. Amon-Ra St. Brown remains the main target and a dominant force in PPR leagues. While Jameson Williams is suspended, the three-receiver sets will rotate players such as Marvin Jones Jr., Josh Reynolds, Kalif Raymond and Denzel Mims. Jordan Vanek doesn’t view any of these players as must-have options in fantasy because they will likely rotate often early in the season based on matchup. 

LaPorta could start, given the Lions’ thin tight end room, but rookie tight ends are rarely major fantasy producers. 

St. Brown is a reliable, high-level producer in PPR leagues. Williams is a stash for those who go wide receiver–heavy early. Williams is an especially good stash for teams whose wide receivers have late bye weeks because he can fill in when he returns from suspension. Williams has 10 games in a dome and will be the offense's main deep threat.

Dynasty Buy

Ian Miller: Buy Gibbs (RB5)

Gibbs has the strongest collegiate receiving profile among all first-round running backs. Prior to 2023, Chris Johnson and McCaffrey had the highest freshman-receiving yard share at 10 percent and 9.1 percent, respectively. For reference, Gibbs posted a 21.7 percent share. A high-volume Lions passing offense now adds a transcendent receiving back in Gibbs.

Lions We’re Targeting in Fantasy Football

Josh Larky: Gibbs, Montgomery

Ryan Reynolds: Montgomery

Jordan Vanek: St. Brown

Other Fantasy Previews



NFC South: NO | ATL | CAR | TB

NFC West: SF | LAR | SEA | ARI

AFC East: BUF | MIA | NE | NYJ

AFC North: CIN | CLE | BAL | PIT 

AFC South: HOU | IND | JAX | TEN

AFC West: KC | LAC | LV | DEN

Follow our Team on Twitter

Josh Larky: @JLarkyTweets

Ryan Reynolds: @RyanReynoldsNFL  

Jordan Vanek: @JordanVanekDFS   

Ian Miller: @Dynasty_IM   

Our data is provided by Sports Info Solutions and our vacated targets figure is provided by Tru Media