The NFL season continues to creep closer. We inducted more legends into the NFL Hall of Fame last week, and now we begin preseason games this week. Of course, this week also marks the beginning of HBO’s Hard Knocks, which will capture the training camp action of the Detroit Lions.
Every year, Hard Knocks gives us an inside look at an up-and-coming team’s preparation for the season. This year, with Dan Campbell and Jamaal Williams mic’d up, it’s sure to be an entertaining watch. Of course, it also gives us a closer look at players for fantasy football purposes.
While the Lions may not win a Super Bowl this season, they have plenty of players who will be relevant for fantasy football purposes. Let’s take a look at fantasy football players to watch during Hard Knocks Lions, which begins on Tuesday.
Fantasy Football Players to Watch in Hard Knocks Lions
No, Jared Goff is not going to be a starter in most fantasy football leagues. However, he could be a very serviceable bye week option, and he is certainly relevant in 2QB leagues. Hard Knocks Lions will give us a closer look at the quarterback who has be criticized often.
Running back D’Andre Swift could be the most valuable fantasy football option on the screen during Hard Knocks Lions. He hasn’t been able to stay healthy up to this point, but Dan Campbell said Detroit plans to manage his work during training camp. Hard Knocks Lions will give us a closer look into this.
Do not be surprised if Jamaal Williams steals the show during Hard Knocks Lions. Additionally, do not be surprised if Jamaal Williams steals more snaps from Swift than you would like. Williams is a talented running back. He runs hard, is among the best pass protectors in the league, and runs routes like a wide receiver.
Williams is undervalued in fantasy football, but he won’t be undervalued by the HBO crew.
Amon-Ra St. Brown
Coming into this season, Amon-Ra St. Brown is the most coveted wide receiver option on the Lions for fantasy football. He looked good last season, totaling 51 receptions, 560 yards and five receiving touchdowns over the final six weeks of the season. It’s clear he will be a big part of the Detroit offense, but is he being overvalued a bit? Maybe we’ll find out during Hard Knocks Lions.
There may not be a wide receiver acquisition that has gone more under the radar this offseason than the Lions signing DJ Chark. Injury cut Chark’s season short after four games last season. However, he is only a couple of years removed from a 1,000-yard season in Jacksonville. Chark is also only 25 years old, adding to the surprisingly talented, young receiving corps of the Lions.
Jameson Williams may be the most important fantasy football player to watch for during Hard Knocks Lions. The talented rookie is coming off knee surgery and is currently on the PUP list. There have been reports saying he is ahead of schedule, which could mean he isn’t on the PUP list to begin the season. When healthy, Jameson Williams could quickly solidify himself as the WR1 on this team.
Dan Campbell loves Josh Reynolds, which makes him a player to watch. Campbell has three nicknames for Reynolds, including praying mantis, spider of death and freaking serpent. He also went on a five-week stretch last season where he totaled 295 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
While he won’t have a consistent role on this team, Quintez Cephus could have a valuable one. The big, strong wide receiver out of Wisconsin has some of the best highlights on the team. He could be a strong blocker out wide for this team, which will earn him more snaps. Cephus could also be utilized in the red zone.
If D’Andre Swift isn’t the most valuable fantasy football option on the Lions, then T.J. Hockenson is. Many forget how good Hockenson was to begin this season last year. Through the first eight weeks, Hockenson caught 48 of his 64 targets for 448 yards and two touchdowns, which was good for TE3 in PPR leagues. If he can stay healthy this season, he absolutely could be a top-five tight end.
Devin Funchess will have to fight to make this team, but it is interesting that he is transitioning back to tight end. It’s within the realm of possibility that he can be a serviceable receiving tight end, and Hard Knocks Lions will give us a look into this situation.