Sleeper Spotlight: Will The Lions’ Kenny Golladay Make An Instant Impact?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Lions currently have Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and TJ Jones sitting atop their depth chart, but third round pick Kenny Golladay has been garnering significant attention.  While it’s hard to imagine him taking over one of the Top 2 spots, is it really a stretch to see him overtake Jones?

Expectations are quickly rising, given his size, speed and performance early on (he scored a pair of TD in the team’s first preseason game).  Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (click here for the article) sees him playing an immediate role.  Just look at how he described him recently:

At 6-4 and 213 pounds, Golladay is the biggest and one of the fastest receivers on the Lions’ roster. He’s shown a knack for knowing how to use his body at this early point of his NFL career. 

And given the makeup of the rest of the Lions’ receiving corps – Jones was brought in to be a deep threat, and Golden Tate is deadly when given space underneath – Golladay seems like an ideal complement to the Lions’ solid, but certainly not star-studded offense.

A year ago Anquan Boldin scored 8 TD, and while Eric Ebron could take on a big part of the lost red zone work it appears apparent that Golladay is also a candidate.  Just look at the height of the key wide receivers:

  • Golden Tate – 5’10”
  • Marvin Jones – 6’2”
  • TJ Jones – 6’0”
  • Kenny Golladay – 6’4”

Outside of a 10 TD season back in 2013, Jones has never scored more than 4 TD in a year so it’s hard to anticipate him suddenly exploding again.  Tate falls in a similar boat, having never scored more than 7 TD and clearly not having the ideal size for down deep.

The Lions will likely bring Golladay along slowly and overall his numbers may not be overly impressive.  He’s not going to assume all of the lost production from Boldin’s departure (95 targets) and you would think that he’d be fourth or fifth on the depth chart (Theo Riddick should also play a significant role once again in the passing game).

Consider him a TD dependent option who could have some big weeks, but for those in redraft formats it’s hard to believe in him being a consistently usable option.  In keeper/dynasty leagues it’s a different story, as he could grow into one of the team’s top options by next season (if not late in ’17).

Sources – ESPN,, Detroit Free Press

Make sure to check out all of our 2017 Preseason Rankings:

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