Detroit Lions: Who to target in your fantasy football leagues

(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Lions, T.J. Hockenson
(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson is a player you will want in your fantasy football league.

T.J. Hockenson is coming off of a stellar season, and I expect to see the athletic, do-it-all tight end perform like a top-three player at his position in 2021.

Hockenson statistically had an outstanding rookie season with the Detroit Lions, but his offensive production came in bunches.  During his second NFL season, his production nearly doubled, and he proved to be a much-more consistent contributor in the Detroit Lions offense.

The soon-to-be 24-year-old tight end is poised to have a special season during his third year.  Stafford targeted Hockenson 101 times last season, and the talented pass-catcher reeled in 67 of those for 723 yards and six touchdowns.  Hockenson provided the Lions with a catch rate of 66% in year two, a much-improved number from the 54% rate he produced as a rookie.

As much as Stafford relied on his tight ends, Jared Goff will more, especially with limited talent at the receiver position.  I expect Hockenson to lead the Lions in receiving next season, followed by St. Brown or potentially Swift.

Goff loves to utilize his tight end, and during his time in Los Angeles, he had a couple of options to choose from.  Last season Tyler Higbee produced a catch rate of 73.3%, making 44 receptions totaling 521 yards and five touchdowns.

The Rams’ second tight end, Gerald Everett made 41 grabs totaling 417 yards and one score.  Everett had a catch rate of 66%.

Of course, I expect Hockenson to dominate the tight end targets in Detroit, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see the young playmaker to total both Higbee and Everett’s numbers combined as his floor in 2021.

Fantasy Pros has Hockenson ranked as the fourth overall tight end behind Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Darren Waller.

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There is no disrespect with this ranking, all three of those tight ends are tremendous receiving TE’s, but it wouldn’t shock me to see Hockenson slide into the third position flipping with Waller for the 2021 season.