Draft Zone: 8th Ranked Quarterback – Lions Matthew Stafford

Detroit Lions Matthew Stafford is the 8th ranked quarterback in this year’s 2013 fantasy draft standings. With an Average Draft Position (ADP) of 57, he’s likely to be taken sometime in the fifth or sixth round of most fantasy drafts.

Stafford had a solid 2012 fantasy season throwing for just a shade under 5,000 yards. However, he fell woefully short from the 41 touchdowns he put up in 2011, with only 20 passing touchdowns in 2012. It’s obvious that he’s still a starting option in fantasy football, but it’s a question of whether or not he can be an elite quarterback again in 2013.

Last season, Stafford set an NFL record with a ridiculous 727 passing attempts. It was the second consecutive season that he led the league in attempts, as he recorded a completion percentage of 59.8%. With a rocket arm, and the league’s most talented wide receiver in Calvin Johnson, Stafford should continue to amass a vast amount of attempts. Yet he needs to throw touchdowns to be  a stud again.

It’s hard to blame things on luck, but Stafford certainly didn’t have much in 2012. Calvin Johnson was tackled at his own one-yard line four times last season, just short of the end zone. In the same vein, Lions receivers were tackled within their own five-yard line 23 times. If just a handful of these receivers could have reached the end zone , Stafford would have had a much more respectable season.

Perhaps a better group of receivers will help him score more touchdowns. With the versatile Reggie Bush joining the team, and veteran Nate Burleson returning, Stafford should have more options to throw to. A deeper receiving core should allow Stafford to find the end zone more often. In this case, don’t be surprised to see Stafford reach 35 touchdowns once again.

Stafford is amazing value in the 5th round, and should be pounced on if he’s still available.

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