When you look at his stats, Matthew Stafford did not have a terrible season in 2015.
Passing Yards- 4,262
Touchdown Passes- 32
He even added the most rushing yards of his career with 159. Stafford finished as a top-10 quarterback in 2015 Fantasy Football leagues, which isn’t bad considering he was an eighth-round pick last season.
But with Calvin Johnson retiring, the Fantasy Football community is preparing for the worst.
Stafford is now being drafted in Round 12, suggesting players believe he will see a big regression.
Before we decide if Stafford is worth drafting in 2016 Fantasy Football leagues, let’s take a quick look at his 2015 season.
2015 Fantasy Football Review: Matthew Stafford
As I said earlier, Stafford’s stats weren’t that bad. When you compare it to the fact that he only threw 22 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 2014, he actually showed a lot of improvement.
And if you break down the numbers a little more, it’s very interesting how the 28-year old quarterback performed in the second part of the season.
From Weeks 10-17, Stafford threw a total of 17 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. He averaged 275 passing yards per game, and Stafford had a completion percentage of 73.66%.
His season average for passing yards was 266, and his average completion percentage for the season was 67.2%.
So you can see that he really turned it on at the end of the year.
Matthew Stafford: 2016 Fantasy Football Weapons
We all know that Johnson is gone, so it’s time to focus on who is left to pick up the pieces.
Last season, Golden Tate made my list of overrated players. Hopefully you didn’t spend too early of a pick on Tate last year, but a lot of the Fantasy community just thought he was going to have a bigger year than he did.
But since he’s recorded back-to-back seasons with at least 90 catches and Johnson is out of the picture, I’m a bigger fan of him for 2016 Fantasy Football leagues. Of course, that’s easy to say now since he has two years worth of rapport with Stafford and Johnson is gone.
Since he might cost you a third-round pick, though, he’s not a player I’m targeting.
For MFL 10 leagues, I would consider targeting Marvin Jones. The 26-year old receiver never had much of a chance to take a leap with A.J. Green as the star of the show, but Tate is certainly not Green.
Jones has solid size (6-foot-2), and he ran a decent 40-yard dash (4.46). He hasn’t caught enough passes to be Fantasy revenant in the past two season, but he did catch 10 touchdowns in 2014.
He’s going in Round 7 in a lot of leagues, and he will be a steal for an MFL 10 lineup at that spot.
Wide receivers T.J. Jones, Andre Caldwell, and Jeremy Kerley are the rest of the receivers who will fight for Stafford’s attention.
Since he’s one of the biggest targets on the team (6-foot-4, 255 pounds), the coaching staff is hoping that third-year tight end Eric Ebron can be more of a force in 2016. The 23-year old tight end had a few relevant Fantasy performances last year, but he didn’t do enough with his catches when Stafford did target him.
Ebron stated he hopes to be a safety net for Stafford this year.
Theo Riddick quietly recorded the second-most receiving yards for running backs in the NFL last season, and he should continue to have a big role in 2016. Amber Abdullah wasn’t asked to do too much as a receiver last season, but he still hauled in 25 receptions for 183 receiving yards.
Stafford won’t have a problem trying to target a strong pass-catching back.
Matthew Stafford 2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
For is a bit undervalued as a 12th-round pick.
Players are even drafting Jimmy Garoppolo at the same spot as Stafford, which tells you that Fantasy players are tired of waiting for him to repeat his 41-touchdown season of 2011.
Will he throw 40 touchdowns in 2016? Probably not, but I don’t see why he can’t throw 30. Especially considering he’s normally durable. Outside of 2009 and 2010, he’s played in a 16-game every year. So I wouldn’t be so quick to sneeze on him as a backup.
He’s capable of big performances like in Week 12 last year, where he threw five touchdown passes.
But I know it’s a headache to guess when he’s going to do that, which is why I think he’s great for a MFL 10 format.
I’m not expecting a lot out of Stafford, but I think his decline after the Megatron era is being exaggerated. He has enough weapons to put together a few big games and at least finish as a top-15 quarterback.
I wouldn’t want him as my starter, but I wouldn’t complain if he was my backup in my 2016 Fantasy Football leagues.