The Detroit Lions will head into Year 2 under head coach Dan Campbell, extending their streak of double-digit losses to 10 games. Fantasy football players should take a look at the wide receiver room and running backs during training camp and preseason to see how the snaps and targets might play out in 2022.
In this series, we will look at the most important fantasy football position battles for each NFL team. Opportunity is king in fantasy, as you can’t produce fantasy statistics without getting on the field. So, the first step when looking for value plays is to project — correctly — which players will win training camp battles.
Here’s a look at our picks to win the training camp battles for the Detroit Lions ahead of your 2022 fantasy football drafts.
D.J. Chark vs. Jameson Williams vs. Josh Reynolds
The top wide receiver option on the Lions roster is Amon-Ra St. Brown, but the more intriguing battle is what is happening behind him with these three candidates. D.J. Chark spent his first four NFL seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars and played in just four games with an ankle injury in 2021. Jameson Williams was a first-round draft pick from the Alabama Crimson Tide, though he is still recovering from a torn ACL in the national championship game. Josh Reynolds is the lone returning Detroit receiver of this group, and Josh Reynolds was released by the Tennessee Titans during last season before the Lions picked him up for most of the second half of the year.
Our pick to win: Jameson Williams
D.J. Chark is the most proven NFL player of this group, and he has a good shot at opening the season as the top wide receiver option of this trio. However, that will only be the case until Jameson Williams is healthy enough to play. When that happens, the Lions will not hesitate to get one of their most talented players on a roster in the game as often as possible.
D’Andre Swift vs. Jamaal Williams
The Lions running back competition could be an interesting battle to watch, but they will need to move the ball down the field more efficiently for the either one of this duo to maximize their value. They both put up similar numbers last season as D’Andre Swift finished with 617 yards with 151 attempts, while Jamaal Williams carried the ball for 153 times for 601 yards. The biggest difference came in the passing game where Swift caught 62 balls for 452 yards, while Williams had 26 catches for 157 yards.
Our pick to win: D’Andre Swift
This is a fairly clear pick as D’Andre Swift could potentially be drafted as a top-10 running back at this point. He will have a sizeable edge in the passing game as one of the top receiving options among running backs in the NFL. Swift should be the recipient of plenty of Jared Goff check downs, so there is a ton of value in what he can do in this offense, especially in a PPR league.