With Calvin Johnson choosing to retire this offseason, Golden Tate emerges as one of two candidates to lead the Lions receiving group. It has been well documented when Johnson was out or playing hurt, Tate stepped up with big numbers. We saw more of that two seasons ago when Johnson was really banged up compared to last season, which is partially why Tate's numbers took such a dramatic drop. But we've also seen Tate work best as a short-area target for quarterback Matthew Stafford and not as a traditional top receiving threat. Though new Lions receiver Marvin Jones isn't a cinch to dominate the team's aerial attack, Tate shouldn't be thought of as a breakout candidate either. Not with a so-so receiving average and an inconsistent track record. With value skewing his way in full-point PPR -- let's face it, his targets will rise -- expect him to be selected in Round 4, while he could slip to as far as late Round 6 in standard leagues.
Tate caught 90 of 128 targets for 813 yards and six touchdowns in 2015, adding 41 yards on six carries. For the second consecutive year, Tate led the Lions in receptions. He did much of his work underneath the coverage in 2015, his 9.0 yards per catch the lowest total of any receiver who ranked in the Top 10 in the league in catches. Tate disappointed early on with just one touchdown in the first 10 games of the season, but he was able to find the end zone five times in the final six contests of the season. More and better production could be in Tate's future as, if Calvin Johnson departs due to retirement or for cap savings, Tate would suddenly become Detroit's primary target.
Tate plucked four of six targets for 34 yards in Sunday's win over Chicago. Tate had a nice five-game stretch between Week 11 and 15 during which he totaled 38 catches and five touchdowns. Tate scored just once during the season's remaining 11 games. Tate was relatively quiet this season, despite reaching 90 receptions as he averaged just over nine yards per catch and never topped 80 yards in a game. Tate's value next season will be heavily tied to the future of Calvin Johnson and the coaching staff. Should Johnson depart and the staff stay, Tate has already found a niche in Jim Bob Cooter's offense - seeing more targets than Johnson in four of the Lions' eight games following the bye.
Tate caught four passes off of five targets for 59 yards in Sunday's win over the 49ers. Tate entered Sunday on his hottest run of the season, tallying 38 catches and five scores in his past five games. He came back down to earth on Sunday, posting his fewest number of targets and catches since Week 10. There's no doubt that Tate has enjoyed a huge spike in success in Detroit's revamped offense under new coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and fantasy owners should feel comfortable starting him against a Bears defense that he scored against earlier this season. Sunday's performance certainly dampens that comfort, however.
Tate caught six passes (on six targets) for 45 yards and two touchdowns in Monday night's win over the Saints. Tate enjoyed an excellent first half Monday night, scoring a pair of touchdowns within the five yard line to spark the Lions' early lead. In fact, Monday marked Tate's second straight performance with two touchdowns, continuing his great close to the campaign. Over the Lions' last four games, Tate has caught 30 of his 34 targets while scoring five times. Such production puts Tate's stock on the rise heading into Week 16.
Tate reeled in nine passes off of 10 targets for 60 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's loss to St. Louis. He added a 15-yard run during the contest. Tate lined up wide right and cut across the middle on quick slants for both of his touchdowns on Sunday, doubling his scoring total for the season in the process. Tate continues to be a short-gain receiver, having averaged more than 10 yards per catch just three times this season, but he's certainly on the upswing, seeing more targets than Calvin Johnson in three of the Lions' past four games and scoring thrice in the process. Tate's lack of big-time yardage makes him a so-so start in standard leagues unless he's scoring, but with four consecutive games of at least seven catches, he's a great start in PPR formats.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/25||@Green Bay Packers||13||21.00|
|6||10/16||Los Angeles Rams||6||18.50|
|13||12/04||@New Orleans Saints||28||25.13|
|15||12/18||@New York Giants||23||23.88|
|17||01/01||Green Bay Packers||13||21.00|
|3 Year Avg||123||84||1014||5||50||12.07||134|