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The 2021 NFL season may barely be in the books, but Dave Richard is already getting a jump on his 2022 preparation by highlighting at least one key statistic to know for each NFL team that had a major bearing on their 2021 performance and could mean a great deal for their 2022 outlook. In this space, Dave dives into the Detroit Lions.

More Early Prep (AFC): BAL | BUF | CIN | CLE | DEN | DET

More Early Prep (NFC): ARI | ATL | CAR | CHI | DAL

Detroit Lions stats to know

Fantasy managers will gravitate toward D'Andre Swift, and T.J. Hockenson will get a pass for his 2021 (he still had 10-plus PPR in 8 of 12 games). But there will be an awful lot of intrigue around late-season rookie sensation Amon-Ra St. Brown

  • The good: St. Brown's target share (33%), target-per-route-run rate (32.8%) and catch rate (76.1%) ranked among the top-5 among all receivers from Week 13 through the end of the season. 
  • The not-so-good: St. Brown's yards per catch (11.0), average depth of target (7.04) and targets inside of 10 yards (two) ranked outside the top-25 among all receivers from Week 13 through the end of the season. 

It's also important to note that St. Brown played five games without Hockenson and four without Swift in those final six weeks. On the year, Hockenson averaged 7.0 targets per game and Swift saw 6.0 per game. And there's already been on-the-record talk from Lions receivers coach Antwaan Randle-El that he would like to "draft two and bring in one" receiver this offseason. That means more competition for targets. Be prepared to take caution when drafting St. Brown in 2022 drafts, especially if receptions don't carry significant value.  

St. Brown was a late-season rookie breakout in 2021. We'll be looking for breakouts from last year's rookie class to now take that second year leap in 2022. But which ones will actually live up to the hype? The Fantasy Football Today team dove deep into the 2021 WR rookie class and what their outlooks look like for 2022: