Cephus has an enormous opportunity with Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola gone. Cephus is the Lions' leading returning receiver, but he will have to compete with Amon-Ra St. Brown, Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman for targets. In redraft Cephus is more of a late-round dart throw, but in Dynasty he's an attractive stash. The 23-year-old averaged 17.5 yards per catch as a rookie after averaging 16.1 in three years at Wisconsin. He's a big-play threat who is most appealing in Dynasty or Best Ball.
Cephus should have an opportunity to be a starting outside receiver this season, Nick Baumgardner and Chris Burke of the Athletic report. The offseason has gone about as well as possible for Cephus's potential usage in 2021, as every other wideout who caught a pass in a Lions jersey last season is gone and Detroit only replaced them with a pair of relatively low-cost veterans plus a fourth-round draft pick in Amon-Ra St. Brown. While going from Matthew Stafford to Jared Goff at quarterback is a downgrade, Cephus ultimately seems primed to top the 365 total offensive snaps he logged as a rookie.
Cephus has new competition at wide receiver after Detroit signed Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams to replace Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports. Despite the overhaul at the position, Cephus still seems like the future of the Lions wideout corps, considering both Williams and Perriman are only signed to one-year deals. Meanwhile, no other notable Lions wideout is under contract beyond 2021 besides Cephus. However, given this "band-aid" approach Detroit appears to be taking to wide receiver this offseason, the team may be planning on using the draft to add pass catchers, perhaps as early as the No. 7 overall pick. Should Detroit ultimately choose not to invest significant draft capital into a difference-making receiver or receivers, Cephus could be an under-the-radar PPR asset, given how his short-area game complements the deep-threat abilities of Williams and Perriman.
Cephus caught two of three targets for 51 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 37-35 loss to Minnesota. Without anything to play for in a second straight game, Detroit finally chose to give Cephus (32 snaps) more run than veterans Mohamed Sanu (27) and Danny Amendola (24) after failing to do so Week 16. While Cephus wasn't needed to do much with Marvin Jones going off for 180 yards and two touchdowns, the rookie made his mark with a 20-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter, showcasing the downfield ability that helped Cephus to a team-high 17.5 yards per reception in 2020. However, Cephus also will finish the year with a 57 percent catch rate, which undoubtedly will need to improve for him to take the next step. Fortunately, there should be ample opportunity for the Wisconsin product to do so, as he's the only member of the Lions' current receiving corps that remains under contract beyond the end of the league year.
Cephus caught one of two targets for nine yards during Saturday's 47-7 loss to Tampa Bay. Despite getting eliminated from playoff contention last week and falling behind 34 points at halftime, the Lions again decided to have Cephus finish fourth in playing time behind three 30-plus-year-old receivers who aren't under contract beyond this season. Knowing we can't rely upon Detroit to maximize the rookie's playing time in meaningless games, Cephus is nothing more than a dart throw Week 17 against a Vikings defense that has allowed the seventh-most yards per pass attempt since Week 8. However, it might not matter if quarterback Matthew Stafford (ankle) can't play.
Cephus caught one of three targets for 36 yards during Sunday's 46-25 loss to the Titans. Clearly running behind Marvin Jones but not trailing Mohamed Sanu and Danny Amendola by much, Cephus has shown some flashes during the continued absence of Kenny Golladay (hip). Combined with the fact that none of the four aforementioned names are under contract beyond this season and Detroit has no chance of making the playoffs, it will be interesting to see if the Lions feature Cephus a little more during the final two games of the regular season. However, fantasy owners should keep in mind that it's possible the banged-up Matthew Stafford could be shut down for the remainder of the year.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/12||San Francisco 49ers||15||21.50|
|2||09/20||@Green Bay Packers||6||19.56|
|7||10/24||@Los Angeles Rams||1||16.67|
|18||01/09||Green Bay Packers||6||19.56|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||35||20||349||2||16||17.45||46|