By The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
Transaction: The Detroit Lions sign RB LeGarrette Blount to a 1-year deal
2018 Fantasy Outlook: Heading into the 2017 season, I had high hopes for Ameer Abdullah. So much so that I had him ranked as my number 13 running back. Seriously. You don’t believe me? Why would I joke about that? Needless to say, Abdullah let me down. If you drafted Abdullah and were burned by him as a result of this recommendation, I owe you a beer. Seriously, I apologize.
Based on that paragraph, you can correctly assume the Lions displayed a woeful rushing attack, ranking dead last in the NFL in rushing offense. The Lions offensive line, though upgraded in the offseason, did little to help in the run game in allowing their running backs only 0.96 yards before first contact. That average was second worst in the NFL. Not only couldn’t the running hit what few holes were made, they just had nowhere to run. When you look at numbers like that, what you need in a running back is the ability to gains a significant amount of yards after first contact. Enter Blount.
Blount is, if nothing else, a behemoth and is so difficult to bring down. Last year, he averaged 3.56 yards after first contact. That mark was the best in all of football. He also averaged 4.4 yards per carry behind the highest graded line in football according to Pro Football Focus. The Lions ranked 19th. Will Blount’s averages translate? Keep in mind, he’s 30 years old and if you haven’t realized by now, I’m not a huge fan of RBs after the age of 30.
Blount is no superstar, but I think he’s definitely capable of helping the Lions rushing attack on first and second down. He rushed for a little over 700 yards last year while splitting touches in the committee the Eagles deployed. The Lions have Theo Riddick as one of the best pass catching backs in football as well as the aforementioned Abdullah. They’re also likely to draft a running back come the draft. To put it bluntly — no pun intended — I’m not investing a high pick in Blount. He barely scratches the surface as a RB2 option and he was hardly reliable with a committee in Philly. You think that will improve in Detroit with a worse offensive line? Pass (the) Blount to someone else.