Player Outlook
The Lions DST actually amounted to a startable unit over the final 10 weeks of last season, averaging a good 10.0 Fantasy points per week. This year's unit should be better after the team altered its secondary with the additions of cornerbacks C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Cam Sutton, along with rookie picks Jack Campbell at linebacker and Brian Branch at safety and nickel corner. The worry is that even with Aidan Hutchinson coming into his own, the Lions pass rush won't generate enough pressure to force sacks and turnovers. And if that isn't enough to worry you, then their Week 1 matchup at Kansas City will. Detroit does have some appealing matchups after Week 2, so think of them as a mid-September call-up to your roster from waivers and not as a must-draft unit.

Fantasy News

  • Tracy Walker: Let go by Lions

    Walker was released by the Lions on Tuesday, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports. Walker spent his first six seasons in Detroit, accumulating 398 tackles (291 solo), three interceptions, 4.0 sacks and one forced fumble across 79 games (43 starts). He could still return to Detroit on a new deal.
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  • Eagles' Julian Okwara: Signs with Eagles

    The Eagles signed Okwara to a reserve/future contract Wednesday. Okwara will head to Philadelphia after getting waived by the Lions last month. The 26-year-old will now look to compete for a depth spot along the team's defensive line.
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  • Lions' Alex Anzalone: Career year in 2023

    Anzalone recorded 129 tackles with 3.0 sacks and six passes defended over 16 regular-season games in 2023. While a fringe top-24 linebacker in IDP formats, Anzalone recorded career highs in tackles, solo tackles (85) and sacks as one of the most important pieces of a Detroit defense that made huge improvements in run defense. One year after finishing bottom four in rushing yards allowed per carry and per game, this unit finished top three in each of those categories and top two in runs of 10-plus yards allowed (36) and runs of 20-plus yards allowed (five). With Aidan Hutchinson and Alim McNeill also under contract in 2024, the key pieces are in place for both Anzalone and the Lions' run defense to remain productive in 2024.
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  • Lions' Jalen Reeves-Maybin: Leaves with groin injury

    Reeves-Maybin (groin) is questionable to return to Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the 49ers. Reeves-Maybin sustained the third injury in the third quarter of Sunday's game. He did not record a stat before his exit. Anthony Pittman is the next man up as a depth outside linebacker alongside Justin Houston with both Reeves-Maybin and Derrick Barnes (knee) questionable to return Sunday.
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  • Lions' Kerby Joseph: Exits game with arm injury

    Joseph (arm) is questionable to return to Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the 49ers, Eric Woodyard of ESPN.com reports. Joseph sustained the injury in the third quarter. He had two tackles (one solo) before his exit. In Joseph's absence, Ifeatu Melifonwu will likely slot into the free safety spot alongside strong safety starter C.J. Gardner-Johnson, while Will Harris provides depth.
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  • Lions' Derrick Barnes: Leaves game with knee injury

    Barnes (knee) is questionable to return to Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the 49ers. Barnes sustained the knee injury on the 49ers' first drive of the game. While he's sidelined, James Houston and Jalen Reeves-Maybin are candidates to see more snaps at outside linebacker alongside starter Jack Campbell.
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  • Lions' Alex Anzalone: Remains limited Thursday

    Anzalone (shoulder/ribs) was a limited participant in Thursday's practice. Anzalone has now began the Lions' week of practice with two consecutive limited sessions (Wednesday was a walkthrough) as he continues to battle three fractured ribs and a sprained AC joint in his shoulder. The 29-year-old linebacker will likely carry an injury designation into the NFC Championship Game unless he can practice in full Friday.
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  • Lions' James Houston: Full go in Wednesday's walkthrough

    Houston (ankle) was a full participant in Wednesday's walkthrough practice. Houston was activated off injured reserve last week, but he was inactive for the Lions' 31-23 win over the Buccaneers in the divisional round. Since he's opening the current week as a full participant, the outside linebacker may have a better chance at being available for the Lions in Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the 49ers.
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  • Lions' Alex Anzalone: Limited in walkthrough Wednesday

    Anzalone (ribs/shoulder) was a limited participant in Wednesday's walkthrough practice. Anzalone was limited Wednesday as he continues to play through fractured ribs as well as a sprained AC joint in his shoulder. The 2017 third-round pick should be good to go for Sunday's NFC Championship Game matchup with the 49ers, provided he advances to full practice participation Thursday and/or Friday.
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  • Lions' Alex Anzalone: Playing through injuries

    Anzalone played through a sprained AC joint in his shoulder and three fractured ribs during Sunday's divisional-round win over the Buccaneers, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports. Anzalone actually suffered the rib injury during Detroit's Week 18 win over the Vikings and has been playing through it for each of the team's playoff wins this season. The veteran linebacker will likely appear on the team's injury report throughout the week, but considering he's managed to play through the pain, it's unlikely he would stop now. Anzalone should suit up against the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game this Sunday.
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  • Lions' James Houston: Will stay sidelined

    Houston (ankle) is inactive Sunday against the Buccaneers. Houston was activated off injured reserve Thursday, and although he's jumped back into practice, he'll continue to remain sidelined as he works his way back from a fractured ankle. The second-year pro will need a Lions victory Sunday to get another opportunity to suit up again this season.
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  • Julian Okwara: Let go by Detroit

    Okwara was waived by the Lions on Thursday. Okwara was let go in order to make room on the active roster for James Houston (ankle), who was activated off injured reserve in a corresponding move. Okwara will now look to catch on with another team after compiling just seven tackles (six solo), including two sacks, through nine games played this season.
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  • Lions' James Houston: Activated off IR

    The Lions activated Houston (ankle) off injured reserve Thursday. Houston has been out since suffering an ankle injury during Detroit's Week 2 loss to the Seahawks but is now set to return for the team's divisional-round matchup versus Tampa Bay. The 25-year-old should contribute on special teams and also provide solid depth behind Derrick Barnes.
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  • Lions' John Cominsky: Good to go versus Rams

    Cominsky (illness) is active for Sunday's wild-card game against the Rams. Cominsky popped up on the Lions' injury report Friday after coming down with an illness, but he's healthy enough to suit up for the Lions' playoff contest. He finished the regular season with 36 tackles (14 solo), including 2.0 sacks, in 16 games.
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  • Lions' Jerry Jacobs: Shifts to IR

    Jacobs (hamstring) was placed on injured reserve Saturday. The 26-year-old had already been ruled out for Detroit's wild-card affair due to a hamstring injury, but it now seems as if issue will hold him out for the remainder of the season. With Jacobs going on IR, Steven Gilmore and Khalil Dorsey could both see increased work in the Lions' secondary.
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  • Lions' John Cominsky: Could miss wild-card outing

    Cominsky (illness) is listed as questionable ahead of Sunday's game against the Rams, Eric Woodyard of ESPN.com reports. Despite a full week of practice, Cominsky seems to be dealing with an illness that could hold him out of the Lions' wild-card affair. If the 28-year-old is unable to suit up Sunday, expect Josh Paschal to shoulder an increased workload on Detroit's defensive line.
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  • Lions' Jerry Jacobs: Won't play in wild-card round

    Jacobs (hamstring) has been ruled out ahead of Sunday's game against the Rams, Eric Woodyard of ESPN.com reports. Jacobs logged back-to-back DNPs to end Detroit's week of practice, so it's no surprise that the 26-year-old has been ruled out for Sunday's affair. In Jacobs' absence, Steven Gilmore could see increased work as a rotational cornerback in the Lions' secondary.
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  • Dolphins' Bruce Irvin: Joins Miami for playoff push

    The Dolphins signed Irvin to their active roster Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports. Irivn spent time with Detroit earlier in the season, appearing in just two games and recording 1.0 sack on 42 defensive snaps. The 36-year-old was brought in alongside Malik Reed (practice squad) and Justin Houston (active roster) before the Dolphins' playoff push, as the team is preparing to be without both of it's top edge rushers in Jaelan Phillips (Achilles) and Bradley Chubb (knee) for the remainder of the season.
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  • Lions' C.J. Gardner-Johnson: Collects game-sealing interception

    Gardner-Johnson notched four tackles and one interception during Sunday's 30-20 win over the Vikings. Making his first appearance since Week 2, Gardner-Johnson collected a few tackles throughout the game before watching the game-sealing interception fall into his lap on an overthrow by Nick Mullens. Looking like he'll be a boost to the Detroit secondary entering the playoffs, Gardner-Johnson will play a large role in slowing down Matthew Stafford and the Rams passing game during the NFC wild card round.
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  • Lions' Brian Branch: Returns to game

    Branch (wrist) has returned to Sunday's game against the Vikings, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports. Branch left Sunday's game for a short period of time to deal with a wrist injury. It appears the issue is not serious, as he has returned to the field.
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