The Lions have reportedly agreed to a five-year, $40 million contract with Marvin Jones. It’s almost like the Lions hate winning or hate their fans or some combination of the two.
New GM Bob Quinn comes from the New England Patriots, the NFL’s best organization to be sure, but one that has been terrible at evaluating WRs. Perhaps this is why Detroit opted to take a flyer on a guy who has never gone for 900 yards in college or the NFL.
Marvin Jones versus Golden Tate
I think it’s probably worth mentioning again that Marvin Jones is entering his age-26 season and has never gained 900 yards.
Perhaps he looks better somehow as a college player if we do some magical adjustments for tempo or market share or whatnot.
You’re probably thinking, “College was a long time ago. It doesn’t seem particularly relevant considering we now have plenty of new information about these players.” I would agree with that. The reason I show the college results is that it seems to be a theory that if Jones gets away from A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert he’ll be good.
But Jones has never been more than a low-end complementary target. In college it was, “Well, if Keenan Allen wasn’t there.”
The Lions just signed a guy to a $40 million contract with this as the basic premise: If we have no other good players to steal targets, maybe he’ll produce.
Suffice it to say that I loathe this signing from a reality perspective, but the likely fantasy repercussions are probably the opposite of what it appears on the surface. There’s at least some reason to believe Golden Tate will have value in the absence of Megatron.
Those results smack of small sample fluke, but at least there’s a ray of hope.
According to the game splits app, A.J. Green has played in every game where Jones has participated. We can check to see if he’s benefited from Tyler Eifert’s frequent absences.
So, far from being a guy who’s going to emerge once his target competition is removed, we see a player who seemed to benefit from defensive attention on other players. I would again be skeptical of this, but it certainly doesn’t appear to provide any evidence for an opportunity-based thesis for Jones.
Eric Ebron: The Real Winner
In our Buy Low series, I voted for Ben Gretch’s pick of Eric Ebron (and that was at a time when I expected the Lions to address the position with a legitimate prospect like Corey Coleman). The Detroit TE is evidently Ben’s Keira Knightley. I’m not sure where world opinion currently sits on Princess Amidala’s handmaiden, but this feels like pretty high praise.
Ebron was a tremendous TE prospect, a fact buried after Ebron failed to catch a tricky touchdown pass last year and immediately became an epic bust. He was also efficient last year on a per target basis.
This is probably also the time in the article to gratuitously point out that Ebron is four months younger than Josh Doctson, and that the last time they were in college together Ebron posted a 62-973-3 line while Doctson managed a 36-440-4.
How to Play It
I already own Ebron in most of my dynasty leagues – which probably gives you important information about my bias – but my asking price has just gone way up. He also moves in front of Austin Seferian-Jenkins as my priority TE2 target in Round 8 to 10 range of MFL10s.