Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Stafford: 2011 Year in Review and 2012 Fantasy Football Outlook

2011 Year in Review

The Detroit Lions had a great run this 2011 regular season, but the Lions could not contend with the dominating weapons of the New Orleans Saints offense and the great vision of their quarterback Drew Brees.  However, we are not here to talk about Drew Brees but to talk about the Lions veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford broke several records this season.  With his 5,000+ passing yards this season, he joined the company of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and New England Patriots quarterback  Tom Brady.  This is impressive, given some of the tougher games he had in the 2011 regular season.  And with his 41 touchdowns this regular season, he’s in the company of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.  Lastly, he was ranked fifth overall during the regular season in terms of quarterback rating with a 97.2.  He has matured and progressed since joining the Detroit Lions in 2009.

Matthew Stafford started out strong during the regular season with his first game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  In this game, he had a 118.9 quarterback rating on a whopping 305 passing yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception.  He kept a 110+ quarterback through his next two games against the Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings, but he slowly declined until his game with the Denver Broncos in week 8.  With the Lions defense harassing the Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow,  it was up to Matthew Stafford to ignite the offense, and he did such.  He passed for 267 yards, 3 touchdowns, no interceptions and a 130.8 quarterback rating. The next game was his worst game as he faced Chicago Bears Brian Urlacher and the tough defense.  Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had 329 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 4 interceptions and a dismal 46.3 quarterback rating.  In Stafford’s following game against the Carolina Panthers, it was an offensive shootout as the Lions won 49-35.  Stafford’s statistics benefited from this shootout as he had 335 passing yards, 5 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and a 121.9 quarterback rating.  He had great last four games with ratings of 103+ against the Minnesota Vikings, the Oakland Raiders, the San Diego Chargers and the Green Bay Packers.  Stafford had his best games the regular season against the San Diego Chargers.  In that game, with a dominating win of 38-10, he had 373 passing yards, 3 touchdowns and a stellar 137.6 quarterback rating.  All in all, Stafford had a fantastic season with ten games with at least 100+ quarterback rating.

2012 Fantasy Football Outlook

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has matured this season, and with Lions wideout Calvin Johnson at his side, he should be able to produce near those numbers this upcoming season.  However, he has demonstrated that he has difficulties with tougher defenses.  With the Lions entering the playoffs, one can expect the upcoming schedule to be tougher than this upcoming season.  He should still be capable of producing QB1 numbers, but I expect that he should become a low-end QB1 much of the 2012 regular season.  Stafford should be easily picked up within the first two rounds of the upcoming fantasy football draft, and I would heavily recommend picking him up if you can’t pick up New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees or Green Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

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