The season hasn’t even started yet, and the injury bug has already hit the Detroit Lions. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay suffered a hamstring injury and is currently doubtful for Sunday’s contest. Even in the unlikely event he suits up for Week 1, he probably won’t be much of a factor. Marvin Jones will lead the receivers in Golladay’s absence, but somebody will need to step up as the other perimeter receiver. Marvin Hall has the best odds of being that guy and doesn’t need many opportunities to have a big game.
Kenny Golladay Injury: Marvin Hall Ready To Step Up
One of the few good things about Detroit’s 2019 campaign was the addition of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Matthew Stafford has one of the best arms in all of football, but previous administrations tried to limit Stafford’s deep attempts. That philosophy changed in 2019, as Stafford threw deep early, often, and effectively before his back injury.
With Bevell back in town, that aggressive passing philosophy should return for 2020. Golladay is fantastic at all levels of the field, but he’s probably the most dangerous downfield. Even when he doesn’t get open, he’s able to consistently outmuscle defenders at the point of attack and win contested-catch situations. Hall is no Golladay, but he possesses a similar skill set.
Hall spent nine games in Detroit last year and actually came up big every time his number was called. Now, we’re dealing with a small sample, as he only saw 11 targets on the season. However, he hauled in seven of those 11 targets for 261 yards and one touchdown for an absurd 23.7 yards per target. This isn’t inflated by one big play, as Hall made multiple big catches downfield.
Last year Marvin Hall averaged 23.7 yards per target and demonstrated a real ability to win down the field
Could be in for a big day with Golladay out pic.twitter.com/sH3wPvcdmc
— Dave Latham, Lifelong Bucs Fan (@DLPatsThoughts) September 12, 2020
From an on-field standpoint, Hall’s 4.45 40-yard dash and 89th percentile burst score immediately jumps off the screen. He clearly knows how to stretch a defense and typically found himself with a decent amount of separation from the nearest defender. However, even when covered, Hall has the ball skills required to box out a defender and come away with the catch.
Why Marvin Hall?
As previously mentioned, Marvin Jones will be the primary beneficiary of losing Kenny Golladay. However, there are still other guys on the depth chart. What makes Hall the most likely candidate to step up and see an increase in work.
Golladay is an outside receiver first and foremost, and Hall is the first outside receiver off the bench. Despite his 5’-9”, 192-pound frame, Hall actually lined up wide on 67% of his snaps last year. Again, small sample, but the Lions clearly believe in his ability to win on the perimeter.
Danny Amendola is many things, but an outside receiver is not one of them. He could see an increase in work, but the Lions don’t ask him to do the same things that they ask of Golladay. Ditto for T.J. Hockenson, as the second-year tight end will probably do most of his damage in the middle of the field.
The only real question mark here is rookie fifth-round pick Quintez Cephus. Cephus has some interesting potential as a red zone threat, but he won’t be stealing Hall’s role. He couldn’t separate to save his life against college competition, so it’s hard to see that getting better at the NFL level. Additionally, his 40-yard dash tested in the 2nd percentile, so he’s anything but a deep threat. Hall is clearly the closest thing this team has to Kenny Golladay and should see a drastic increase in snaps.
Fantasy Football Outlook
For fantasy football players, Marvin Hall could be a smart start in deeper leagues and is a must-play in DFS. Projecting fantasy value is all about identifying volume and valuable touches. Now, Hall probably won’t have that much volume, which obviously limits his ceiling. He’s not Kenny Golladay and probably won’t see more than a handful of touches. Don’t get cute and try to start him unless you’re actively looking for a flex play.
However, whatever looks Hall gets are bound to be valuable for fantasy. Not all targets are created equal, as deep passes carry more fantasy value than short passes. Hall’s proven that he can be a deep threat in this offense, so he only needs one or two plays to be fantasy-relevant. Stafford loves to go deep, and Hall has the physical ability to take the top off a defense. With only a $3,900 price on DraftKings and a low projected ownership, he’s a low-risk, high-reward pick that could earn you a handsome pay out in DFS.
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