Going into this fantasy football season, Golden Tate lost traction to Marvin Jones as the preferred wideout in Detroit, but last week’s outburst was no fluke. After being seemingly physically incapable of reeling in a target, Lions’ OC Jim Bob Cooter did everything he could to get the ball in Tate’s hands, including a rushing attempt and several bubble screens or other short passes in space. Tate responded with his first quality fantasy football production of the season, going for more yards (165) than he had all season prior (134).[embedit snippet=”jeff-ads”]
He also scored his first touchdown of the season as the Lions and Rams were caught in a shootout.
Jim Bob Cooter have already shown this season that if they want to scheme a player into production, they are very capable of doing so. There were rumbles of Tate seeing an increased workload last week against the Rams, and lo and behold, he did just that. Now with Marvin Jones taking on one of the best cover corners in the NFL, James Robert Cooter would be very smart to scheme Golden Tate back into existence for at least one more week.
The ten targets he saw last week would likely be replicated this week, the same with his high number of receptions (8). The Cooter offense is built on short screens in space and letting the pass catchers do the hard work.
Tate’s struggles this season can be attributed to the type of catches he was being schemed to receive: hard, in space, and challenged. These passes have gone increasingly towards Anquan Boldin, as his strength and overall angry demeanor are better suited to this type of receiving role. Instead, Cooter, one of the brilliant up-and-coming coordinator, worked to just get the ball into Tate’s hands and let him go to work.
It worked last week, and it should work again this week.
Washington is a top-ten pass defense against the wide receiver, but that is mostly built on the back of the defense successfully keeping wide receivers out of the end zone. With the Lions’ backfield currently looking like a MASH unit, it will be hard to see them consistently eschewing their talented receiving corps in the red zone for the likes of Zach Zenner.
With Josh Norman likely keeping tabs on Marvin Jones, it will be Tate who will be the beneficiary of the secondary weapons in Washington. Tate isn’t a slam dunk option this week, but he has definite upside in what should be a shootout.
He will likely end the week as a back-end WR2 with enough scoring potential to be a front-end WR2.