It has not been a good start for owners of Golden Tate. Not only does he have a stat line of 9 receptions on 16 targets for 54 yards, but newly-acquired Marvin Jones has been ballin’ to the tune of 12 receptions on 21 targets for 203 yards. To make matters worse, Jones was drafted 3-4 rounds later in drafts. The Jones Truthers are “Living La Vida Loca” right now and for good reason. Coming into the season, Jones and Tate were said to be 1a and 1b. After Week 2, it sure looks like Jones is the bonafide #1 now. Is he? I keep hearing about aDOT (Average Depth of Target) as one of the main reasons why Tate will be polishing Jones’ cleats but, I went back and watched the game against the Titans. My conclusion?

Seriously, after listening to that, how could everything not be good in the world?

2 receptions on 9 targets for 13 yards is an ugly line. For your sake, it’s a good thing Grey and Jay pay me thousands of dollars in digital currency to look beyond the box score. Hey guys? When are you going to be sending the encryption key so I can unlock my funds?

Here’s a breakdown of each play that involved Tate.

  • Incompletion. 20-yard corner route. Stafford overthrew him.
  • PENALTY – A Titans player jumped offside, so Stafford chucked it 50 yards to a streaking Tate, resulting in an interception. Since there was a penalty, it was a free play.
  • Incompletion. 40-yard streak. Tate broke off the route for some reason.
  • PENALTY – Incompletion. 8-yard hitch. Stafford threw it too low. Defensive holding negated the play.
  • PENALTY – Incompletion. 5-yard slant in the red zone. Tate beat his man, which forced the defender to interfere.
  • PENALTY – Completed wide receiver screen that went for 15 yards. Offensive holding negated the play.
  • Incompletion. Another wide receiver screen. Defense was all over it so Stafford threw it into the ground.
  • PENALTY – Incompletion. 14-yard in-route. Defender called for holding, negating the play.
  • Incompletion. 40-yard corner route. Double coverage.
  • Incompletion. 25-yard streak. Tate almost made an unbelievable one-handed catch.
  • Completion. 8-yard hitch. Tate fought for the ball. Tie goes to the offense.
  • Incompletion. 25-yard streak. Tate was wide open, but Stafford overthrew him.
  • Incompletion. 5- yard slant. Stafford threw behind him.

Did any of you notice something amiss? The box score says Tate caught 2 passes, but I rewatched the game 3 times and scrolled through the play-by-play another three times, and I cannot, for the life of me, find that other completion. Crazy. All the Tate owner are like “Shhhhhhh. I need that extra point, man.” Anyways, the most apparent observation is the five penalties that negated a play. Did the caps lock and bolded font give it away? That’s an extra five targets that are not counted in the box score. The red zone target is also an encouraging sign, but I think the thing we should all focus on is the aDOT (Average Depth of Target). On eight official plays, Tate’s aDOT was 20.5. That’s an insane number. The average aDOT for wide receivers is 12. So, while Tate still garners a few wide receiver screens a game, he is still running streaks down the sideline for potential huge gains. It’s just a matter of time before Stafford and Tate get on the same page and start making it rain.

Jones has played and looks fantastic to start the season. He may, in fact, be the #1 receiver but Tate should not be brushed aside so lightly. It’s not like Tate is some Milli Vanilli. He is a seven-year veteran and has caught at least 90 passes a year since he’s been in Detroit. The targets are still there and will remain there for the rest of the season. The Lions will probably attempt over 600 passes this season. Even with Eric Ebron and Anquan Boldin garnering targets, Tate and Jones could both receive 120+ targets each. Now is the perfect time to buy low on Tate.


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Thanks for reading. You can reach SON on Twitter @Stan_Son.

  1. omar says:

    I asked Jay the question below – would like to get your take as well:

    12 team 1pt PPR. Thoughts on this potential trade proposal:

    Tyrell Williams

    Antonio Brown
    Eddie Lacy

    Eifert on the WW – I would stream TE until his return. My main concern would be that my RB situation could take a hit. Lacy would slot as the RB1, others are Christine Michael, Duke Johnson, and would pick up Kenneth Dixon to stash. Almost feel like employing an in-season zero RB philosophy, since so many are going down anyway. I realize the injuries are increasing positional scarcity at RB, but at some point, is anyone going to be worth owning. Would almost rather the less risky option of getting AB’s production ROS, than banking on Forte staying healthy. Plus I have Big Ben as my QB, if that means anything.
    Other WR’s are:
    Devante Parker
    Michael Thomas
    Chris Hogan

    Am I overthinking this? Too much to give up?

    • Son says:

      @omar: Giving up too much. I prefer the Gronk/Forte/Snead/Williams side more

  2. Zandy says:

    Std league – Floyd or Tate ros?

    • Son says:

      @Zandy: It’s very close, but I’m going Tate.

  3. William Hung says:

    @SON – what are your thoughts on Cobb – bear or bull?

    • Son says:

      @William Hung: Depends what your expectations are. 2014 was an outlier, so if you are expecting a repeat then bear. If you were expecting last year’s numbers, then hornless bull? I think 5-6 catches with 50-60 yards per game is realistic. 5-6 touchdowns on the year. It’s possible that, as the season progresses that Jordy returns to form and opens up everything, but I wouldn’t bank on that.

      • William Hung says:

        @Son: Dammit, well I drafted him in the 3rd round as a border WR1/2 cause that’s what the “experts” were saying. He’d be a bear for me then – in my starting lineup but really a bye-week filler.

        I need to get lucky on a WR – unfortunately Tyrell is gone and Corey Coleman broke his hand.

        • Son says:

          @William Hung: I own him in a league as well and he is a glorified reinforcement for me. Hopefully the Pack get it going, but I’m not expecting it

          • William Hung says:

            @Son: Would you rank Golden Tate ahead of Cobb?

            • Son says:

              @William Hung: In he same range

  4. Mickey Maloney says:

    Traded Tevon Coleman, Tashae Sharpe and Gates for Tate, Derrick Henry and Fleener. I wasn’t starting any of those guys except Gates and have Brees as my QB so like the potential with Fleener. I’m bullish on Tate too. Lost Woodhead last week, so wanted to try to make up for that loss.

    Julio Jones
    Flex: Cobb, Hill, Charles Sims, Derrick Henry

    • Son says:

      @Mickey Maloney: Nice. Beckham and Julio at WR? Nasty. Good luck Mickey

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