Welcome to the twelfth edition of “Who to Rep,” our ongoing series in which we recommend a player to rep for the upcoming week. Our selection process is rigorously unscientific, but we hope you like it anyway.
Winners now of three in a row, the Detroit Lions once again look like a threat to win the NFC North. The win in Chicago this Sunday didn’t come easy, but the Lions rose to the challenge, with strong games from former Who To Rep winners Matt Stafford (299 yards with 2 TDs and 0 picks) and Darius Slay (3 tackles, 2 passes defensed, and his usual blend of Nigthcrawler-esque teleportational defense) did their part, as did superstar kicker Matt Prater (2 FGs, including yet another from over 50 yards out) and finally-healthy-again receiver Kenny Golladay (52 yards, including a big-time 40 yard catch).
But on a night when star wideout Golden Tate was kept largely under wraps (32 yards), it was Marvin Jones Jr. who carried the Lions to victory. His solid stat line (85 yards, 1 TD) are only the tip of iceberg for Jones’ contributions. He only had four catches, but they all seemed to come exactly when Detroit needed them, including a clutch first down during the game-sealing fourth quarter drive.
With the exception of last week’s outing against the Browns (where he was held to a single catch), Jones has emerged as one of the Lions’ most dangerous threats. He has double the touchdowns of anyone else on the roster, and has averaged 87.6 yards per game over his last five. He’s already exceeded his touchdown total from 2016 with six games left to play… most of which come against weaker secondaries.
Jones was already a good player last season, but an offseason training regiment with Randy Moss seems to have taken the top off of his game and transformed him into a truly elite scoring threat. Jones is not only faster and stronger than he was a year, he’s developed a knack for catching the deep ball way out in front of his body, with excellent extension, timing, and hands.
Despite splitting targets with Tate and Golladay, Jones has reinvented himself into a true top shelf receiver, currently 19th in the league in receiving yards and tied for third in receiving touchdowns. The only two wideouts with more scores both play for Houston—meaning they’re no longer playing with a star quarterback to feed those totals. Jones has put himself in position to lead the league if he can close the season strong.
Whether he makes it to the top of that mountain or not, the fact that we’re having the conversation is more than enough to make him this week’s Who To Rep. Lions fans are admittedly a bit spoiled for choice this season, but Jones has solidified himself as one of their A+ offensive weapons alongside Stafford, Tate, and Prater, and his #11 jersey has likewise taken its place as one of the top reps in the Motor City.