Johnson absolutely abused the Colts’ secondary by racking up 171 yards on 13 catches and a touchdown. Those numbers don’t even begin to describe the beautiful one-handed grab Johnson was able to haul in over Colts’ backup cornerback, Cassius Vaughn, during the second quarter. Johnson would go on to finish the day with a satisfying 23.10 fantasy points.
Coming off a career year that consisted of 96 catches, 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns, all eyes were on Johnson to best those numbers in 2012. However, after securing just one touchdown (thrown by backup QB Shaun Hill) in the first eight games, owners began questioning their decision to draft Megatron so early.
Critics attributed Johnson’s early-season struggles to defensive game planning that called for double and sometimes triple coverage on Johnson downfield. Others pointed the finger at Lions QB Matthew Stafford, who has regressed this season after throwing 5,034 yards and 41 touchdowns last year. Some even believed that it had to do with the dreaded Madden Curse, after Johnson accepted the honor of gracing the cover of one of EA Sports’ bestselling games earlier this summer.
But as we fast forward to Week 13, Johnson has found a way to finally silence his critics. In his last five games, Johnson has averaged an astounding 158 receiving yards per game and has scored in four times. Over this stretch, Johnson has been ranked as the number one fantasy receiver in the game.
Johnson has reemerged as the NFL‘s most dominant receiver right as we enter the fantasy playoffs. So for the smart owners who stood by him during his early struggles, expect a huge payoff for the stretch run.