Every fantasy football season, dynasty league owners tend to latch onto the same IDP options that they have been obsessed with for years. Certain guys remain locked into your head and it becomes second nature that they are drafted so high on a yearly basis.
Johnson was drafted out of Georgia Tech in 2009, but the defensive end took several seasons to transition into the NFL. Now, at the age of 26, Johnson is a much more polished pass rusher. In 2012, MJ recorded career-highs in tackles (52) and sacks (11.5). He looked possessed and the kid finally had a breakout fantasy campaign.
Cincinnati, as a team, finished third in the entire league with 51 sacks last season. The unit looked fast and agile, but more importantly they looked cohesive. Johnson will be a huge leader of this defense moving forward and the extra responsibility will force him to become more of a leader on the field as well.
In Cincinnati’s 38-31 win over the Washington Redskins last year, Johnson sacked rookie QB Robert Griffin III three times. The defensive lineman finished the game with six tackles (five solo), three sacks, one pass deflection, and four tackles for loss. He even ended up hitting RG3 seven times in the Week 3 nail-bitter and it was just a glimpse of the potential that Johnson can bring to the table.
MJ will be a top-10 defensive lineman to watch in fantasy drafts this summer. The fact that he has only done it once may cause his stock to drop some, but make no doubt about it, this kid can play. I fully expect Johnson to build on last year’s sensational performance and record another 10-15 sacks in 2013.