In my latest 2013 fantasy football mock draft, Andre Johnson fell to the early third round and I already had two great running backs so I was eyeing my to receiver, but for some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to take the Houston Texans‘ star. My first thought was injury concern, but Johnson played in all 16 games in 2012 after missing multiple games in each of the last two years. My hesitation then used lack of production as an excuse, but Johnson recorded the third 1,500-yard season of his career last year. So what is it about this guy that’s got fantasy owners like me on edge this year?
Believe it or not, Johnson finished seventh among receivers in total fantasy points in 2012 in standard leagues and sixth in PPR leagues. He had 112 receptions! Only four other receivers hauled in triple-digit catches, so he definitely didn’t have a “down year,” yet it felt like it. Maybe that’s because Calvin Johnson had 122 catches for a record-breaking 1,964 yards, but that’s no reason to knock the Texans’ star.
Or is it?
Andre had six games with over 100 receiving yards, including that 273-yard monster performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11. But he also had five stinkers: 21, 56, 15, 35 and 56 yards. Considering three of his four touchdowns (yes, that’s all) came in 100-yard games, Johnson was either at the very top or very bottom of the fantasy food chain each week. Some fantasy owners love that because they feed off the big games, but others — like me — absolutely can’t stand it.
Give me a guy like AJ Green or Brandon Marshall, who consistently puts up double-digit points week in and week out. In other words, I’d much rather have an almost guaranteed 12 points each week and take my chances than bank on 25 to squeak out a win.
If you live for that one big moment every now and then, Johnson is your guy. If not, steer clear of him and his 1,500 yards in the first two rounds of your draft this year, even in PPR leagues. Sure, his total stat line looks good at the end of the year, but you don’t want to be the fantasy owner who is in the top three overall scorers in his league and misses the playoffs. Ask the commissioner of my league who had Johnson last year: that’s exactly what happened to him.