Even the most stubborn detractor of the Buffalo Bills would have a tough time arguing that Stevie Johnson is anything other than a truly exceptional receiver. Since 2010, Johnson has yet to record less than 1,000 total yards in a single season, and has clearly been the Bills No. 1 option in the passing game throughout that time.
The most impressive part of all that? Johnson has managed to establish himself as an elite wide receiver without ever having a decent quarterback throwing him the football. Nothing against the Amish Rifle, but Ryan Fitzpatrick never exactly made any jaws drop with his arm strength or accuracy.
With the early emergence of rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel, Johnson’s fantasy stock has never been higher. Following an impressive 17-point fantasy performance in week two (ESPN standard scoring), Johnson has emerged as a legitimate weekly starter at WR2. Although one solid performance isn’t typically enough to go on, the fact that Johnson has been targeted twice as many times as any other Bills receiver so far this year should provide owners with some insight as to where his season might be headed.
It can sometimes be hard to justify starting a good player on a bad offense, but it now appears as though the Bills are trending upwards, on both sides of the ball. If you’re in a deep league and he’s is somehow still available, don’t hesitate to pick him up. Although he faces a tough challenge this week against the New York Jets‘ defense, it’s well within the realm of possibility that Johnson finishes the year as a top-15 fantasy wideout.