Johnson reportedly stated that he isn’t planning to attend minicamp and that he has been wondering if he should still be with the Texans. Since entering the league in 2003, the 32-year-old receiver has been through his share of inconsistent quarterbacks and coach changes. Despite that, however, he has still remained a fantasy football force year after year. He may not be happy that Houston did little to improve the quarterback position by drafting Tom Savage and signing the unremarkable Ryan Fitzpatrick, but Johnson will still light up the scoreboard for your fantasy team.
Even though the young Case Keenum and turnover machine Matt Schaub were throwing him the ball, Johnson was still able to finish as the 12th-highest scoring wide receiver in the 2013 fantasy football season. This fact alone may not help him to jump to the top of your draft board, but Johnson should be an early-draft pick for several reasons.
What I really liked about Johnson’s season was that he was the second-most targeted wide receiver in the NFL with 181 passes thrown in his direction. Ironically, Keenum and Schaub, along with Michael Vick, tied as the 34th-ranked quarterbacks in the 2013 fantasy football, and Johnson was still one of the heaviest targeted wide receivers in the game.
Along with his heavy targets, the talented wideout had the seventh-most receiving yards, the third-most receptions, totaled six games with 100 or more receiving yards and tied several other receivers for the 10th-most receiving touchdowns. Even if he doesn’t have the next Andrew Luck throwing him the ball and father time is slowly creeping up on him, Johnson is still one of the most reliable options you can draft this upcoming season.
With Josh Gordon facing a long suspension and Eric Decker and DeSean Jackson on less pass-happy teams, Johnson should be able to land a spot in the top 10 in 2014. His average draft position last season indicated he was selected near the end of the third round in most 12-man leagues, but I think he will fall to the fourth round in 2014 because the of quarterback situation in Houston. It doesn’t matter if your strategy involves drafting a quarterback in the first round or taking running backs with your first two picks, barring any injury, you can pick up Johnson in the fourth round and watch him finish as a top-10 wide receiver.
He may be unhappy with the Texans, but you will be happy with Johnson on your fantasy team in 2014.