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Saturday, June 22, 2013

2013 FANTASY FOOTBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: ANDRE JOHNSON WR HOUSTON TEXANS

We begin our 2013 Fantasy Football Player Analyzer features by taking a closer look at an annual favorite of yours truly, Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson.  For those who are long time readers of the site, it is not groundbreaking news that myself and Johnson have had a long and prosperous relationship together to the point that even I admitted it was ridiculous.  All in all I have owned Johnson in eight of the last nine years of the Experts League and during that time the All Pro receiver and his PPR monster ways helped me win three titles.  Universally considered the top wideout in all of fantasy football for a good numbers of those years, Johnson goes into the 2013 season still rated as a clear WR 1 option but whose star has faded just slightly with some new names moving in on his perch.  With all that said, let's once again take a closer look at Johnson in order to determine where we are headed for his 11th NFL season.

It certainly looked like Johnson and his standing as the most dominant receiver in the NFL was a clear thing of the past during his 2011 campaign as two separate hamstring injuries prevented him from playing in nine games, with the fallout being a career-low 33 catches for only 492 yards and 2 touchdowns.  At 30-years-old, it seemed like Johnson has reached his peak and was now headed on the downslope of his career.  His 2012 draft price fell sharply and with Calvin Johnson, and to a lesser extent A.J. Green emerging with big time breakouts seasons, Johnson was quickly finding himself grouped on a lower tier of receivers for the first time ever.  The only problem was that Johnson just didn't want to go along with that assessment as he would prove in a major comeback 2012 performance.  Once again showcasing his extreme PPR talent, along with big yardage numbers, Johnson would go on to catch an insane 112 passes for 1,598 yards and 4 touchdowns.  Other than Megatron Dez Bryant, and Brandon Marshall, no one graded out better than Johnson.  It was the fourth time Johnson caught over 100 passes and as the 2013 season nears, he once again is back in the good graces of potential fantasy football owners everywhere.

Of course we can never live in the past when it comes to evaluating players for an upcoming season and that is true with Johnson as well.  At 32-years-old, we still have to worry about Johnson age and its impact on his overall health.  No stranger to leg injuries, this is a big time worry, especially since asking him to start 16 games for the second season in a row is asking a ton.  Sure the draft price is cheaper, with Johnson now going in the late second to third round territory as opposed to the first but still that is early enough to have legitimate worries about injuries ruining the pick.

Than there is production as a whole looking past any injury issues.  Expecting Johnson to duplicate those 112 catches is asking a ton, especially with hot shot rookie DeAndre Hopkins figuring to earn a great deal of attention on the other side of the field.  Also for all his PPR brilliance, Johnson has been frustrating to own at times, especially in standard formats, due to his lack of touchdowns.  For someone so talented and who gets his hands on as many balls as he does, Johnson has unbelievably never hit double-digits in touchdowns.  His career high is only 9 which he did once in 2008.  Only grabbing four last season just exacerbated the issue.  So in standard formats Johnson is not as good an option as his numbers might seem upon quick glance.

All in all, Andre Johnson is the classic WR 1 in PPR formats for at least another season, while he is a bit less than that in standard formats due to the lack of touchdowns.  The ability is still there as evidenced by what Johnson put up in 2012 but he is closing in on the age where his numbers will dip and never return.  You get the feeling this is a stock you want to sell high on now in order to not get burned when things head south.  Hearing this from one of the biggest Johnson fans in the world should give you additional reason to doubt the guy.

2013 PROJECTION:  93 catches 1,298 yards 7 TD




1 comment:

  1. Nice Analysis.Sure Andre is getting old, but proved down the stretch last season he still has it in him, and he should also be able to improve upon his mere four touchdowns last season.

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