Detorit Lions Calvin Johnson is the 1st ranked wide receiver in this year’s 2013 fantasy draft standings. With an Average Draft Position (ADP) of 8, he’s likely to be taken sometime in the first round of most fantasy drafts.
Johnson is one of the greatest receivers of our generation, and quite possibly one of the greatest of all time. 2012 was just another great year Johnson, as he smashed the NFL receiving yards record with 1,964 yards, while hauling in 122 receptions for 5 touchdowns.
Johnson was a monster deep threat in 2012, blowing all other receivers out of the water with 40 receptions of 20 yards or more. He finished as fantasy football’s number 1 receiver with 4 more points than Brandon Marshall.
Yet even after his incredible efforts to break the NFL’s yardage record, he was still less of a fantasy stud in 2012 than he had been the year before that. He scored 40 less fantasy points in 2012 than he did in 2011, an average of 2.5 less points per game.
This is a result of his touchdown regression, as Johnson found the end zone only 5 times last season. From 2010 to 2011, Johnson scored 28 touchdowns, reaching double-digits for the third time in his career.
Johnson’s decrease in touchdowns could be blamed on the fact that he was stopped inside the opponent’s 5-yard line 8 times last season, 5 of those stops coming inside the opponent’s 1 yard line. If he could have converted a handful of those into touchdowns, his overall numbers would have looked even better.
Regardless of some slight regression in points, Johnson was still the number 1 receiver in fantasy and will continue to be it. He should bring the touchdown total back up, while recording a ridiculous number of yards again. The only reason to pass on Johnson is if you believe in the notion that you need to take a running back in the first round. Otherwise, he’s a must-draft if you see him in the second round.