Andre Johnson Injury: Fantasy Owners Shouldn't Be Afraid to Start WR

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2013

Sep 9, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson (80) is tackled by San Diego Chargers cornerback Derek Cox (22) after a gain during the second half at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson has dealt with a few injuries this season, but fantasy owners shouldn't be afraid to insert the star into their lineup.

The 32-year-old veteran left Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans with a concussion, and he exited last week with a leg injury, which turned out to be a bruise. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported that Johnson will take the field against the Seattle Seahawks.

Now, if fantasy owners have another option at wideout or flex this week, it wouldn't be a bad idea to sit Johnson. The Seahawks have arguably the best secondary in the league, so the receiver may not have a great day anyways.

Any owner who sits Johnson because of his health concerns, however, would be foolish. Despite battling injuries in recent seasons, he has topped 1,200 receiving yards in four of the past five campaigns, and he has at least eight touchdowns in four of the past six years.

Johnson had nearly 1,600 receiving yards a season ago, so there is plenty left in the tank. 

As long as he takes the field, he is always a threat to make plays. At 6'3" and boasting plenty of strength and sticky hands, he makes it difficult for any defensive back to cover him.

Don't forget that Johnson started the season with a bang. He had 146 yards on 12 receptions in the opener, and he followed that up with eight catches for 76 yards in Week 2. Unfortunately, injuries have forced him to miss the end of the last two games.

Houston has a strong and balanced offense. With Arian Foster and Ben Tate leading the rushing game, the receivers will always be able to get their looks in the passing attack. Foster forces defenses to respect the running game at all times. As a result, Johnson benefits from defenses bringing extra men in the box and having tight end Owen Daniels draw defenders to the middle of the field.

Jan 5, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (80) is pursued by Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones (24) after a catch during the third quarter of the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Reliant Stadium. The Texans defeated the

Johnson is in his 11th season in the NFL. After that many years, hits are bound to catch up to him every so often. However, he is tough enough to get back on the field the next week and produce.

Is Johnson a great option this week? Probably not. But that has nothing to do with his injury and everything to do with his opponent. Seattle shut down Anquan Boldin and San Francisco's offense, so they have the ability to neutralize playmakers.

Fantasy owners should not be worried about Johnson's status moving forward. He's ready to go, and he has always been Matt Schaub's favorite target. As long as he is in the lineup, Schaub will find him.

Johnson continues to be one of the NFL's elite receivers. Many of the top receivers deal with injuries throughout the season, and Johnson has shown that he can play through the pain. Once he lines up for the play, he is a threat to change the game.

Unless he suffers a serious injury or setback, it would be a mistake to take Johnson out of the lineup. Don't let his early exits keep you from playing him. 


*All stats are courtesy of