Stevie Johnson of the Buffalo Bills looked to be in serious pain after going out of the game against the Cleveland Browns, and that opens up an opportunity for receiver Robert Woods to be a valuable fantasy option until Johnson returns to action.
The NFL's "Around the League" Twitter account reported that Johnson was questionable to return against the Browns with a back injury. And its unlikely that he will, as Johnson looked far too shaken up to return.
Stevie Johnson questionable to return with a back injury. He was in major pain.— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) October 4, 2013
Johnson has been Buffalo's leading receiver, having grabbed 18 receptions for 235 yards and two touchdowns heading into this week's game. If he misses time, that means more looks for the rookie receiver Woods, a 2013 first-round pick out of USC.
Woods has had a solid start to his NFL career, catching 11 balls for 201 yards and two touchdowns. He had a really big game last week against the Baltimore Ravens, with four receptions for 80 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown.
Of course, a lot of Woods' production is going to depend on how fellow rookie EJ Manuel plays. The good news is that Manuel is developing nicely as a first-year quarterback, and he should be targeting Woods a bit more if Johnson misses significant time.
He may be a rookie receiver, but Woods production is a good sign, especially as he and Manuel continue to develop a rapport.
Given that, Woods should be worth starting in the flex spot until Johnson returns, especially in deeper leagues.