2011 Fantasy Preview: Is Andre Johnson Still the Top Receiver in Fantasy Drafts?
Did 2010 turn out to be that empyrean, Jerry Rice-like fantasy season Andre Johnson’s fantasy owners were hoping for? Nope, not by a long shot, but his failure to live up to expectations doesn’t really tell the whole story. In fact, when you examine the numbers a little more closely, they actually turn out to be a lot better than what the masses are probably still grumbling about:
Six 100-yard games, five games with eight-plus catches, 86 receptions, 1,216 yards, eight TDs and 170.6 fantasy points is a pretty darn good season for any wide receiver…and Johnson did it in just 13 games (12.5 if you count the game he was booted from for turning Cortland Finnegan into a 12-year-old schoolgirl)!
On top of that, Andre averaged the second-most fantasy points/game for wide receivers in the league (13.1; Hakeem Nicks, 13.2) making this the fourth year in a row he’s finished in the top four for that category.
Basically, if you have a gripe with the stats Andre put up in 2010, go and cry on someone else’s shoulder because honestly, I just don’t have enough sympathy left in me after passing it out like Halloween candy to all those poor Randy Moss owners out there.
Was it a disappointment to see the Texans star wide receiver miss three games last year, the third time he’s missed that many or more in the last six seasons? Absolutely, except missing those three games wasn’t necessarily the problem here as we all know injuries are a part of the game. Besides, there were plenty of other star fantasy players who missed significant time in 2010 as well (Tony Romo, Frank Gore, Dallas Clark and Antonio Gates, just to name a few).
The problem was that some people brainwashed themselves into thinking that Andre Johnson was so far above the rest of the wide receiving class that they took him in the first round of their draft expecting near-impossible results.
The fact is, only once since 2000 has a receiver put up such numbers deserving of a first-round pick (Randy Moss, 2007), so the chances of it working out in the end were slim to none.
Injuries and expectations aside, Johnson was on pace for an outstanding season and is bound to continue his dominance in 2011. With a young, hungry quarterback in Matt Schaub throwing to him, plenty of talented receivers around him to draw off double-teams, and the emergence of All-Pro running back Arian Foster, ‘Dre should have no problem regaining his status at the top of the fantasy heap this upcoming year.
Just don’t make him a first-round pick because of it.
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2011 Pros & Cons
(+) Andre has top-five tools in every way imaginable
(+) Texans QB Matt Schaub is on the brink of elite status and absolutely loves the guy
(+) Johnson had almost 11 targets per game and came up with 86 catches despite playing just 13 games last season
(+) Answered the prayer of every other wide receiver in the league by beating the piss out of ultra-dirty Titans CB Cortland Finnegan
(+) He’s looking to restructure his contract…just in case he needed a little more motivation
(+) It doesn’t matter if his supporting cast does well or not, he always puts up elite numbers no matter what
(+) Defenses will have to game-plan against Arian Foster now, taking some of the focus off of Andre
(+) Kevin Walter, Jacoby Jones and Owen Daniels are all good enough to force defenses into single-coverage against Johnson, yet could also end up taking away touchdowns in the process
(–) Strangely enough, Andre has never put up 10 TDs in a season
(–) Hurt fantasy owners who took him super-high last year by starting off slow
(–) It’s tough to find a true “negative” about Andre Johnson, as there doesn’t seem to be a real sore spot to speak about
For the rest of Andre Johnson's Player Profile, CLICK HERE
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