Calvin Johnson: Your Fantasy Football Draft Day Savior

Kyle GibbonsAnalyst IIIMay 22, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 16:  Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions makes a catch against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on November 16, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

It’s late August, and there’s only one thing on your mind. You’ve dug through your closet for that perfect throwback jersey to wear. You’re at your buddy Chris’s house…and it already stinks. Of course it’s your buddy Mike, however the stench is something that you’ve already built into your draft day strategy. In one hand you’ve got your copy of whatever fantasy football magazine you’ve come to rely on, and in the other, your favorite sugary caffeinated beverage. “What’s that I see?” you mutter to yourself. “Is that chili con queso?” Seconds later…it's ten minutes into your arrival, and you’ve already got chili con queso on your favorite jersey. To add insult to injury, you’ve just been told that they picked the draft order prior to your arrival. You have the last pick in your twelve man fantasy league.

Fast forward, incredibly overwhelmed your selection draws near. You’ve watched as pick by pick, your “friends” decimate your draft strategy. Finally the time has come…it’s your moment. If you’re unsure of who to take, as you look down at a cheat sheet full of crossed off names, I have your answer: Take Calvin Johnson.

At nearly 6'6" and 236 pounds, he’s bigger and faster than Andre Johnson. Calvin Johnson boasts a 4.35 40-yard dash time, displaying an impressive 44-and-a-half inch vertical jump. In comparison, at 5'9" and 169 pounds, Philadelphia Eagles superstar burner DeSean Jackson registered a similar 4.35 40 yard dash time, accompanied with only a 34-and-a-half inch vertical jump.

All Calvin Johnson did in 2010 was get selected to his first Pro Bowl by “putting the team on his back,” all the while constantly adjusting his routes to three different quarterbacks. Playing through a significant shoulder injury, Johnson managed nearly 1,200 yards receiving, while tying his career mark of 12 touchdowns in a season.

Calvin Johnson’s future place among the first rounds top five to six draft selections predominately hinge on whether or not starting Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford can stay healthy. With Calvin Johnson's size, speed and jumping ability, Johnson is the most dominant red-zone target in the entire league. Good fantasy managers know that successful red-zone targets from your receivers directly translate into fantasy victories. It’s a safe bet that 2011’s numbers could look as good as 1,500 yards receiving and 10-15 touchdowns. This much is sure, regardless of who is under center in Detroit, Calvin will get his stats in.