Andre Johnson: High Risk High Reward

“A collective uh-oh” so elegantly put from the reporter in the video, yet accurate woudn’t you say? Andre Johnson, who had a minor groin injury, “looked good” running with trainers on Wednesday and is on track to resume practicing next week. Fantasy keeper owners had a little scare when news broke that he got hurt in practice, yet players get banged up all the time, so what was the big deal?

Andre Johnson is a beast, plain and simple. He has carried the Texans through tough games and has been a model wide receiver in the NFL. Never has he whined to the media about contracts or losing seasons. He has the respect of his teammates, coaches, fans and even opponents, yet are his best days behind him?

Andre Johnson Career Stats

Season Team G Rec Yds Y/G Avg 1stD TD
2003-04 Houston 16 66 976 61 14.8 45 4
2004-05 Houston 16 79 1142 71.4 14.5 53 6
2005-06 Houston 13 63 688 52.9 10.9 40 2
2006-07 Houston 16 103 1147 71.7 11.1 55 5
2007-08 Houston 9 60 851 94.6 14.2 39 8
2008-09 Houston 16 115 1575 98.4 13.7 79 8
2009-10 Houston 16 101 1569 98.1 15.5 69 9
2010-11 Houston 13 86 1216 93.5 14.1 59 8
2011-12 Houston 7 33 492 70.3 14.9 23 2

Andre has missed 12 games in the last two years and just celebrated his 31st birthday last month. His style is very aggressive as he makes huge plays after the catch. Currently his fantasy stock has him being drafted around the middle of the 2nd round, but he has a very active average draft position.

Fantasy owners are concerned about the possibility of him getting hurt again, and aren’t overly thrilled when he is blanketed by double coverage each and every week. The run first Texans make it difficult to rank this talented veteran any higher than the 2nd round target, yet his talent and potential is undeniable. Last year’s comparable stats should be thrown out the window for all Texan players. The Texans were hurt across the board in 2011 and the notion of similar stats from some of these players is not a safe bet. What I mean is, things could get better, a lot better. When a team comes together and finds a way to win, the team grows stronger. Players develop a sense of pride and trust for one another. Having a 5th round rookie QB win your first playoff game gives everyone hope, in other words the players have bought into the system. With that being said I believe we see a new breed of receivers step up and relieve the pressure that Andre Johnson is constantly facing. My money is on Lester Jean to steal the 2nd WR role in Houston, with some of the 2012 rookies finding minor contributing roles that help move the chains. Owen Daniels is back (a very underrated favorite target for Matt Schaub) while the running attack will always keep defenses honest.

Andre Johnson is somewhat of a risk with his age and nagging injuries, but he is part of a strong AFC team with excellent surrounding talent. Currently Gridiron Experts has Johnson as our 11th wide receiver on our WR Rankings list. I agree with his current fantasy ADP, but expect a boost during our next update.

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