2012 Fantasy Football Profile and Projection: Bills Wide Receiver Stevie Johnson
I’m glad I’m not a Buffalo Bills fan. After last season, I would’ve scratched my head so hard I would have touched my brain. They started out with some nice wins, especially against New England, and then completely laid an egg from week 9 on. They help define the notion of “pretenders.” One of the few bright spots for the Bills is wide receiver Stevie Johnson. After a breakout year in 2010, Johnson followed up with a just-as productive performance in 2011.
Last year, Johnson had 76 receptions, 1,004 yards and 7 TD’s; a tad down from his 2010 stats. But, it was still a productive year. In terms of fantasy numbers, Johnson didn’t give you any monster games that automatically stand out. Yet, he did put up over 8 fantasy points or more in 11 games last year. That’s pretty consistent and those are numbers I would be content with. He was being rated as a WR2 last year and that’s still a fair value to rate him at this year.
It’s apparent that Johnson has the necessary skills to be a very good receiver in the NFL. However, the Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is limiting Johnson’s potential. Fitzpatrick has been very inconsistent to say the least. He’s had his good games but doesn’t seem to build on them and take positive strides. With weapons like Steve Johnson, Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, Fitzpatrick should be showing steady improvement. This is where Steve Johnson’s value takes a huge hit. It’s obvious the offense views Johnson as a major component. But if Fitzpatrick, who threw 23 INT’s last year, can’t get the ball to his playmaker confidently and consistenly enough, Johnson’s value is going to suffer.
The Bills didn’t address the WR position in the offseason. There isn’t another receiver on the Bills roster that gives you a complement to Steve Johnson. The closest thing would be David Nelson; who doesn’t scare me at all. If Fitzpatrick can’t improve and Johnson sees double coverage every week, his value could fall to the bottom of the WR2′s. It’s really a shame that this guy’s talent isn’t being allowed to be maximized.
With all I’ve mentioned, along with some on-the-field stunts resulting in missed time, Johnson is a semi-risk. Even though he has the potential and showed decent weekly numbers, I find it hard to value him higher than a WR2. I just refuse to be dependent upon Ryan Fitzpatrick. I think there are better risk-reward guys out there.