| Wide Receiver, Detroit Lions
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|Draft: 2007 Round 1 (2)
College: Georgia Tech
Ht: 6’5” Wt: 236 DOB: 1985-09-29 Age: 30
|Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald says Calvin Johnson is the top fantasy wide receiver entering 2012 and we’ll take his word for it. The beast known as Megatron posted career highs across the board in 2011, with 158 targets, 96 receptions, 1,681 receiving yards and 16 touchdown passes, finishing the season as the top ranked fantasy wide receiver with a whopping 16.5 FPts/G. If you’re looking for something to quibble about, it would be Johnson’s production during a five game stretch between Weeks 10 and 14 when Johnson failed to top 100 receiving yards in any game and caught just one touchdown pass. Other than that, it was all sunshine as Johnson hit double-digit fantasy points twelve times and topped 100 receiving yards eight times. Since Johnson has the ability to regularly beat double and even triple teams, he is basically money in the bank given his lack of missed time during his five-year career (just three missed games). The only potential red flag is the health of quarterback Matt Stafford, who put together his first 16 game season in 2011. Megatron needs to be the first wide receiver off the board in 2012 and he makes for a solid 1st round pick. No other wide receiver is even close.
| John Brown expected to play -- Sun Nov 15 7:00 am --|
|AZCardinals WR John Brown (hamstring), Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) expected to play. Same with Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall (Ian Rapoport on Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: Brown has been dealing with a hamstring injury for a few weeks now but should be good to go. While he has a tough matchup against the Seahawks secondary he may be the best option in the Cardinals receiving corps. The Seahawks are known for shutting down outside receivers while Brown does most of his work from the slot.
| Megatron questionable but intends to play -- Fri Nov 13 4:00 pm --|
WR dealing with sprained ankle
|Calvin Johnson said this week that he plans to play in Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers (1 p.m., Fox), but after two days of limited work, the Detroit Lions' leading receiver did not participate in practice today. Johnson, who has 48 catches for 659 yards in eight games, sprained his ankle in the Lions' Week 8 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He said he spent last week's bye getting treatment on his ankle and that this year's injury is nothing like the high ankle sprain that kept him out of three games last year. (Detroit Free Press)|
FF Today's Take: Even with the injury, Johnson's a mid-range WR1 this week facing off against a Packers' secondary that has struggled recently.
|Matt Stafford and Joique Bell practice Wednesday -- Wed Oct 28 6:20 pm --|
|Chandler's Cross, England — The Lions traveled overseas as an extremely healthy team, but one of their star players was a surprising absence in Wednesday’s practice at The Grove, a luxury resort about 30 miles northeast of Central London.
Wide receiver Calvin Johnson watched practice without a helmet during the 20-minute portion open to the media, but the team listed him as out for something “not injury related,” meaning he was likely resting for the day and should be available for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs (9:30 a.m., FOX) at Wembley Stadium. Quarterback Matthew Stafford (quad) and running back Joique Bell (ankle) were full participants, but the team still listed them on Wednesday’s injury report.
FF Today's Take: Calvin Johnson missed practice for non-injury reasons so there isn't anything to worry about for Megatron owners. The Lions offense figures to undergo some change following the firing of Joe Lombardi as the team's OC. Running back Joique Bell is now practicing fully after being banged up for most of the year. Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick are not going to be pushed off the field so a RBBC seems inevitable. Matt Stafford was able to practice and should be on track to play this weekend, however his owners may want to keep him benched against a quality pass rush playing overseas under a new Offensive Coordinator.
| Eric Ebron exits with knee injury -- Tue Oct 6 9:12 am --|
Lions TE backed up by journeyman Tim Wright
|Eric Ebron exited Monday night's Week 4 game against the Seahawks with a left knee injury. He was replaced in most sets by veteran TE Tim Wright.
FF Today's Take: TE Brandon Pettigrew missed Week 4 with a hamstring injury. Ebron was hurt while blocking when C Travis Swanson tumbled into the side of Ebron's leg. Luckily, Ebron pulled his leg out while Swanson was falling on it, but it had the looks of a bad sprain. Before exiting midway through the second quarter, Ebron caught 2-of-3 targets for 22 yards. This comes as a big blow to an offense looking for consistent targets aside from Calvin Johnson. Wright isn't worth a waiver wire pick.
|Calvin Johnson not getting deep looks in offense -- Tue Sep 29 9:40 am --|
|After an opening week where Calvin Johnson saw four targets, the Lions used him heavily the past two weeks. But it has been on primarily short and intermediate routes instead of the downfield patterns he used to be targeted on. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Teams have been double teaming Johnson for years, bringing cornerbacks inside and safeties over the top. Yet with coaching staffs past, the Lions had no problems tossing the ball to the 6-foot-5 receiver in jump ball situations. It helped lead him to the single-season NFL receiving record in 2012. Megatron turns 30 on Tuesday and the "mismatch" wide receiver is being prevented from making as many game-changing plays.
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