What an unfortunate series of events it has been for Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. The one time fantasy football stud has gone through a rough regression the past 2 years. To make matters worse, the Lions have started 0-5 and look again to be the doormat of the NFL. His QB has been god awful and has hurt Johnson severely. With all that in mind, you would never think about trading for the all-time Lions leading receiver, right?
Wrong. Johnson’s fantasy value has dipped to the lowest, perhaps throughout his entire career. Why is that good? A trade wouldn’t demand much in return, like it used to. While I don’t think he’ll return to that “Megatron” level where he can go for over 1,500 receiving yards with double-digit touchdowns, I still believe he can be a top 20 WR in the fantasy domain and a good play as a WR2.
No one in the NFL possesses the combination of freakish size and athleticism of Megatron. He definitely has been underachieving the past season and a quarter, I’m not denying that, but his playmaking ability remains. He is still the type of player who can produce at a high level on occasion.
The Lions are a team who traditionally throw the ball a lot. For a team that runs the ball only 15 times or so per week, that gives Johnson plenty of opportunities to make plays in the passing game. He has 3 weeks with double-digit targets and averages over 10 per game on the season–he gets opportunities, he won’t stay bottled up much longer.
Again, I want to be clear. I don’t think Calvin Johnson will return to his elite 2013 form or be a savior or saving grace for your fantasy team by any means. However, the upside is still there without a doubt. With his value lower than it’s been in years, it’s definitely worth seeking a trade for him–considering you don’t have to give up an arm and a leg anymore. He is still a must-start and can be a good WR2 for your fantasy team; he’s just not the surefire #1 like he used to be.