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Tag:Andre Johnson
Posted on: December 26, 2009 2:22 am
 

Andre Johnson and our Top 12 receivers for 2010

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By Jamey Eisenberg

Andre Johnson is finally getting the recognition he deserves. The Texans wide receiver is finally looked at as the best player at his position.

It used to be that Johnson was mentioned after players like Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald. He also doesn't get a lot of attention because he's not a diva like Chad Ochocinco or Brandon Marshall.

Instead, Johnson lets his play on the field speak for itself. And he has dominated all wide receivers this year -- on the field and in Fantasy leagues.

He is enjoying his spot as the No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL.

"It is exciting," Johnson said on a conference call heading into Week 16 at Miami, which is his hometown. "You always want to try to be the best at what you do. For people to be talking about it, it lets you know that you are headed in the right direction and that what you are doing out on the field, people are paying attention to it. To be honest, I don't really care if some people may not feel I am the best because everyone has the right to their own opinion. I really don't care too much about the attention either. I have never been a guy who was big on attention."

It's hard to avoid the spotlight based on his play. He has 90 catches for 1,433 yards and eight touchdowns. With 10 more catches he will have his third 100-catch season and second in a row. He's also one touchdown away from a new career high.

In standard-scoring Fantasy leagues, Johnson has scored 186 points, which puts him ahead of Miles Austin (176), Reggie Wayne (172), Randy Moss (167) and DeSean Jackson (165). We already have Johnson penciled in as the No. 1 wide receiver in 2010.

Check that, it's written in ink -- no one is passing Johnson on that list.

The Texans know Johnson is their best weapon, and they will continue to feed him the ball as often as possible. Coach Gary Kubiak said Johnson still has room to grow, which is a scary thought for the seven-year veteran.

"Obviously he is a hell of a player -- as good as I have ever been around," Kubiak said. "For me, since I have been here, he has played his best football the last two years. So he has gotten better for me each and every year. I don't see any reason that doesn't continue to happen. Very hard worker, takes good care of himself, studies football awfully hard. When you have those traits you tend to play a long time or play well for a well long time. So I think he is well on his way."

Johnson has benefited the past two seasons from the growth of quarterback Matt Schaub. And Schaub is on his way toward starting 16 games for the first time in his three years with the Texans.

The two have developed an outstanding rapport, and Johnson credits Schaub for his success. Like Johnson, Schaub is having a tremendous year with a career-high 4,181 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

"I remember when he first got here and we used to be in practice," Johnson said. "Every time I came back to the huddle he would tell me why he did not throw me the ball. When he would tell me, I would be like, 'Yeah, I saw the same thing.' It was kind of weird for me at first, but I was like we are out here seeing the same things so maybe we are on the same page. As time went along, the relationship became better. We became more on the same page. To this day, when we are in games, we are talking about plays. We are seeing the same things. I think it helps us out a lot when we are out on the field because we can communicate well with each other."

As Johnson and Schaub continue to get better, other teams try to take Johnson away. He sees constant double teams, which only got worse when tight end Owen Daniels (torn ACL) went down in Week 8. It doesn't help that Kevin Walter is having a disappointing season, and the Texans have struggled to run the ball.

Still, Johnson has thrived, which is what makes him so difficult to defend for opposing coaches.

"We've faced a lot of great receivers, and to me, he's one of the top guys," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. "I just think this guy is outstanding. He's a heck of a football player, makes all the catches, makes the really hard catches, runs through double coverage like it's easy. The guy just makes things look pretty easy out there. I have a lot of respect for this guy."

Fantasy owners have a lot of respect for Johnson also, and he will enter next year as the first player drafted at his position with either a first- or second-round pick. And if Kubiak is right and Johnson continues to improve, then he could be a dominant force in all leagues.

But first, Johnson could lead many Fantasy owners to a championship. He is the reason many of you are still in the playoffs, especially recently with 27 catches for 488 yards and three touchdowns in his past three games against Jacksonville, Seattle and St. Louis.

Not many wide receivers can post those kinds of stats. But not many wide receivers are as talented as Johnson.

EISENBERG'S PROJECTED TOP 12 WIDE RECEIVERS FOR 2010

1. Andre Johnson, Houston
2. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona
3. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis
4. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia
5. Randy Moss, New England
6. Marques Colston, New Orleans
7. Vincent Jackson, San Diego
8. Wes Welker, New England
9. Brandon Marshall, Denver
10. Calvin Johnson, Detroit
11. Miles Austin, Dallas
12. Roddy White, Atlanta

RICHARD'S PROJECTED TOP 12 WIDE RECEIVERS FOR 2010

1. Andre Johnson, Houston
2. Vincent Jackson, San Diego
3. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona
4. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia
5. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis
6. Brandon Marshall, Denver
7. Randy Moss, New England
8. Roddy White, Atlanta
9. Miles Austin, Dallas
10. Wes Welker, New England
11. Calvin Johnson, Detroit
12. Marques Colston, New Orleans

 
 
 
 
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