Week Seventeen Analysis:
Rumors are swirling that Calvin Johnson has a torn PCL, and only time will tell if they are true. Frankly, I don't think the Lions should be playing him this week. But if they turn out to be just rumors, and Johnson plays, he has a matchup that he cannot be resisted. Minnesota has allowed the most touchdowns to wide receivers this season and is ranked dead last in pass coverage by Pro Football Focus. Additionally, the Vikings will probably be without top cornerback Xavier Rhodes again.
Week Sixteen Analysis:
Despite his back-to-back modest stat lines, and dropped passes last week, there's no way you're benching Calvin Johnson in the championship. It's not a cake walk matchup, though. New York has tightened up their secondary over the last five weeks, allowing 145 yards to opposing receivers during that span. Still, they've allowed three touchdowns to the position in the last two games, including two scores from Keenan Allen, and who's to say Calvin Johnson can't do the same? He saw 14 targets last week, and his 98 receiving yards were the lowest total in his last five home games.
Week Fifteen Analysis:
Six inches of snow cooled off Calvin Johnson last week, but the elements won't be an issue this week under the roof at Ford Field against the Ravens. Johnson has at least 100 receiving yards in four of his last five home games, and his low water mark (in terms of fantasy output) during that span is four catches, 44 yards, and a touchdown. As he does for every opponent, Megatron poses a nightmare matchup for Baltimore, who has allowed four wide receiver touchdowns in their last two games, none of which came at the hands of anyone remotely close to Calvin's caliber.
Week Fourteen Analysis:
Calvin Johnson just keeps cruising along. He's now logged a minimum of 115 yards and/or scored in nine of the last 10 games. Megatron also leads the league with seven 100-yard games, and he'll next take on the Eagles, who have surrendered the most yards and touchdowns to wide receivers this season. More specifically, Philly has allowed monster games to big, physical receivers like Demaryius Thomas, Vincent Jackson, and Dez Bryant. Eagles' cornerback Cary Williams physically matches up best with Johnson (although he still concedes four inches and 50 pounds), but he is ranked 98th in pass coverage by Pro Football Focus.
Week Thirteen Analysis:
Calvin Johnson caught a break last week when Darrelle Revis left the game with an injured groin. He was able to record his sixth 100-yard game of the season (most in the NFL) and continued to pile up the targets, as he's averaging 15 per game over the last six weeks. In addition, Megatron has scored in every Thanksgiving game since 2009 and five of six as a member of the Lions. He has a strong shot of continuing that streak against the Packers, who have allowed the fourth-most touchdowns to receivers this season and six in the last four games. What's more, Johnson has scored in seven of his last nine games against the Packers.
Week Twelve Analysis:
Just for fun, let's extrapolate Calvin Johnson's last four games across a full season … 140 receptions, 2,984 yards, and 28 touchdowns. It should be more like 40 touchdowns after extrapolation considering he was tackled three times inside the five-yard line during that span. Next up, Megatron makes a stop on Revis Island, but that shouldn't sway you from starting him. Roddy White scored on Revis last week, and it's fair to say Johnson can do the same. After all, Tampa has allowed the fifth-most wideout touchdowns. He garnered 13 targets last week, which was the first time he saw fewer than 15 in the last six weeks. Matthew Stafford should continue force-feeding Calvin like the tail end of a human centipede.
Week Eleven Analysis:
Last week, Calvin Johnson set a new NFL record for most receiving yards in a three-game span (567), and he's also averaged an insane 16 targets per game during that stretch. He'll next take his talents to Pittsburgh to face a secondary that's been a little leaky as of late. The Steelers have allowed a touchdown per game to receivers over the last three weeks, and considering Johnson garners 41% of Detroit's red zone targets (highest ratio in the league), he is a must-start this week in the Steel City.
Week Ten Analysis:
It's a shame Calvin Johnson was forced to cool off with a bye, but in the last three seasons, he has averaged seven receptions, 105 yards, and one touchdown following his off week. Detroit will be in the Windy City on Sunday to face the Bears, a team Megatron scored against when these teams met in late September. The Bears secondry is improving of late, surrendered just over seven receptions and 130 yards per game to receivers over the last five weeks. Does it matter though? Megatron is matchup proof when healthy, so release him on your fantasy opponent like the hounds of Mr. Burns.
Week Eight Analysis:
We can safely say Calvin Johnson is healthy. He went from "probable" right back to the top of the totem pole with another monster stat line last Sunday. In his last eight home games dating back to last year, Johnson has averaged more than seven receptions and 123 yards per game, along with adding six touchdowns. The Dallas defense ranks 21st in pass coverage per Pro Football Focus, and have allowed a touchdown per game to opposing receivers. They'll also probably continue to be without DeMarcus Ware, so Matthew Stafford should have time to find Calvin deep downfield.
Week Seven Analysis:
Calvin Johnson did a disservice to fantasy owners by suiting up last Sunday and playing in roughly 50% of the offensive snaps. Hopefully this week will be a different story, as it's been reported that he was on the practice field Wednesday, but again, this situation needs to be closely monitored up until kickoff. Cincinnati's best cornerback, Leon Hall, was back in the fold last week after missing two games because of injury, and he stands a tough test for Johnson. But that shouldn't sway you from starting him if he keeps practicing on his knee. It's Calvin Johnson, and it's awfully hard to bench him.
Week Six Analysis:
If Megatron suits up in Cleveland, you play him. What's not so simple is the task of entering the "Iron Haden" in primary coverage with help over the top from T.J. Ward and Tashaun Gipson, who are respectively ranked fifth and seventh in safety coverage by Pro Football Focus. Joe Haden has yet to allow a touchdown, and opposing quarterbacks have completed just 47% of their passes against him. Calvin has combined for over 220 yards and three touchdowns in Detroit's two other road games this season, but keep your expectations in check for the hobbled superstar against a fierce Browns secondary.
Week Five Analysis:
In 11 career meetings against the Packers, Calvin Johnson has 11 touchdowns and averaged six receptions and 96.5 yards per game. He caught 10 balls and topped 100 yards his last time at Lambeau, so history suggests he could be in for another Sunday fun day within the division. The Packers are allowing more than 2.5 receiving touchdowns per game and their 68.2 completion percentage against is fifth-worst in the league. Johnson, who leads all players with 12 red zone targets, so it's not surprising that he's scoring at a touchdown per game clip.
Week Four Analysis:
Calvin Johnson has been neutralized by the Bears in their last three meetings with Johnson, holding him out of the end zone and under 70 receiving yards on average. That's awfully impressive. Fortunately for Calvin, Peanut Tillman is battling an assortment of injuries. Plus, Chicago has some cracks in their pass defense this season. They are allowing 13.5 yards per catch, which is third-worst in the league. And the Bears are also permitting over 290 passing yards per game, 200 of which are going to wide receivers! He'll look to score for the third straight week against a secondary that is suffering right alongside All-Pro corner Charles Tillman and his ailing groin.
Week Three Analysis:
The Redskins defense has been getting ransacked this season, making this a mouth-watering matchup for Calvin Johnson. Last week, Johnson got the better of All-Pro Patrick Peterson en route to 116 yards and two scores, and he should find similar if not more success against the Skins on Sunday. Washington ranks near the very bottom in receptions, yards, and touchdowns to wide receivers, and their defense is allowing a league-worst 10 yards after the catch. To further analyze the funk emanating from FedEx Field, nearly 10% of the pass attempts thrown against Washington have been completed for a touchdown!
Week Two Analysis:
In last week's meeting with Minnesota; Calvin Johnson owners were crushed when his beautiful near-touchdown was overturned in the first quarter. Sadly, Megatron could not make amends and went on to finish with just four catches for 37 yards in a juicy matchup. Keep your cool with Calvin though. He narrowly missed another touchdown, and his three red zone targets were the second-most in Week 1. Plus, he went off last year in Arizona with 10 receptions and 121 yards. Patrick Peterson is a worthy adversary, but one man can't normally contain Johnson, and he should find his way to another nice day in the desert.
Week One Analysis:
The Vikings have held Calvin Johnson to under 56 receiving yards and out of the end zone in four of their last six matchups. That's no small feat and not many teams can stake claim to shutting him down like that. But in two of the last three games, Megatron has dominated Minnesota, transforming to catch a combined 19 balls for 315 yards and three touchdowns. Last year, Viking corners surrendered 14 touchdowns, tied for ninth-most in the league, and you know how many of those 14 Antoine Winfield was responsible for? Zero! Now residing in Seattle, his invaluable presence in the secondary will be sorely missed, and his replacement, rookie Xavier Rhodes, will be sipping from a fire hose as Calvin and Matthew Stafford look to capitalize on his inexperience.
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