Monitoring Andre Johnson’s Fantasy Value
Andre Johnson has been a member of the Houston Texans since they selected him third overall in the 2003 NFL draft. When healthy Johnson has proven to be an elite receiver through out his eleven seasons as a pro. Going into last season it looked as if the Texans were on their way to another postseason birth but everything fell apart from injuries to coaching to just bad play en route to a 14 game losing streak and a 2-14 record. The Texans record might have been dead last in the NFL but Andre Johnson had another fantastic season (109 receptions 1,407 yards and five TD’s) despite the shaky play at quarterback.
What comes along with a 2-14 year is change, as the Texans fired coach Gary Kubiak and hired Bill O’Brien. Going into his 12th NFL season, Andre Johnson is not a fan of the changes and a possible rebuilding team. Johnson has voiced concern over the state of the team and has recently asked for a trade. While the Texans have said they will not trade Andre, there has been talk that Johnson could walk away from the game if his demands are not met. Reports out of Houston say Andre wants more money and that is the reason for his demands. Either way, this situation has affected his fantasy value.
If Johnson continues to be a member of the Texans, it will hurt his value until he comes back to the team (he has remained away during mini camps). If his demands are met and he is traded away it could drastically increase his value. The Texans quarterback situation is very crowded with veterans and young players, although O’Brien has name Ryan Fitzpatrick the starter going into training camp. The talent at the quarterback position in Houston will definitely decrease Johnson’s value, along with Andre being 33 I am beginning to wonder how many years he has left.
The best thing fantasy wise for Andre Johnson would be to be traded. Multiple teams have been thrown out there as possible destinations, New England, Carolina, and Cleveland. Personally, I think Johnson would be a great fit in Carolina. They have no elite receivers and Johnson could help mentor rookie first round pick Kelvin Benjamin out of Florida State. Carolina has failed miserably to put a decent group of wide receivers on the field with Cam Newton this offseason signing veterans Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant, and Tiquan Underwood. Definitely not something Cam Newton is too thrilled about coming off a great 2013 season.
I do not expect a resolution of this stand off until at least the first two weeks of training camp. So before drafting Johnson on your team make sure you are aware of what Andre Johnson you are getting. If Johnson is still a member of the Texans, make sure he has returned to the team before spending an early pick on him. Worst case scenario would be drafting Johnson in the fifth round only to find out he has retired instead of playing for the Texans. Yes, it is very unlikely but the NFL is as unpredictable as the weather.