Johnson-Tour


TRADING SPACES: Andre Johnson


By Bryan Sweet, DFW Senior Writer and Co-Owner, @FantasyFreakDFW

// DFW / REDRAFT 2016 SERIES

KEY VITALS

The Andre Johnson AFC South Tour has hit it’s third stop and it’s Nashville, Tennessee, home of the Tennessee Titans.  The tour began in 2003 with the third overall selection in the NFL Draft by the Houston Texans.  From 2003 through 2014, Johnson was an integral part of Houston’s offense.  Johnson eclipsed 100 receptions five times (led the league in 2006 with 103 and 2008 with 115) and reached 1,000 receiving yards on seven occasions (with an NFL-best 1,575 in 2008 and 1,569 in 2009).  The emergence of DeAndre Hopkins combined with Johnson’s advancing age led to his release from the Texans following the 2014 season.  The Indianapolis Colts, Johnson’s second tour stop, took a chance on the veteran in 2015, but a disappointing season (41-503-4) led to his release following the season.  The Titans elected to take a chance on Johnson and his career 1,053 receptions (eighth all-time), 14,100 yards (ninth) and 68 TDs (41st).  The parties agreed on a two-year deal with terms undisclosed.   

CAREER STATISTICS

YEARTEAMGAMESRECEPTIONSYARDSTD
2003Houston Texans16669764
2004Houston Texans16791,1426
2005Houston Texans13636882
2006Houston Texans161031,1475
2007Houston Texans9608518
2008Houston Texans161151,5758
2009Houston Texans161011,5699
2010Houston Texans13861,2168
2011Houston Texans7334922
2012Houston Texans161121,5984
2013Houston Texans161091,4075
2014Houston Texans15859363
2015Indianapolis Colts16415034
TOTAL1851,05314,10068


FANTASY OUTLOOK

After years of WR1 production, Johnson slipped the past two years, finishing as a WR3/4 in 2014 and WR5/6 in 2015.  Hopes were high prior to last season as an Andrew Luck-to-Johnson combo seemed like a perfect fit.  Johnson never really got on the same page as Luck, and was eventually passed up by Griff Whalen near the end of the season.  Johnson joins an offense in Tennessee seemingly focused on the running game and their “exotic smashmouth” offense with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry.  Johnson joins a crowded group at WR with incumbents Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter and Dorial Green-Beckham and newcomers Harry Douglas, Rishard Matthews and rookie Tajae Sharpe.  There are many more questions than answers right now for the Titans, but I expect Johnson to settle in as the fourth WR behind Wright, Green-Beckham and Sharpe.  Adding TE Delanie Walker to the mix, and a strong fantasy season from Johnson seems unlikely as training camps begin.  Johnson could provide solid depth for fantasy teams, and might be worthy of an emergency start if he can make the third-WR role, but expectations as a WR5/6 seem about right.

NEW TEAM IMPACT

Johnson’s best years are likely behind him, but he has the best pedigree of any player at the position in Tennessee.  While he may not have the athletic ability he used to have, he’s still 6′ 3″ and 229 pounds and has more than 1,000 catches and 14,000 yards of experience on his side.  The Titans have a lack of true outside receivers as Wright, Rishard Matthews, Douglas and Sharpe all fit better as a slot receiver.  Green-Beckham and Hunter have the physical skills to man an outside position, but Hunter is looking like a lost cause at this point.  Delanie Walker is the preferred option for Marcus Mariota right now, but Johnson could make an impact if he can crack the starting rotation.  As it stands now, it looks like Johnson will be the first WR off the bench for the Titans as the team’s fourth WR with Wright and either Douglas or Green-Beckham outside and rookie Tajae Sharpe in the slot.

OLD TEAM IMPACT

Indianapolis didn’t feel like Johnson was part of the team’s future following his lackluster 2015 campaign, but the team has done next to nothing to replace him.  Currently, the Colts look like they will be starting T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief on the outside and Phillip Dorsett out of the slot.  Indianapolis signed five free agents from the 2016 draft class, but none are more than a dart throw at this point as to who might make the final roster.  The Colts will use training camp and the preseason to sort out the jumbled mess behind their top three WRs, but most likely whomever ends up in the fourth, fifth and sixth slot will be irrelevant for fantasy purposes barring an injury to one of the top three guys.