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Player Spotlight: Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions (1 Viewer)

Jason Wood

Zoo York
2013 Player Spotlight Series

One of Footballguys best assets is our message board community. The Shark Pool is, in our view, the best place on the internet to discuss, debate and analyze all things fantasy football. In what's become an annual tradition, the Player Spotlight series is a key part of the preseason efforts. As many of you know, we consider the Player Spotlight threads the permanent record for analyzing the fantasy prospects of the player in question. This year, we plan to publish more than 140 offensive spotlights covering the vast majority of expected skill position starters.

As always we will post a list of players to be discussed each week. Those threads will remain open for the entire preseason, and should be a central point to discuss expectations for the player in question.

Thread Topic: Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

Player Page Link: Calvin Johnson Player Page

Each article will include:

  • Detailed viewpoint from a Footballguys staff member
  • Links to thoughtful viewpoints from around the Web
  • FBG Projections
The Rules

In order for this thread to provide maximum value, we ask that you follow a few simple guidelines:

  • Focus commentary on the player (or players) in question, and your expectations for said player (or players)
  • Back up your expectations in whatever manner you deem appropriate; avoid posts that simply say "I hate him" or "He's the best"
  • Avoid redundancies or things like "good posting" ... this should be about incremental analysis or debate
While not a requirement, we strongly encourage you to provide your own projections for the player (players):

Projections should include:

  • For QBs: Attempts, Completions, Passing Yards, Passing TDs, Ints, Rush Attempts, Rush Yards, Rush TDs
  • For RBs: Rushes, Rushing Yards, Rush TDs, Receptions, Receiving Yards, Receiving TDs
  • For WRs & TEs: Receptions, Receiving Yards, Receiving TDs
 
Could be the very best to ever play WR. Has every tool you look for in a great WR. Best of all, he is in his prime. I see a similar year to last year, but a bit back to earth in yards, but more TDs.

104 - 1695 - 11

 

Art Vandalay

Footballguy
I know I am in the minority here but I believe CJ is one of the most overrated players in Fantasy this season.

I am also in the minority when I say I am never really impressed with him when I watch the Lions either. He doesn't have that wow factor that Cris Carter, Randy Moss or even AJ Green have when I see him.

I see a QB/WR tandem that has benefitted form a team that chucks the ball non stop, has a poorus defense so they see a on of prevent in the 4th. Calvins stats in the 1st or 2nd quarter last year

Calvin in the 4th quarter within 7 points only had 185 yards and 0tds last year 60% of his yards and 80% of tds came in the 3rd and 4th quarter.

Almost all of his points came when the Lions were losing also

On top of this the Lions had no 2WR established for most of the year.

Saying all of this I expect the Lions to throw a ton this year although Bush will take some receptions so I expect the total targets to go down without the obvious CHASE of a record instead of it being earned.

I would expect 92-1350-12

 

fightingillini

Footballguy
#1 WR in football by a mile based on talent........will be considered as one of the best of all time.

#1 WR in fantasy football by a mile not only due to talent but opportunity as well, since DET is going to throw ball much more than the league average, and Stafford loves to force it in to Calvin. Should lead the league in targets, but I can't see him passing the 200 mark like he did last year. 180 seems reasonable to me.

I see less receptions this year, but many more TDs. Calvin is pretty unstoppable near the goalline. Why run R Bush or Leshoure into the pack when you can just throw a jump ball to Calvin?

105 rec, 1675 rec yds, 12 TD

From a value standpoint, IMO, only Peterson has a higher VBD value, but from a dynamic VBD standpoint, I would draft Calvin at 5 overall in a PPR league after Peterson, Foster, Charles, and Martin are off the board.

 

Grahamburn

Footballguy
I called the yardage record in last year's spotlight. This year, after only 5 TDs in 2012, I wouldn't be surprised to see Calvin challenge Randy Moss' TD record. I'm not willing to say he'll score 24 times, but I don't think high teens is out of the question by any means, and if this offense can catch fire they can be dominant.

When Jahvid Best was healthy this offense was nearly unstoppable, and Calvin scored 9 TDs in 5 games in 2011 when there was a running and receiving threat in the backfield. Reggie Bush brings that dynamic back to the Lions' offense.

Detroit really needs some of their other receivers to step up as well. Broyles, Burleson, and Pettigrew need to show some more consistency or Calvin will continue to see the "punt coverage" near the end zone.

111 receptions. 16 yards per catch. 1,776 yards. 18 TDs.

 

meyerj31

Footballguy
I know I am in the minority here but I believe CJ is one of the most overrated players in Fantasy this season.

I am also in the minority when I say I am never really impressed with him when I watch the Lions either. He doesn't have that wow factor that Cris Carter, Randy Moss or even AJ Green have when I see him.

I see a QB/WR tandem that has benefitted form a team that chucks the ball non stop, has a poorus defense so they see a on of prevent in the 4th. Calvins stats in the 1st or 2nd quarter last year

Calvin in the 4th quarter within 7 points only had 185 yards and 0tds last year 60% of his yards and 80% of tds came in the 3rd and 4th quarter.

Almost all of his points came when the Lions were losing also

On top of this the Lions had no 2WR established for most of the year.

Saying all of this I expect the Lions to throw a ton this year although Bush will take some receptions so I expect the total targets to go down without the obvious CHASE of a record instead of it being earned.

I would expect 92-1350-12
Always a hater. You're flippin' nuts. Not only is Calvin one of the greatest athletic freaks to every play the position, but he's also one of the smartest. He has one of the highest ever scores for a WR on the wonderlic test coming out of college, which is only one example of how the guy is a football genius. Combine his football IQ and athletic ability with humility and a phenomenal work ethic and you have a combination that could end with possibly the second greatest WR in history.

Floor - 95 - 1400 - 5

Ceiling - 120 - 1900 - 12

 
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Art Vandalay

Footballguy
meyerj31 said:
Art Vandalay said:
I know I am in the minority here but I believe CJ is one of the most overrated players in Fantasy this season.

I am also in the minority when I say I am never really impressed with him when I watch the Lions either. He doesn't have that wow factor that Cris Carter, Randy Moss or even AJ Green have when I see him.

I see a QB/WR tandem that has benefitted form a team that chucks the ball non stop, has a poorus defense so they see a on of prevent in the 4th. Calvins stats in the 1st or 2nd quarter last year

Calvin in the 4th quarter within 7 points only had 185 yards and 0tds last year 60% of his yards and 80% of tds came in the 3rd and 4th quarter.

Almost all of his points came when the Lions were losing also

On top of this the Lions had no 2WR established for most of the year.

Saying all of this I expect the Lions to throw a ton this year although Bush will take some receptions so I expect the total targets to go down without the obvious CHASE of a record instead of it being earned.

I would expect 92-1350-12
Always a hater. You're flippin' nuts. Not only is Calvin one of the greatest athletic freaks to every play the position, but he's also one of the smartest. He has one of the highest ever scores for a WR on the wonderlic test coming out of college, which is only one example of how the guy is a football genius. Combine his football IQ and athletic ability with humility and a phenomenal work ethic and you have a combination that could end with possibly the second greatest WR in history.

Floor - 95 - 1400 - 5

Ceiling - 120 - 1900 - 12
I didn' t say anywhere that he isn't an athletic Freak, that he isn't dedicated to his craft or wont be a great Fantasy WR this year. I believe after Randy Moss he is probably the next most physically gifted WR out there,

I said when I watch him play I just don't see it as much. That not a knock on him, guys like Brandon Llyod make you come out of your seat with plays maybe Calvin makes it look easier but I see him drop a lot of balls and I think in a different scenario you wouldn't see the same stat explosion you see with him (Rocket arm qb, bad defense, plays in a dome)

I just see him coming back down this year with more options in the offense what should be a better team and with GB, Minny and CHI not forcing them to score a ton in the division slightly less gunning at the end of games.

There's no denying they went for the record last year in those final weeks as they have stated it many times.

I don't believe the Gap between Calvin and AJ/Mashall is great enough to warrant drafting him ahead of an RB this year.

 

We Tigers

Footballguy
Fewer targets overall since Stafford's attempts should pull back a bit from his historic 727. I also think Broyles will see many more targets than current projections seem to suggest. Factoring all this in, I think another 1800/1900 yard season is highly unlikely, but 1500-1600 still seems pretty reasonable. As a LeShoure owner, I was thrilled with all the short scores he got last year, but Calvin will take a few more to the house this year. TD production for WRs is really variable, but he's so good that it's hard not to call for double digit scores.

96 receptions, 1560 yards, 12 TDs. Very likely to be WR1, and the fact that he may have the lowest bust potential of any WR or RB in the league is pretty great, too.

 
Fewer targets overall since Stafford's attempts should pull back a bit from his historic 727. I also think Broyles will see many more targets than current projections seem to suggest. Factoring all this in, I think another 1800/1900 yard season is highly unlikely, but 1500-1600 still seems pretty reasonable. As a LeShoure owner, I was thrilled with all the short scores he got last year, but Calvin will take a few more to the house this year. TD production for WRs is really variable, but he's so good that it's hard not to call for double digit scores.

96 receptions, 1560 yards, 12 TDs. Very likely to be WR1, and the fact that he may have the lowest bust potential of any WR or RB in the league is pretty great, too.
The part I bolded above is good posting. I seem to remember Calvin getting takled at the 1 or 2 yard like a few times last year.......

 

tpuffer51

Footballguy
meyerj31 said:
Art Vandalay said:
I know I am in the minority here but I believe CJ is one of the most overrated players in Fantasy this season.

I am also in the minority when I say I am never really impressed with him when I watch the Lions either. He doesn't have that wow factor that Cris Carter, Randy Moss or even AJ Green have when I see him.

I see a QB/WR tandem that has benefitted form a team that chucks the ball non stop, has a poorus defense so they see a on of prevent in the 4th. Calvins stats in the 1st or 2nd quarter last year

Calvin in the 4th quarter within 7 points only had 185 yards and 0tds last year 60% of his yards and 80% of tds came in the 3rd and 4th quarter.

Almost all of his points came when the Lions were losing also

On top of this the Lions had no 2WR established for most of the year.

Saying all of this I expect the Lions to throw a ton this year although Bush will take some receptions so I expect the total targets to go down without the obvious CHASE of a record instead of it being earned.

I would expect 92-1350-12
Always a hater. You're flippin' nuts. Not only is Calvin one of the greatest athletic freaks to every play the position, but he's also one of the smartest. He has one of the highest ever scores for a WR on the wonderlic test coming out of college, which is only one example of how the guy is a football genius. Combine his football IQ and athletic ability with humility and a phenomenal work ethic and you have a combination that could end with possibly the second greatest WR in history.

Floor - 95 - 1400 - 5

Ceiling - 120 - 1900 - 12
I didn' t say anywhere that he isn't an athletic Freak, that he isn't dedicated to his craft or wont be a great Fantasy WR this year. I believe after Randy Moss he is probably the next most physically gifted WR out there,

I said when I watch him play I just don't see it as much. That not a knock on him, guys like Brandon Llyod make you come out of your seat with plays maybe Calvin makes it look easier but I see him drop a lot of balls and I think in a different scenario you wouldn't see the same stat explosion you see with him (Rocket arm qb, bad defense, plays in a dome)

I just see him coming back down this year with more options in the offense what should be a better team and with GB, Minny and CHI not forcing them to score a ton in the division slightly less gunning at the end of games.

There's no denying they went for the record last year in those final weeks as they have stated it many times.

I don't believe the Gap between Calvin and AJ/Mashall is great enough to warrant drafting him ahead of an RB this year.
 

TheDirtyWord

Footballguy
If you had to bet on one player finishing #1 at their position (QB/RB/WR/TE), Megatron is the player for my money that I think is most likely to do it. More likely than Peterson…more likely than Rodgers/Brees, more likely than Graham.

Someone up above mentioned that Megatron was overrated and that he wasn’t much impressed with him when he watched him. I thought about that comment for a bit and I kind of get it. I don’t necessarily agree but the analogy I would use to describe Megatron is Shaquille O’Neal. When I watched him play basketball, I wasn’t particularly enamored with Shaquille’s skill on the court…he wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination but in terms of pure skill at the C position, he couldn’t hold a candle to a guy like Olajuwon. But it was his mere physical presence and dominance that you couldn’t ignore. Noone had ever been built like him and because of that, there were things he could do on the court that weren’t nearly as beautiful or pleasing to watch as what a Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan could do, but were just as devastating and effective in their own unique way.

The fact is, Megatron is the only WR ever to have the combination of size/speed physical attributes to go along with very impressive WR skills. When you think that at the time of their respective draftings, Calvin Johnson was the same size (if not a tad bigger) than Barkevious Mingo, we’re not talking about just a LB playing WR…it’s almost like a DE. And Johnson just isn’t fast for his size. He’s simply fast. Most any WR in the NFL: would trade speed numbers with him.

Now I don’t want to undersell Johnson’s skill…he’s got that too. But I’ve seen A.J. Green make just as many jaw-dropping catches in two seasons as I’ve seen Megatron make in six. My point about Johnson is that he broke the mold…not sure if anyone will come along with his physical trait/skill combination again. And if that’s why he’s become the most prolific WR of his time, then so be it.

I don’t expect him to replicate his 205 targets…obviously 740 pass attempts for an offense borders on insanity for a team looking to put together a winning formula. I’m not sure if the Lions are a playoff team, but I think they are better than 4-12. But with the numbers above, for a team that lacked any viable targets outside of Megatron, his 27.7% target rate was actually fairly low. It’s actually conceivable to see the Lions attempts drop down to the 650 area and see Megatron with the same amount of targets (31.5% target rate). Will that happen? With Reggie Bush around to provide a more consistent passing game option in the backfield, it could take away from Megatron’s targets. But let’s not overlook that the combination of Bell/Leshoure/Smith combined for 132 targets and the TE combo of Pettigrew/Scheffler combined for 184. A valid argument could be made that perhaps Megatron warranted MORE targets…

The Lions seemed to figure this out in the season 2nd half, which was colored by the fact that the Lions were blatantly obvious in their intent to provide a record breaking silver lining to their atrocious 2012 season. But Megatron’s target breakdown for the two halves of the 2012 season were:

1st half: 82 (target percentage of 22.8%...ridiculously low)
2nd half: 123 (target percentage of 32.2%...fairly high, but not egregious)


If anything, I expect Megatron’s target rate to be closer to his 2nd half profile and if we even estimate the Lions pass attempts to decrease down to the 640 area (a drop of 100)…a 31% target rate puts Megatron at 198 targets. While you can point to the Lions 0-8 record as a reason why Megatron was able to put up as many targets as he did, a lot of those games were quite close…not blowouts which would have brought forth a lot of prevent defense.

If he equals his catch percentage of his last 3 years combined, we’re talking 117 receptions. Because of his size speed combo, he requires being defended differently by almost any other WR in the game which allows him big play ability and high YPC and as such, I actually don’t think my projection for him is off the wall that much. It may not come to pass, but for as much as he means to that offense and with the type of QB and offense he’s in…I think it could happen.

Prediction: 126 Receptions 2075 Receiving Yards, 14 TD’s. 2 Rushes 12 Rushing Yards.

 

tpuffer51

Footballguy
Do you realize that he was double and triple covered on most plays? To say that he isn't as physically gifted as Randy Moss is a stretch. He is at least as gifted as him.

I will agree that he will lose targets to Bush and hopefully Broyles, if healthy.

95-1680-14

 

Bob Magaw

Footballguy
Fewer targets overall since Stafford's attempts should pull back a bit from his historic 727. I also think Broyles will see many more targets than current projections seem to suggest. Factoring all this in, I think another 1800/1900 yard season is highly unlikely, but 1500-1600 still seems pretty reasonable. As a LeShoure owner, I was thrilled with all the short scores he got last year, but Calvin will take a few more to the house this year. TD production for WRs is really variable, but he's so good that it's hard not to call for double digit scores.

96 receptions, 1560 yards, 12 TDs. Very likely to be WR1, and the fact that he may have the lowest bust potential of any WR or RB in the league is pretty great, too.
The part I bolded above is good posting. I seem to remember Calvin getting takled at the 1 or 2 yard like a few times last year.......
i saw a report that he got stopped at the 1 yard line a half dozen times.

another confluence of fantasy goodness for calvin is a sub-optimal defense and some divisional offensive firepower could lead to a lot of shootouts.

 

KrazyKyle

Footballguy
There should only be one question concerning Calvin Johnson, where to draft him. This obviously depends on league type, format, and scoring. I think weve all seen him go in a wide range in the first round In a typical redraft in PPR formats. I think after the first 4-5 RBs on your board is where you take him. He is really in a tier by himself at WR, but should be thought of as a rb1. With questions about offensive scheme, workload, injury tag and so on concerning RBs like CJ Spiller, Trent Richardson, Ray Rice, I have zero questions about Megatron. You know what you're getting and sky is the limit for the most physically talented WR to ever strap on pads at that position. His floor is top 3, with an opportunity to out score everyone at WR by quite a bit. I personally have him as the #5 player overall and wouldn't argue if some were higher.

112/1580/14

 

traderallenpoe

Footballguy
I traded for him in my 16 team dynasty league this off season and I felt I had paid a steep price (although other opinions strongly varied):

I gave up:

Percy Harvin

Steven Ridley

Received:

Calvin

Jonathan Franklin

Denard Robinson

Ridley and Harvin were two handpicked guys of mine from last years startup, and yet I still could not pass at the prospect of owning the single most dominant player in the NFL for not only this season but potentially the next 5 seasons. The guy is in a league of his own and I guess there is always the fear of injury when you have a 6'7" man-child busting out 4.4 40s catching jump balls in triple coverage every week for 16 weeks but thats the risk you have to be willing to take. With Stafford as my QB I am betting the house on this combo for the next few seasons and I'm hoping mr. bush and a healthy ryan broyles are just what the doctor ordered to take some heat off megatron. Only other receiver thats going to get close the the amount of volume will be B Marsh in chi town, and possibly Green.

One thing that cant be over looked is his floor on a bad week. If you have streaky/boom-bust players on your roster (Spiller, Julio, David Wilson, Chris Johnson, etc.) his value is felt even more-so

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
Prediction: 126 Receptions 2075 Receiving Yards, 14 TD’s. 2 Rushes 12 Rushing Yards.
I have been reading your projections for years and I always love the thought process that goes into your projections, agree or disagree I usually come away from it with a perspective I did not have before and I learn something. Thanks for that.

Overall I consider your projections to usually be on the more conservative side of things, which is what makes this projection so amazing to me in that context.

The Lions are a team who are stumping me somewhat and I have not made up my mind on if they will run the ball significantly more in 2013 than they have been in recent years. At the same time the blueprint is most obviously to get Calvin the ball as the best option any down or distance. I think the lower percentage of targets seen with Calvin earlier in the season has to do with the very heavy defensive attention that he gets forcing Stafford to take what the defense gives him.

My main concern for the Lions passing offense is their offensive line. 2012 1st round pick Riley Reiff did play LT briefly last season but for the most part they had to use him as a TE to get him on the field. Both of their starting tackles last season are gone and the only player they added through the draft was Larry Warford who may turn out to be their best offensive lineman in time but he is a guard and more of a run blocker than a pass blocker this early in his career.

Stafford is not a very mobile QB but he has managed to stay out of giving up a lot of sacks, which is impressive when one considers the high volume of pass attempts. Stafford was only sacked on 3.8% of his attempts last season. This was 5.2% in 2011.

I think they have some issues with their outside protection and this will cause Pettigrew to continue to be used to help shore that up, and likely more frequently than he was used for this in 2012 due to the 2 new tackles. I think Stafford is increased risk of injury in 2013 because of this. I also think keeping Pettigrew in as a blocker more often and the strength of the Oline personnel being better suited to running the ball, that they may try to run a bit more in 2013 as ways of working through this.

I still expect the passing attempts to be on the high end compared to most teams, but if the Lions can put together a RBBC with Reggie Bush, Leshoure, Bell they might run the ball over 400 times again like they did in 2010. Maybe even run the ball somewhere between the 400-450 if it is working well? I think still likely closer to 400 than 450 for rushing attempts.

The passing attempts for Stafford have been 663 (2011) and 727 the past 2 years with him healthy. To me that is nutz and part of why I am having a hard time projecting for them because these numbers scream outliers to me but then again Calvin is quite an outlier himself.

About the only way I see the passing attempts coming down below 600 is if they do run the ball more than they have in recent years. That would mean the Lions do increase rushing attempts more towards 450 for me to see the passing attempts going below 600.

So for passing attempts I am expecting 560-640 range and Calvin should be getting 25-35% of those targets as the main weapon of the offense. That would be 140-160 targets on the low end, 196-224 targets on the high end. Using the high of the low and the low of the high that would be 160-196 targets in play or something around 180 targets of the median range to expect.

With Calvin and Stafford healthy Calvin has had 158 targets 96 catches and 204 targets 122 catches the past 2 seasons. This is pretty much 60% catch rate.

Calvin Johnson 2013 84-118 receptions1352-1893 yards 8-16TD if both he and Stafford are healthy. Backup QB Hill has shown he can do pretty well and Calvin will still get his even if Stafford misses time. However the passing attempts may come down quite a bit. So that would be my main concern. For those looking for a median of that it would be 101 catches 1622 yards 12 TD.

eta - I noticed the Lions running Calvin out of the slot more frequently last season and that is something that concerned me, as they were setting Calvin up to take some pretty big hits at times. Bush likely will take some of those slots looks away, not that I think it will impact Calvin's targets much, just a further observation. Also fixed my high/low math oops. I do still see upside for 2k receiving yards as a possibility though.

Stuff from March on the Oline:http://www.detroitlions.com/news/lions-insider/article-1/Jim-Schwartz-Martin-Mayhew-not-concerned-with-inexperience-along-offensive-line/95049e78-16e0-433b-8dad-795a43df08cb

Jim Schwartz and Martin Mayhew are confident in the offensive linemen they've acquired and developed can step in to starting roles this year
PHOENIX -- Speaking with beat writers Monday at the NFL League Meetings, Detroit Lions general managerMartin Mayhew said his love for receivers in the draft is not exclusive.

"It's an interesting angle that we love receivers and we draft so many receivers, and we drafted four receivers over the last four years, but did you know we drafted four offensive tackles over the last four years, too," he said with a smile. "I think we've been making investments in that position over a period of time and we'll probably continue to do that."

The Lions have spent resources along the offensive line, and - who knows - maybe more are to come with the No. 5-overall pick in next month's NFL Draft. But the team is expecting two recent draft picks -- Riley Reiff (first-round pick in 2012) and Jason Fox (fourth-round pick in 2010) -- to compete for starting roles this season withJeff Backus and Gosder Cherilus no longer in the fold.

Corey Hilliard, whom the team signed off the Browns' practice squad in 2009 and whom they've developed over the last four seasons and signed to a two-year deal this offseason, will be in the mix, too.


Those three players only have a combined six NFL starts between them, but Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz doesn't seem concerned.

"Our offensive line stayed healthy (last season) other than that one game Jeff Backus missed (Thanksgiving), so the depth that we had there was never really tested and we never got a chance for those guys to show what they can do," Schwartz told reporters over breakfast Wednesday.

"There's a reason we brought those guys back, and even though we would have liked to have Gosder back, we were prepared for his departure and prepared for Jeff Backus' retirement with the work we've done over the last couple years."

Schwartz reiterated that Reiff can play both tackle and guard and that it's yet to be determined which one he'll play. Expect him to start somewhere in 2013, and, as of right now, that looks to be at left tackle.

Fox missed most of his first two seasons because of knee and foot injuries and Hilliard was inactive for all 16 games last season. Still, Schwartz feels those players are ready to step in.

"I have confidence in them," Schwartz said. "That's why we go through training camp and everything else to get them ready.

"Jason Fox cleared, I think, a big hurdle last year when he was able to stay healthy the full year. Now, he didn't play, but he stayed healthy through practices and made good progress that way.

"Corey Hilliard is another guy that we really didn't need. We have confidence in the guys that are there that we've worked hard to develop. We've been comfortable with all those guys."

That certainly doesn't mean the Lions aren't open to the possibility of adding to that group, especially if one of the top tackles in next month's draft is available at No. 5, but the Lions feel Reiff, Fox and Hilliard are ready for their time in the spotlight if it shakes out that way.

"We really like Jason," Mayhew said. "Obviously, he has been injured, but when he's been healthy, he's given us a lot to be optimistic about.

"Then Corey has played and spot-played for us the last couple of years and looked good on tape. We're excited about those guys."
http://www.detroitlions.com/news/lions-insider/article-1/The-2013-season-will-be-indoctrination-by-fire-for-the-offensive-tackles-that-win-starting-spots/4a009642-9681-4dd3-9bb3-d886bfe8f1cf

Within the NFC North, the Lions offensive tackles will face some of the NFL's best edge rushers twice in 2013The Detroit Lions have a lot of confidence that second-year left tackle Riley Reiff can step in for retired veteran Jeff Backus and protect quarterbackMatthew Stafford's blind side in 2013."When we drafted him, the reason we drafted him is we thought he was a long term left tackle," Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of Reiff last month.

"Whether he can hold that position, whether he can be productive for us there, that will be determined, again, training camp and preseason games and things like that. That's where he's going to settle in."

The Lions seem to have the same kind of confidence on the right side with whomever wins the competition for that starting job between Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard.

"Guys like Riley Reiff or Jason Fox or Corey Hilliard, those guys have been around here for a few years now," Schwartz said. "They've been through a lot of training camps and things like that. So, it's not like we're really working a lot of new guys in there."

There will be at least three new starters on the offensive line this year after the departure of Backus (retirement), tackle Gosder Cherilus (free agency) and guard Stephen Peterman (release). How good the offensive line can be and how soon they can mesh together as starters is one of the really big question marks remaining on a Lions roster that might be its most talented in more than a decade.

Last season, the offensive line allowed just 29 sacks, which were the ninth fewest of 32 teams. The NFL average a season ago was 37 sacks allowed and 35 among the 12 playoff teams.

The Lions will find out starting Week 1 vs. Jared Allen and the Vikings how good their new tackles can be. In fact, 2013 will be indoctrination by fire for Reiff, Fox, or whomever else might win the tackle spots.

The Lions faced five of the league's top 13 sack leaders last year. Among those, they'll see Allen (12.0), Green Bay's Clay Matthews (13.0) and Chicago's Julius Peppers (11.5) twice.

The Lions are looking for a smooth transition from the old guard to the new upfront. How smoothly that goes will be a big factor in how good the Lions will be on offense this year.

Edge pass-rushers on the Lions' 2013 schedule

1, 17 Jared Allen Vikings 12 117.0
4, 10 Julius Peppers Bears 11.5 111.5
5/13 Clay Matthews Packers 13 42.5
7 Michael Johnson Bengals 11.5 23.0
8 DeMarcus Ware Cowboys 11.5 111.0
15 Terrell Suggs Ravens 2* 84.5
16 Jason Pierre-Paul Giants 6.5 27.5
 
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msudaisy26

Footballguy
I traded for him in my 16 team dynasty league this off season and I felt I had paid a steep price (although other opinions strongly varied):

I gave up:

Percy Harvin

Steven Ridley

Received:

Calvin

Jonathan Franklin

Denard Robinson

Ridley and Harvin were two handpicked guys of mine from last years startup, and yet I still could not pass at the prospect of owning the single most dominant player in the NFL for not only this season but potentially the next 5 seasons. The guy is in a league of his own and I guess there is always the fear of injury when you have a 6'7" man-child busting out 4.4 40s catching jump balls in triple coverage every week for 16 weeks but thats the risk you have to be willing to take. With Stafford as my QB I am betting the house on this combo for the next few seasons and I'm hoping mr. bush and a healthy ryan broyles are just what the doctor ordered to take some heat off megatron. Only other receiver thats going to get close the the amount of volume will be B Marsh in chi town, and possibly Green.

One thing that cant be over looked is his floor on a bad week. If you have streaky/boom-bust players on your roster (Spiller, Julio, David Wilson, Chris Johnson, etc.) his value is felt even more-so
That is robbery not a hefty price

 

Just Win Baby

Footballguy
Art Vandalay said:
I am also in the minority when I say I am never really impressed with him when I watch the Lions either. He doesn't have that wow factor that Cris Carter, Randy Moss or even AJ Green have when I see him.
:lmao:

Especially the Cris Carter reference.

 

Bigboy10182000

Footballguy
I cant put my finger on why but I would be I dont think he'll be top 3 this year. The "Sure" things are never this sure and a lot of stuff broke right for him last year.

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
Art Vandalay said:
I am also in the minority when I say I am never really impressed with him when I watch the Lions either. He doesn't have that wow factor that Cris Carter, Randy Moss or even AJ Green have when I see him.
:lmao:

Especially the Cris Carter reference.
All he does is catch touchdowns!

Calvin Johnson has gifts that might make some plays look a little too easy.

 

Bigboy10182000

Footballguy
I cant put my finger on why but I would be I dont think he'll be top 3 this year. The "Sure" things are never this sure and a lot of stuff broke right for him last year.
Everything broke right except for that pesky "tackled at the 1 yard line 6 times" stat.
Yeah that killed me a couple times last year. Having had him in my keeper league for the last 5 years something just tells me it can't keep being this good. Hope I'm wrong!

 

Grahamburn

Footballguy
I cant put my finger on why but I would be I dont think he'll be top 3 this year. The "Sure" things are never this sure and a lot of stuff broke right for him last year.
Everything broke right except for that pesky "tackled at the 1 yard line 6 times" stat.
Yeah that killed me a couple times last year. Having had him in my keeper league for the last 5 years something just tells me it can't keep being this good. Hope I'm wrong!
Just enjoy the ride and continue watching the records fall.

 

Art Vandalay

Footballguy
Just Win Baby said:
Art Vandalay said:
I am also in the minority when I say I am never really impressed with him when I watch the Lions either. He doesn't have that wow factor that Cris Carter, Randy Moss or even AJ Green have when I see him.
:lmao:

Especially the Cris Carter reference.
Best hands ever in Football is funny to you ?

 

JShare87

Footballguy
ImTheScientist said:
Would anyone consider taking him at 1.01 in redraft, ppr?
I'm taking him 1st overall in my redraft PPR. Maybe because Peterson isn't available because he's being kept,and I already have a top 10 RB as a keeper in Spiller. So I think it's all about the situation. With all that being said I believe I'd still take Megatron number 1 overall in a PPR no matter the circumstances.
 

msudaisy26

Footballguy
Just Win Baby said:
Art Vandalay said:
I am also in the minority when I say I am never really impressed with him when I watch the Lions either. He doesn't have that wow factor that Cris Carter, Randy Moss or even AJ Green have when I see him.
:lmao:

Especially the Cris Carter reference.
Best hands ever in Football is funny to you ?
Yes, the funny part is saying that Carter wowed him more than Calvin. Balls Carter would have to make diving catches for, Calvin is running under them with ease. The balls Carter would jump as high as he could and make a one handed catch, Calvin gets to them with two hands and barely leaves the ground.

Even the Randy Moss reference is funny because Moss was another guy that was like Calvin and he made the impossible look routine. Moss would run by everyone on the field, yet it never looked like he was running fast or even trying that hard.

 

Pump N Go

Footballguy
He's pretty much uncoverable.

Scary thing is that he could have easily eclipsed 2000 yards last year but dropped numerous routine (for him anyway) grabs. The only concern is with his high usage he got popped a lot and took a couple huge hits throughout the year.

As long as he's healthy

98 catches

1656 Yards

13 TDs

 

meyerj31

Footballguy
Gawain said:
ImTheScientist said:
Would anyone consider taking him at 1.01 in redraft, ppr?
I could see it in a start 1-RB with many flexes.
Still a nope. No matter how I slice a league I can't get the VBD to say take Calvin 1.01 in re-draft.

When you restrict the baseline to the top 12 or so of each class, say a 1/1 league, AP is still so much better than the 12th option that he has to be picked. Assuming of course you have a RB weighting in effect (meaning, a RB 100 points above replacement is worth more than a WR 100 points above replacement). You have to have that kind of weighting in effect because there are much fewer feature backs and they get hurt more often. That's one aspect of VBD that people do not incorporate enough. I've only seen one commercial VBD out there that does it pretty well. I copied the method for my own tool.

 
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Ghost Rider

Footballguy
Not sure I could justify taking Megatron at 1.1 in redrafts, but he is top 5, maybe even top 3, for sure (obviously).

And I agree that Megatron is so good that he makes a lot of catches look easy (similar to how Randy Moss did, when Moss was on his game).

 

Andy Dufresne

Footballguy
With the shortage of RBs and abundance of good to decent WRs, I don't think you'd take him at 1.01.

But god, he's fun to have on a team.

 

Just Win Baby

Footballguy
Just Win Baby said:
Art Vandalay said:
I am also in the minority when I say I am never really impressed with him when I watch the Lions either. He doesn't have that wow factor that Cris Carter, Randy Moss or even AJ Green have when I see him.
:lmao:

Especially the Cris Carter reference.
Best hands ever in Football is funny to you ?
You said Calvin Johnson doesn't have the "wow factor" that Cris Carter has. That's what is funny.

 

FF Ninja

Footballguy
Like everyone else, I've got him ranked #1 but some of these projections are ridiculous. 2000 yards?! Stafford shattered the passing attempts record and he targeted Calvin on 204 of those 727 attempts. The season before, Stafford had ranked #4 all time in passing attempts and Calvin only saw 160 targets. Thus, I think 160 targets is a generous enough projection.

160 targets x 60% = 96 rec x 16.5 ypr = 1584 yds 12 TD

 

msudaisy26

Footballguy
I think I remember reading that Calvin had issues with his hands and liked a pinched nerve or something last season that caused many drops. Did I dream this or is this actually true? If so I don't think drops would be an issue this season, because in 2011 he seemed to catch everything.

 

King of the Jungle

Footballguy
I think I remember reading that Calvin had issues with his hands and liked a pinched nerve or something last season that caused many drops. Did I dream this or is this actually true? If so I don't think drops would be an issue this season, because in 2011 he seemed to catch everything.
There were many stories stating that he played with broken fingers throughout the season.

 

Leonidas

Footballguy
Good discussion. I very seriously considered planning to take Calvin at 1.02 this year, but after mocking the hell out of I have changed my mind. Right now I put Calvin as my #4 guy behind Peterson, Martin, and Foster. Standard redraft (non PPR).

As mentioned above, he seems as 'safe' as anybody. Should produce like a RB1 but, seemingly, with a lower catastrophic injury risk than a RB. It's Stafford I worry about...

100 1,620 10

 

karmarooster

Footballguy
Since Megatron is so clearly the #1WR, only two things really interest me here: (1) how many TDs? and (2) where does he rank as compared to the elite RBs in the first round?

Re: TDs. Over 2010-2011 (slight cherry picking alert - he had only 5 TDs in 2009 but was injured that year. Had 12 in 2008, so there's that. Also there's a slight problem in that Stafford missed most of 2010).

Over those two years he had 12 and 16 TDs, produced on 137 and 175 targets/77 and 96 receptions. Combined that's a TD per 11 targets or per 6.1 receptions. His career average is a TD per 16 targets, and per 9 receptions (but significantly pulled down by last year). His career minus last year is about a TD per 14 targets (but this includes too much Kitna, other coaching regimes, and his learning curve).

Using his 2010-2011 baseline, assuming 160 targets, that works out to 14.5 TDs. Up him to 175 targets, and you're at 16 TDs. Just for the sake of illustration, last year's 204 targets works out to 18.5 TDs. Or, using his TDs/reception numbers and a nice round 100 receptions - 16 TDs. So it looks like 15+ TDs is a very reasonable return to his absurd baseline.

100 receptions, 1,600 yards, and 15 TDs.

Assuming those numbers, where would others draft him in a 2 RB/3 WR/flex PPR league?

I can see arguments on both sides - that he's either 1.01 or 1.02 based on his talent, or that he's after the top 8 or so RBs, maybe including TRich.

Taking him at 1.01/1.02 is, IMO, being blinded by his undeniable talent and ignoring positional scarcity. Taking him as late 1.10 after TRich is, IMO, being blinded by positional considerations and ignoring his talent.

ETA - His reasonable ceiling is absurd...

120 receptions (200 targets * 60% catch rate)

1,950 - 2,000 yards (16 yards per catch)

20 TDs (200 targets and he improves to 10 targets per TD)

 
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Art Vandalay

Footballguy
Just Win Baby said:
Art Vandalay said:
I am also in the minority when I say I am never really impressed with him when I watch the Lions either. He doesn't have that wow factor that Cris Carter, Randy Moss or even AJ Green have when I see him.
:lmao:

Especially the Cris Carter reference.
Best hands ever in Football is funny to you ?
You said Calvin Johnson doesn't have the "wow factor" that Cris Carter has. That's what is funny.
hmmm do you think NFL films or Randy Cross who played with Jerry Rice knows more than "FF Ninja".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RASB4uIMzQc

I would say Carter made more visually amazing catches than maybe anyone in history i.e. wow factor.

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
I totally agree with you there Art. The thing about Chris Carter was his consistency. He put it on himself to ALWAYS catch the ball regardless of how difficult it may have been placed, what the defenders do to him, it did not matter. I heard him say it just was not acceptable for him to not catch the ball. He did not have the gifts that some other receivers had but he put it on himself to catch everything, does not matter how difficult, find a way.

The skills in the link that they go over. Carter taught those things to Moss and Fitzgerald. You see the same techniques being used by both of those receivers after working with him. I am a bit surprised Carter is not coaching WR yet.

 

Just Win Baby

Footballguy
Just Win Baby said:
Art Vandalay said:
I am also in the minority when I say I am never really impressed with him when I watch the Lions either. He doesn't have that wow factor that Cris Carter, Randy Moss or even AJ Green have when I see him.
:lmao:

Especially the Cris Carter reference.
Best hands ever in Football is funny to you ?
You said Calvin Johnson doesn't have the "wow factor" that Cris Carter has. That's what is funny.
hmmm do you think NFL films or Randy Cross who played with Jerry Rice knows more than "FF Ninja".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RASB4uIMzQc

I would say Carter made more visually amazing catches than maybe anyone in history i.e. wow factor.
I've been watching NFL football since before the beginning of Carter's career, and IMO Calvin has a much greater wow factor, and it's not close. :shrug:

 

⚡DEADHEAD⚡

Footballguy
Just Win Baby said:
Art Vandalay said:
I am also in the minority when I say I am never really impressed with him when I watch the Lions either. He doesn't have that wow factor that Cris Carter, Randy Moss or even AJ Green have when I see him.
:lmao:

Especially the Cris Carter reference.
Best hands ever in Football is funny to you ?
You said Calvin Johnson doesn't have the "wow factor" that Cris Carter has. That's what is funny.
hmmm do you think NFL films or Randy Cross who played with Jerry Rice knows more than "FF Ninja".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RASB4uIMzQc

I would say Carter made more visually amazing catches than maybe anyone in history i.e. wow factor.
I've been watching NFL football since before the beginning of Carter's career, and IMO Calvin has a much greater wow factor, and it's not close. :shrug:
Pretty much. I've watched the NFC Central/North my entire life. Cris Carter made a number of amazing catches but he wasn't even the best receiver on his team after Moss was drafted.

Calvin may not be the most graceful, make the impossible catch like Carter, make a catch look pretty like Marshall, catch as efficiently as Welker, catch a bomb like Moss, run a route like Rice, catch a screen like Owens, run out of the backfield like Harvin. But each of those guys have/had their flaws, some major. Most are specialists. Calvin? Dude gets it all done better than anybody playing today and is looking like that once-in-a-generation talent. Carter is not that type of talent. Guy was not a first ballot into the HOF. And I like Carter. Look forward to his speech.

 

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