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Pro Football24x7’s Spotlight Fantasy Wide Receiver


Few players I have seen play or researched in NFL history have the pure athletic skills of Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson.


Raymond Berry had John Unitas throwing to him, Lance Alworth had John Hadl,  John Stallworth had Terry Bradshaw, and Jerry Rice had both Joe Montana and Steve Young. Great receivers, logically have generally needed great quarterbacks to put up great statistics.


Johnson is that rare breed, a great receiver who will score fantasy points both in bunches and consistently and will do it regardless of who is behind center. But, there are skeptics who believe no matter how talented and skilled, weak quarterbacking will make him a bust in 2009.


In the early drafts, he has been selected as early as the sixth over all pick, and as late as the 22nd. His average draft position has been 16th, suggesting that early drafters are more impressed with Johnson’s ability than having an aged Daunte Culpepper or rookie Matthew Stafford throwing the ball to him.


You can draw a comparison between Johnson and Hall of Famer Don Hutson. Johnson without Roy Williams to take some pressure off will be drawing constant double teams. When Hutson played from 1935-1945 everyone knew that when the Packers passed it was going to be Hutson. Even while all the attention came his way, Hutson still put up statistics that blew every other receiver away. Along with that, Hutson in his 11 year career, had 4 quarterbacks throwing to him. From fellow Hall of Famer Arnie Herber early on his career to below average passer Irv Comp at the end. Hutson maintained his dominance, including catching 17 touchdown passes in an 11 game season in 1942.


Johnson has the skills to match the achievements of the immortal Hutson, this translates into fantasy points. You can feel safe that while the Lions’ quarterbacking situation is a work in progress, you can still win with Johnson as your top receiver. 1250-1400 yards and 10-twelve touchdowns will prove the skeptics wrong in 2009.

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Kurt Backert

About Kurt Backert

Kurt’s passion for the game began in the 60’s watching the Colts on TV and at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. He began following the statistics of not only his beloved Colts but also those of the Colts opponents, with a keen eye on Vince Lombardi’s Packers. His thirst for and attention to statistical detail would eventually lead Kurt on a journey to the world of fantasy football in the late 1980’s where he’s captured more titles than John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins
Kurt carries a distinction that no other fan of the NFL can boast about.  He is the reigning NFL National Trivia Champion and he credits his Dad for passing on such passion for the game, something Kurt also hopes to pass along to his 9-year-old son.

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