Fantasy Week 12 leaders: Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson lead receivers because that's what they do

Gregory Shamus

Johnson & Johnson are still two of the best fantasy receivers in the game. Larry and Roddy? Not this week.

It was a wild Week 12 on the long holiday weekend.

Here are the biggest impacts, both good and bad, from those guys that catch the ball. (Or try to at least)

The Good

Dez Bryant against the Redskins (UNO TOUCHDOWNS. DEZ DOS TOUCHDOWNS.)

This is the version of Dez Bryant that Dallas has been waiting for. If he can stay healthy, maybe Bryant actually does become one of the top players at his position in the NFL. Bryant had 145 yards and two touchdowns in the Cowboys Thanksgiving loss to the Redskins, giving him 377 yards and four touchdowns in his last three games.

It would take injury or a total collapse for Bryant to not get to 1,000 yards this year (at 880 right now) and then maybe he consistently puts up those numbers every year. I admit that I'm still a little skeptical and expect a sort of up-and-down career like a Plaxico Burress. Send me your hate mail.

Julio Jones against the Buccaneers (HOOO-LEEEE-OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH)


He can fly, he can crow. He's Julio! Julio Jones was slow over the last couple of games but broke out for six catches, 147 yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay. He's approaching 900 yards on the year and is easily going to surpass 1,000. Probably next week against the Saints, and he should be a top 10 play with that matchup.

T.Y. Hilton against the Bills (T-WHY? BECAUSE HE'S GOT THOSE RETURN YARDS)

Few leagues I know don't count return touchdowns at the very least. T.Y. Hilton had just 33 yards receiving with a touchdown but added 111 yards and another touchdown in the return game. The 2012 3rd round pick now has just under 500 yards and looks to be a great bet to be a hot sleeper pick in drafts next year.


That's a reference to Andre Johnson going HAM.

It seemed as though age was really starting to show over the last year and a half, and then we were reminded why this guy is going straight into the Hall of Fame when he's eligible. With 9 catches and 188 yards on Thursday, Johnson now has 461 yards in his last two games. Yep.

That puts him over 1,000 on the year. Who could be better than that?


It is rather ridiculous that Johnson is still about 200 yards shy of Calvin Johnson's league-leading total of 1,257 yards. With eight catches for 140 yards on Thursday, Megatron has 619 yards in his last four games. Yes, that is rather ridiculous.

Johnson is on pace for 1,829 yards this season, putting him within striking distance of becoming the first 2,000-yard receiver in NFL history. If there is anyone that could do it... However, the Lions don't have the softest schedule and there's going to be a few high walls to climb over along the way.

Doesn't mean that he's not the hammiest.

Honorable Mentions: Chris Givens, Cecil Shorts, Pierre Garcon, Mohamed Sanu

The Bad

Roddy White against the Buccaneers (RODDY NOT ROWDY)

While Julio broke out, Roddy only broke in on Sunday with five catches for 57 yards and no touchdowns. It ended a string of three straight 100-yard games for White, but on the bright side he eclipsed 1,000 yards for the sixth straight season.

White should be right for the final five fights, starting with the Saints on Thursday night.

Mike Wallace against the Browns (CHARLIE BATCH'D)

This shouldn't be expected to continue if Ben Roethlisberger returns next week. Mike Wallace was targeted six times by Charlie Batch and he caught none of them as the Steelers dropped to new lows with a loss to the Browns. It's been a very disappointing season for Wallace, dropping from 21 yards per catch in 2010, to 16.6 YPC in 2011, to just 12.2 YPC through eleven games this year.

It will be interesting to see if Wallace is shipped off with a franchise tag after the year, or even given the tag at all. He could be playing elsewhere in 2013, just like....


It seems highly unlikely that Dwayne Bowe will be a Kansas City Chief in 2013, and thank God for that. There is no passing game and much like Brandon Marshall leaving Miami, this seems like a move that has to happen with KC going through a major transition (presumably) at quarterback, coach, and general manager. He'd be an excellent fantasy play on a better team and is a great red zone target. Too bad that the Chiefs can't get into the red zone.

This is the seventh straight game where Bowe has failed to reach 100 yards or score a touchdown.

Eric Decker against the Chiefs (LOWER DECKER)

It's not the worst game ever (64 yards) but you were hoping for more against the Chiefs. Eric Decker's fantasy strength is touchdowns and when he doesn't have those, he has a lot of empty yards. (In fantasy, please don't come at me without realization that this isn't talking about the real game. Or do, I've got time.)

Honorable Mentions: Victor Cruz, Marques Colston, Larry Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald (my second round pick if it makes you feel any better) might be the biggest disappointment. It's not like it's his fault, but it would have been nice if we had known just how bad the AZ quarterback situation really was. It is monumentally bad.

The Injured

Miles Austin left the game early on Thursday with a hip injury. He now becomes another player you have to monitor every damn week.

Devin Hester left with a concussion. Admit it, you really only like "the idea of Devin Hester."

Kyle Williams was injured for the 49ers and did not return and it sounds like he's going to miss some time, opening the door for A.J. Jenkins. Whether or not Jenkins will do anything when he walks through that door, I have my doubts.

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