Fantasy Football leaders: Calvin Johnson is amazing, other receivers also play


Though I'm not sure why anyone else even tries, here are the fantasy leaders for Week 13.

Sometimes it is difficult in the NFL to call any player "the best" at his position. Since football is such a team sport, we can observe how bad things get for one player when you lose another player (Larry Fitzgerald). Or if a quarterback loses his star receiver. Or if the defense double-teams your best player.

That's just how football typically works: Great players get constantly harassed and are constantly under pressure to do well and oftentimes that's why first round picks end up as disappointments. Don't tell that to Calvin Johnson.

Megatron is just one of the top players in the game, probably the best skill player in the game, and likely one of the top ten most valuable players in the league. Which is great because that makes him one of the most valuable players in fantasy football and a great bet to be a safe pick in the first round of any season. His production is just ridiculous and one more great game could all but guarantee him the single-season record for receiving yards in a season.

In conclusion, damn he's good.

Here's the rest of the good (and the bad) and a lot of injured receivers for Week 13:

The Good

Calvin Johnson against the Colts (CAN HE PLAY CORNER?)

Maybe he would have stopped Andrew Luck from leading that comeback. Alas, all he can do for the Lions is receive and man he does that better than anyone else in the world. Calvin Johnson caught 13 of 20 targets for 171 yards and a touchdown. The league's leading receiver is up to 1,428 yards on the year and 86 catches. That's over 3,000 yards since the beginning of last season and leaves open the possibility for a single-season record. Johnson is 428 yards shy of that record, of course held by Jerry Rice.

I'm going to talk about other receivers just because this article would be rather short if I didn't, but let's remember that there can only be one Megatron. (Unless you like, built another one I guess.)

Donnie Avery, Demaryius Thomas, and Dez Bryant (THE DOUBLE-DIP CREW)

Three receivers caught a pair of touchdowns on Sunday, though none of them topped 100 yards, so let's just group them all together.

T.Y. Hilton led the Colts with 100 yards but was scoreless, while Donnie Avery had 91 yards and a pair of scores. Avery is the Colts leading receiver but had only one touchdown going into Sunday. Both receivers are decent plays during the fantasy playoffs, including a Week 16 matchup against the Chiefs.

Demaryius Thomas is making a case as a top five receiver when he's got a quarterback like Peyton Manning. Thomas caught a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter giving him eight on the season. He's a top five receiver in fantasy leagues as he surpasses Eric Decker right now as the obvious favorite target in Denver.

The Dez Bryant breakout continues with 98 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday night. That gives Bryant six touchdowns in his last four games and close to 1,000 yards. As long as he stays healthy, Bryant is a WR1.

Josh Gordon, Steve Smith, and Wes Welker (100+ YARDS AND ONE SCORE CREW)

It's all about the crews tonight!

Josh Gordon had his first career 100-yard game and he's been a hell of a supplemental pick for the Browns with 646 yards on the year, and this guy is still pretty raw.

Only Smith's second touchdown of the year and second 100-yard game since Week 2. He's a great play during the fantasy playoffs.

Wes Welker is still good and he tied Jerry Rice for the most 10+ catch games in a career with 17.

The Bad

Roddy White and Julio Jones against the Saints (THE NOT SO COOL CREW)

Every good crew has to have an enemy bad crew. Haven't you ever seen Warriors? Well the Falcons had a crew of disappointments on Thursday night as White finished with 20 yards and Jones finished with 48. Both were scoreless.

Jones caught 5 of 8 targets while White caught only 1 of 7. And they were playing against the Saints! And they were on the winning side! Still, Thursdays are stupid and this doesn't bode bad necessarily for White and Jones. Only that you should think twice before starting players on Thursday.

Eric Decker, Davone Bess, Brandon Lloyd and Stevie Johnson (20 YARDS OR LESS)

None of these players reached even 20 yards on Sunday, though Johnson did catch a touchdown to salvage his day.

Decker was just not very good and lost red zone targets to Thomas, which doesn't sound very good for his fantasy playoffs prospects.

Lloyd has had 80+ yards in a game only twice this season and it's another case of disappointment for an acclaimed receiver acquired by the Patriots with the hope that he'll turn into the next Randy Moss. If it's not there though, it's just not there.

Bess (and Brian Hartline for that matter) only has one touchdown on the year.

In addition to all of that, Larry Fitzgerald is suffering from "Cardinals QB Syndrome" and caught 1 of 7 targets from Ryan Lindley for 23 yards. He's just not a good play for the rest of the season, unless Kevin Kolb returns.

The Injured

Jordy Nelson only had ten yards himself, but that's because he left with a hamstring injury. This is not the first time that Nelson has been active and then left a game before he had a chance to do anything. It might just be risky to play Nelson at all for the rest of the year.

Julian Edelman was active for the game and in a walking boot after it.

Dustin Keller suffered a high ankle sprain. His season might be over if you consider that when ankle sprains aren't low, they tend to linger.

Earl Bennett scored a touchdown but also suffered a concussion.

Ryan Broyles had his opportunity to step up and claim a permanent starting job. Broyles slipped in the draft in part due to a knee injury. Broyles left the game with a knee injury.

Cecil Shorts suffered a concussion. Sidney Rice took concussion tests but tweeted that he was cleared to play next week.

Stevie Johnson suffered a hamstring injury.

Man, it's dangerous to be a receiver!

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