| Wide Receiver, Detroit Lions
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|Draft: 2007 Round 1 (2)
College: Georgia Tech
Ht: 6’5” Wt: 236 DOB: 1985-09-29 Age: 29
|Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald says Calvin Johnson is the top fantasy wide receiver entering 2012 and we’ll take his word for it. The beast known as Megatron posted career highs across the board in 2011, with 158 targets, 96 receptions, 1,681 receiving yards and 16 touchdown passes, finishing the season as the top ranked fantasy wide receiver with a whopping 16.5 FPts/G. If you’re looking for something to quibble about, it would be Johnson’s production during a five game stretch between Weeks 10 and 14 when Johnson failed to top 100 receiving yards in any game and caught just one touchdown pass. Other than that, it was all sunshine as Johnson hit double-digit fantasy points twelve times and topped 100 receiving yards eight times. Since Johnson has the ability to regularly beat double and even triple teams, he is basically money in the bank given his lack of missed time during his five-year career (just three missed games). The only potential red flag is the health of quarterback Matt Stafford, who put together his first 16 game season in 2011. Megatron needs to be the first wide receiver off the board in 2012 and he makes for a solid 1st round pick. No other wide receiver is even close.
| Joique Bell and Calvin Johnson miss practice -- Wed Nov 19 4:33 pm --|
Detroit offense faced with more injuries
|ALLEN PARK -- The Detroit Lions are struggling to get all their running backs healthy at the same time.
After his season-best rushing performance against the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday, Joique Bell didn't practice on Wednesday because of an ankle injury. The team also continues to take a cautious approach with All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson (ankle).
FF Today's Take: Detroit's backfield has become a week-to-week carousel for fantasy owners this season. With Joique Bell (ankle) missing practice and Reggie Bush (ankle) limited, it is unclear who will receive the bulk of the work come Sunday. Meanwhile, Calvin Johnson owners continue to sulk as he now works his way through an ankle injury. In short, several of Detroit's fantasy weapons are banged up and you will need to check back later in the week to see who is able to suit up for Week 12.
| Calvin questionable, Bush doubtful -- Mon Oct 27 7:45 am --|
Lions excpted to be without two offensive stars
|Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson took part in his third straight practice today, but when he walked off of the field, he made no promises about his status for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons (9:30 a.m., Fox).
"I'm getting right," he said. "Trying to get right." Lions running back Reggie Bush is doubtful for Sunday because of an ankle injury he aggravated in last weekend's win over the New Orleans Saints. (Detroit Free Press)|
FF Today's Take: Reading between the lines, Calvin Johnson will likely sit this week but he will be a gametime decision. The Lions play at 9:30 am Eastern tomorrow in London. If they sit, both players can use the bye week (9) to get healthy. Joique Bell is a solid RB2 with RB1 upside against a weak Falcons run defense.
| Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush inactive -- Sun Oct 26 8:45 am --|
Lions without two key components
|The Detroit Lions receiver, Calvin Johnson, has been scratched for Sunday's game in London against the Atlanta Falcons, after testing out the ankle early at Wembley Stadium. He ran the perimeter of the field and a couple routes before shutting it down. Detroit will be missing offensive firepower outside of Johnson as well. RB Reggie Bush (ankle), TE Brandon Pettigrew (foot), TE Eric Ebron (hamstring), TE Joseph Fauria (sprained ankle), RT LaAdrian Waddle (brain) and QB Kellen Moore are the other inactives. (MLive)|
FF Today's Take: With Johnson and Bush inactive Golden Tate and Joique Bell should be the leaders on offense today. Theo Riddick will play a complementary role to Bell.
| Megatron could be game-time decision -- Thu Oct 23 4:25 pm --|
WR (ankle) encouraged with recovery
|Calvin Johnson is more encouraged about his progress this week in returning from a high right ankle sprain than he has been the past two weeks. He practiced for the first time in two weeks on Wednesday, although on a limited basis, and said he has been moving better than in prior weeks. He was also able to practice Thursday. However, he said a decision on whether he'll play could go all the way to Sunday inside Wembley Stadium. Lions coach Jim Caldwell said the most important thing to see is how Johnson responded Thursday. But Caldwell said the decision will come down to doctors. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: The early Sunday morning start in England will give owners more time than usual to consider other options, but the Lions would probably be best-served to sit their star receiver and give him two more weeks to completely recover as they head into their Week 9 bye after returning from London.
| Full-go or nothing for Megatron in Week 8 -- Mon Oct 20 6:30 pm --|
Lions WR has missed last two games w/ high ankle sprain
|Calvin Johnson continues to recover from a high right ankle sprain he suffered in Week 3 against Green Bay before he aggravated it two weeks later. Johnson hasn't played since and while he'll travel to England with the Lions this week to face the Atlanta Falcons, whether he plays will be up in the air.
HC Jim Caldwell said it'll either be a full Calvin Johnson or no Calvin Johnson when he makes his return. The Lions have an off week following the London trip before the second half of the season begins. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Johnson's status should be available later in the week, but with Detroit's bye coming up and a winnable game against Atlanta on the docket, the Lions would be well-served to give their star receiver two more full weeks to recover. Golden Tate should remain the offensive focal point of the passing game while Johnson sits out.
| Lions' Eric Ebron, Reggie Bush limited in practice -- Wed Oct 15 4:39 pm --|
Theo Riddick re-aggravates hamstring strain
|The Detroit Lions had six skill position players sidelined or limited for Wednesday's practice, including rookie tight end Eric Ebron. Ebron is a new addition to the practice report, missing a portion of the session with a hamstring injury.
Also limited was running back Reggie Bush, who was returning to the practice field after missing all of last week with a twisted ankle. All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson (ankle) and tight end Joseph Fauria (ankle) remained sidelined and were joined by wide receiver Jeremy Ross (ankle) and running back Theo Riddick, who re-aggravated a hamstring strain against the Vikings.
FF Today's Take: The injuries to Detroit's offense have sapped the fantasy value of Matthew Stafford and the passing game. If Reggie Bush is feeling good after a week of practice he and Joique Bell will be counted on to shoulder the load against a Saints team that ranks 16th in the NFL against the run with 112 rushing yards allowed per game.
| Megatron could sit through Week 9 bye -- Mon Oct 13 4:30 pm --|
High ankle sprain
|Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell did not close the door today on resting receiver Calvin Johnson the next two games and through the team's bye, in order to give his high ankle sprain four weeks of rest.
"The fact of the matter is I leave it up to the doctors," Caldwell said. "Those are the professionals. They know exactly what it takes, what can be done." (Detroit Free Press)|
FF Today's Take: Even though fantasy owners are sure not to like it, resting Johnson for a full month would probably be a sound move for the Lions. With Johnson sidelined in Week 6, Golden Tate was targeted 12 times, but finished with seven catches for only 44 yards. Detroit faces New Orleans and Atlanta before its bye week.
| Calvin Johnson, Bush sit Friday, unlikely to play -- Fri Oct 10 12:10 pm --|
Lions could be without two offensive starters
|Coach Jim Caldwell didn't want to make his decision known this morning, but after Calvin Johnson missed his third straight practice because of a high ankle sprain today, it seems highly unlikely that the Pro Bowl receiver will play for the Detroit Lions on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. The Lions also could be without running back Reggie Bush, who missed his third straight practice today with a sprained ankle. (Detroit Free Press)|
FF Today's Take: It looks like it will be the Golden Tate and Joique Bell show for the Lions this week. After being used a decoy the last two weeks fantasy owners can safely leave Johnson out of their lineups in Week 6. Joique Bell and Theo Riddick are expected to handle running back duties with Bush on the sideline.
| Lions could be without Megatron, Bush in Week 6 -- Mon Oct 6 5:05 pm --|
|Calvin Johnson aggravated an ankle injury against Buffalo and he could miss a week or two because of it. That would probably be a smart move by Detroit coach Jim Caldwell, because in 37 snaps two Sundays ago against the Jets and 28 snaps Sunday against the Bills, Johnson was invisible.
Detroit also could be without Reggie Bush (ankle) Sunday at Minnesota. The Lions finished the game with a running back named George Winn on Sunday. He’s on his sixth team in 17 months, and the Lions may have to ride him until Bush and the concussed Joique Bell are ready to return. (SI.com)|
FF Today's Take: Golden Tate would continue to serve as Detroit's leading receiver if Johnson is forced to sit, which appears likely. Joique Bell (concussion) was cleared for physical activity late last week and should tentatively be expected to be the lead back for the Lions when they travel to Minnesota in Week 6.
| Calvin Johnson is active -- Sun Oct 5 11:25 am --|
How much he plays is another story
|Calvin Johnson officially active. As are Baltimore's Terrell Suggs and Lardarius Webb. (Adam Schefter via Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: Johnson played last week but was used as a decoy much of the game. Fantasy owners have a tough decision to make but it's expected that Johnson will have a bigger role in the offense this week. We're expecting him to be at least a WR2.
| Calvin Johnson returns to practice Friday -- Fri Sep 26 12:05 pm --|
|Calvin Johnson has been dealing with a sore ankle all week, but the good news out of Allen Park is that Johnson was able to take part in practice on Friday.
Johnson took part in the portion of practice open to the media. He sat out practice both Wednesday and Thursday. (DetroitLions.com)|
FF Today's Take: For now, it appears Johnson will be on the field this week against the Jets who've had a tough time against receivers, giving up five touchdowns to wideouts through three games.
| Megatron misses second straight day of practice -- Thu Sep 25 6:55 pm --|
|For the second straight day, Calvin Johnson missed practice for the Detroit Lions with an ankle injury. At this point, though, his status is uncertain for Sunday against the New York Jets.
Johnson injured the ankle late during the Lions' 19-7 win over Green Bay on Sunday and indicated both after the game and Wednesday that he felt he would be fine. Johnson missed part of at least half of Detroit's practices last season as he dealt with finger and knee issues that ended up requiring separate surgeries following the 2013 season. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Johnson pulled a surprise DNP on fantasy owners in Week 5 of last season, so owners would be wise to monitor this situation for the rest of the week. Fortunately for the Lions, they are better equipped to handle such an absence this year thanks to Golden Tate. Corey Fuller, Ryan Broyles and possibly even rookie TE Eric Ebron could have increased roles in the offense if Megatron sits.
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