WR Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills
HT: 6-1, WT: 210, Born: 7-22-1986, College: Kentucky, Drafted: Round 7
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Average draft position
Current as of May 6th. [Full ADP list]Overall: T Romo (70), R Mendenhall (71), Steve Johnson (72), J Stewart (73), V Davis (74)
Position: S Smith (68-WR28), J Jones (69-WR29), Steve Johnson (72 - WR30), C Shorts (75-WR31), J Maclin (78-WR32)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of May 6th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: T Romo (71), V Davis (72), Steve Johnson (73), T Hilton (74), D Pitta (75)
Position: S Smith (66-WR28), J Jones (70-WR29), Steve Johnson (73 - WR30), T Hilton (74-WR31), C Shorts (77-WR32)
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Stevie Johnson has had a fair amount of success the last two seasons despite some real issues at the quarterback position. With an at times shaky Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing him the ball, Johnson has had three straight 1,000 yard seasons, though each year his touchdown totals have dropped. With a new quarterback in town—and that could be Kevin Kolb or rookie EJ Manuel—Johnson will likely feel some bumps in the road again, but he's proven he can succeed despite issues under center. He'll also have a legitimate threat across from him in Robert Woods so he'll see less coverage. The offense which new head coach Doug Marrone is installing is a quick hitting, high tempo offense with Johnson potentially in the slot—and that should suit Johnson as well. Johnson has a lot of talent and is just hitting his stride.
Latest NewsBills | Stevie Johnson feeling better (Wed May 15, 04:20 PM) - Buffalo Bills WR Stevie Johnson (back) said his strained back is getting better but that he is not sure when he will receive clearance to return to practice. Johnson has sat out the organized team activities this week because the injury but has been able to do things in the weight room. Our View: The team won't rush Johnson back from his latest injury. He should be ready to participate by the time training camp starts in August.
link to story Bills | Stevie Johnson still sidelined (Tue May 14, 08:38 PM) - Stevie Johnson is still sidelined with a strained back according to head coach Doug Marrone. He initially suffered the injury in the voluntary veteran minicamp last month during individual position drills. Our View: This would be more of a concern if the injury lasted into training camp. The Bills will be careful with their star WR and won't push him back until he's ready. "I feel very comfortable with what Stevie has done in the past. It's more important to get him healthy and get him well than it is to push him to get on the field," said Bills head coach Doug Marrone.
link to story Bills | T.J. Graham making plays in OTAs (Tue May 14, 08:33 PM) - Second-year WR T.J. Graham has been making plays during the Bills recent minicamp. He's getting more reps as Stevie Johnson continues to miss workouts with a strained back. "T.J. is doing really good," said QB Kevin Kolb. "He's working hard, taking it serious. Obviously with the receiving corps it's a competitive group now. I think everybody can go out there and make plays. T.J. is another special talent with his speed." Our View: Graham has the downfield speed and ball tracking ability to be a good deep threat. The position became more cramped when the Bills added both Robert Woods (USC) and Marquise Goodwin (Texas) in the 2013 NFL draft. They even added the talented Da'Rick Rogers as an undrafted free agent.
link to story Bills | Rookie WR Woods to start opposite Johnson? (Sat May 11, 11:50 PM) - Buffalo Bills rookie WR Robert Woods may be 'firmly in the conversation' when it comes to finding a starter opposite Steve Johnson. Woods has impressed during Bills rookie minicamp and many consider him the favorite to start. Our View: We think Woods is one of the best rookie WRs in this draft class. He knows how to get open, has the speed to eat up cushions quickly, and has strong hands to be a consistent target. Woods should eventually become a favorite in the Bills passing game.
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|1||New England Patriots|
|3||at New York Jets|
|5||at Cleveland Browns|
|7||at Miami Dolphins|
|8||at New Orleans Saints|
|9||Kansas City Chiefs|
|10||at Pittsburgh Steelers|
|11||New York Jets|
|14||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|15||at Jacksonville Jaguars|
|17||at New England Patriots|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Johnson’s playing status was slightly in doubt leading up to the game as he missed practice time with a groin injury. He was healthy enough to start and play the entire game, but had difficulty making much happen while mostly matched up with All Pro corner Darrelle Revis. Johnson was clearly the go-to player for Ryan Fitzpatrick and led all players in the game with 10 targets, but only managed to bring in 4 of them for 55 yards. An early pass intended for Johnson was picked off by Revis, but he did salvage a decent fantasy day with a touchdown that came late in the game that pulled the Bills to within 13 points with 6 minutes to go.
Week 2 - It was looking like a very quiet day for Johnson this week as he only posted 1 catch on 3 targets for 7 yards in the first half. Midway through the 3rd quarter, however, Fitzpatrick found him on a short crossing pattern that he took the distance for a 49-yard touchdown, outrunning star safety Eric Berry in the process. That was one of the biggest plays of the day and helped put the game out of reach.
Week 3 - The Bills built a quick 14-0 lead in this game, which seemed to help open things up a bit in the passing game. Steve Johnson took advantage and finished with another productive outing, including his third straight game with a touchdown. He had little difficulty gaining separation against the Browns corners and provided a reliable outlet for Ryan Fitzpatrick throughout the game. Johnson led all players in the game with 7 catches, 11 targets, and 61 receiving yards and made a beautiful move to get open for an easy 9-yard touchdown catch in the 4th quarter that seemed to put the game out of reach.
Week 4 - His first reception came on an out route beating Devin McCourty. Johnson got good separation and the throw from Fitzpatrick was perfectly timed and accurate. Outside of that target, he didn't see the ball again until the fourth quarter. Johnson dropped that pass as he looked to turn and run on a curl route before completing the catch. Johnson did catch one deep ball that Fitzpatrick threw too close to the sideline, so it was incomplete.
Week 5 - A frustrating game for Johnson throughout, as even when the receiver was able to beat coverage, Fitzpatrick missed him. Once in the first half, Johnson had beaten his man down the sideline and an accurate throw would have resulted in a touchdown. Johnson was targeted often, but none of his catches were downfield and he struggled to get away from the defense after the catch.
Week 6 - Johnson again led the Bills’ in targets on Sunday with 11, catching six despite being matched up against one of the league’s premier corners in Patrick Peterson. Johnson was consistently open, with the only deterrent to more catches being Fitzpatrick’s inability to accurately locate him. Johnson easily worked the out on a slacking Wilson for an important 3rd down conversion on Buffalo’s first TD drive. Johnson would be targeted on back-to-back throws on the same drive, connecting on the 2nd of the two and putting the Bills in a goal-to-go scenario. Johnson showed some impressive shake on his next catch, bringing in an eight-yard hitch before spinning around a closing Peterson to pick up eight more yards. Johnson’s longest catch helped kick start the Bills’ 2nd TD drive, another quick slant that saw the coverage collapse on the out leaving Johnson to pick up 23 yards on the inside. Normally a precise and patient route runner, Johnson flashed some physicality too. With Peterson locked up in man, Johnson ran a comeback and created the necessary separation with a nice swim move, leaving Peterson to recollect himself while Johnson picked up 16 yards. Johnson had his best game (yardage-wise) of the season, collecting more than half of Fitzpatrick’s passing yards. Johnson was unable to get into the end zone for a 3rd consecutive week, but only three total Buffalo plays in the red zone severely limited his opportunities.
Week 7 - Johnson led the Bills in receiving yards on Sunday, led all WRs in catches and was 2nd on the team in targets. On the opening drive Johnson made a spectacular catch, running a 12-yard out, Fitzpatrick delivered a rather erratic pass and Johnson needed a leaping, full body extension all the while getting two feet in bounds to complete the catch. Just before halftime, Johnson made another tremendous catch, this time picking up 19 yards and drawing a 15-yard penalty. Running a deep in, the high pass forced Johnson to elevate in front of hard-hitting safety Michael Griffin. Griffin delivered a blow, but Johnson did a tremendous job securing the catch and absorbing the shot for the completion. Later, facing single coverage from CB Jason McCourty, Johnson had McCourty doing circles leaving him wide open on the post. Fitzpatrick accurately delivered the throw right on time, making for an easy 27-yard TD catch. Despite being the only established playmaker on the outside, Johnson consistently got open on quick slants and outs. It was Johnson who Fitzpatrick should have hit on the lone INT, working the out from the slot and finding plenty of space but not getting the target.
Week 9 - After receiving three early targets, and catching all three, Johnson did not register another catch. Easily winning routes like he does every week, Johnson worked inside for all three catches, the first going for 14 yards (his long on the day). Johnson’s third catch may have been why he struggled after his early catches, taking a helmet directly on his thigh that had him limping badly to get off the field. Never one to stay out long, Johnson was promptly back in the game, but he didn’t seem right. Johnson was largely ignored in the passing game, not picking up another target until the 2nd half. A failed staple of 2011/early 2012 passing attack, Fitzpatrick overshot the streaking Johnson by five yards on the Bills first drive out of halftime. Johnson’s next target again came on a slant, a crucial 3rd and short, and despite an on target throw from Fitzpatrick, Johnson inexplicably dropped the catch. Only down one score at the time, the drop forced the Bills to settle for a 3rd FG. Fitzpatrick again tried to hit Johnson streaking down the sideline for his final target, nearly throwing an INT to the safety playing over the top. It was a disappointing day for Johnson, but it appeared to be more from injury than anything else.
Week 10 - Second on the team in targets with nine targets, Johnson for the team lead in catches with six and had a team high 86 yards receiving. Johnson showed no ill effects of his thigh bruise from the week prior, easily working the Patriot DBs and just missing a TD on the Bills’ final scoring drive. After catching a short hook route on the Bills opening drive for a quick seven yards, Johnson didn’t register another target until the Bills final drive of the first half. Johnson picked up 13 on the curl before being badly overthrown by Fitzpatrick as he raced down the sideline. Johnson just missed a TD later in the drive as he was sitting in the back of the end zone. Fitzpatrick had broken the pocket and tried to hit the camping Johnson. The throw was high, forcing Johnson to elevate and McCourty did a nice job forcing Johnson out before he could get his 2nd toe down. Johnson’s best catch came on his next target as he ran a deep in. Johnson broke the route inside and the low throw forced him to completely lay out with full extension for 19 yards. Johnson picked up a pivotal 4th down on his next catch, easily winning the out for 13 yards. Johnson again just missed a TD the very next play, catching the out and turning up field before getting dragged down at the two-yard line. Johnson’s long (and final) catch came on the Bills’ final drive, picking up the 3rd and long with a 21-yard deep out. For whatever reason, Johnson did not get another look on the drive, with Fitzpatrick looking to Jones, Chandler and Graham instead.
Week 11 - After taking a back seat to fellow WR the week prior, Johnson was the passing offense, leading the Bills’ passing offense in every receiving category on Thursday night. Getting a full complement of targets in nine, Johnson was able to catch six for 79 yards. Easily one of the league’s best route runners, Johnson had his way with the Dolphin’s defensive backfield. Johnson first catch came on 3rd down, picking up 15 yards on the deep in. Johnson had his longest catch the very next play, planting a vicious swim move on Sean Smith to create the necessary space for the 16-yard comeback. Johnson picked up an easy 12 yards on his next catch, opening up on the snap and catching the quick strike as the coverage was sitting 10 yards off the line. Johnson just missed a TD on his next catch, another back shoulder throw. Johnson did a nice job using his body to box Smith out, but couldn’t break the tackle four yards short of the end zone. Fitzpatrick went back to Johnson in the end zone two plays later, but a poor throw and an interfering Smith prevented the connection. Johnson showed some rare frustration on the play, clearly upset and demonstratively calling for the flag. Johnson utilized the swim move more one time in the 2nd half, picking up nine yards before picking up 13 on his final catch of the night on another back shoulder throw.
Week 12 - Johnson was the passing offense on Sunday, leading the team with six catches on a staggering 15 targets. Johnson was responsible for 63% of the Bills passing yards, including a 63-yard catch on a beautiful double move that just missed being a TD. Clearly understanding the Bills’ tendencies, the Colts’ DBs were quick to jump the short routes, allowing Johnson to easily shake CB Darius Butler on the long strike. Johnson faked the stop and Butler jumped all over the route, allowing Johnson to easily get behind the coverage. Having missed a few open deep receivers already, Fitzpatrick made sure to connect with Johnson slightly underthrowing the route. Johnson had to slow, which allowed Butler to make up ground and the safety help to respond as well. After the long gain, Johnson received two more targets on consecutive plays in the red zone, but a miscommunication and solid coverage spoiled both forcing the FG. Of the Bills four 3rd down conversions, Johnson was on the receiving end of two of them, including a 14-yard strike on a quick slant on the lone TD drive. Fitzpatrick did a nice job looking off the coverage, allowing Johnson to get inside the DB and the ball was placed perfectly. Johnson’s best play, however, was not a catch at all. Having just converted a third down on the Bills’ final drive, it was Johnson who single-handedly made amends for the Fitzpatrick INT on the drive. Johnson chased Zbikowski down, latching on and as he was making the tackle, not only punched the ball free, but also managed to recover the fumble too. It was a tremendous effort play from Johnson, putting the Bills back into position to tie the game.
Week 13 - Johnson led the team with five targets, but only had two catches for 18 yards before leaving with a hamstring injury. Johnson’s first catch was a short five-yard quick screen, intended to get the WR involved (and it would appear to limit Fitzpatrick’s downfield throws). Johnson’s second catch, on an out, went for 13 yards and a TD. Like every other pass catcher, Johnson’s opportunities were severely limited by game script.
Week 14 - Just as he has done in nearly every game this season, Johnson led the Bills in every receiving category, including six catches on eight targets. Johnson had the Bills longest play of the day, a 34-yard catch down the sideline. Johnson was blanketed by the coverage, but made a nice adjustment as Cortland Finnegan never turned around to play the ball and Fitzpatrick went back shoulder for the completion. Johnson just missed a TD on the Bills’ opening drive of the 2nd half. Johnson caught the middle screen at the Rams’ nine-yard line and broke the initial tackle, getting all the way to the one before he was finally dragged down. Johnson was hampered all week with a hamstring injury and it did appear his cuts on his routes were not as sharp at times, especially on a quick slant late in the game. Johnson and Fitzpatrick rarely miss a connection on the short slants, but it appeared Fitzpatrick expected Johnson to be further along in his route as Johnson was not quite out of his break and was not expecting the ball as it zipped by.
Week 15 - Johnson led all Bills every in receiving category, picking up 12 targets and eight catches, including one TD. In what has typically been a tough matchup for most WRs, Johnson consistently beat Seattle’s best corner Richard Sherman. After taking advantage of his sagging coverage on his first catch, Johnson easily worked Sherman again on his next catch, picking up 17 yards on a slant. Johnson’s next route was even prettier, completely turning Sherman around on a deep corner route resulting in a 20-yard TD catch. Johnson went right back to the corner route to kick off the next drive, as the result was almost identical, picking up 24 yards on the play. Johnson’s best play, however, came on his next catch. Facing a 3rd and long, Johnson ran a deep post on the play. Fitzpatrick’s throw was high (when is it not?) and behind Johnson, forcing the WR leave his feet and open up to make a play on the ball. Johnson reached up with only his right hand and snatched the pass out of the air for the 25-yard gain. Johnson just missed another long play two drives later as the Bills went play action. Johnson again beat the coverage, but Fitzpatrick’s awful deep ball accuracy had the ball sailing well over Johnson’s head.
Week 16 - As previously mentioned, Johnson had perhaps his worst game as a Bill since the famed blaming of God via Twitter in 2010. Johnson’s first catch looked just like so many others, a perfectly ran/timed quick slant, but a well timed hit jarred the ball loose for the fumble. His next target was almost as bad, as he dropped a wide-open and relatively (no defender in range) easy catch. Victim to an awful rule, Johnson’s day went from bad to worse, as his next target should have been a 23-yard TD catch. Johnson beat the coverage and ran under a perfectly thrown ball, but after extending his arms on the play to break the plane of the end zone, couldn’t avoid the one of the dumbest rules in the NFL (especially to fantasy footballers). Arms, and consequently ball, extended, Johnson ran through the goal line. However, as he went to the ground, and used his arms to break his fall, the ball came loose and the play was ruled incomplete. Not only the frustration of the moment, but considering how many missed opportunities the duo have had throughout the season on the same play clearly affected Johnson the rest of the game. Johnson didn’t receive another target until the 4th quarter and clearly the frustration remained. Nowhere near a completion, Johnson angrily tossed the ball down field and picked up a five-yard delay of game penalty. Often living under the moniker “handle biz have fun”, Johnson was doing neither as he released a rare burst of emotion on the lead official, even needing Spiller to step in and calm Johnson. Johnson picked up his first catch since the 1st quarter fumble two plays later, but it was too little too late. Two more catches the following drive rounded out Johnson’s day, but it was little to remedy what had been an already too rough day for the WR.
Week 17 - Clearly looking to atone for his poor showing the week prior, Johnson showed up tremendously on Sunday. Johnson led the team in targets with nine, catching six for 111 yards with a long of 37. Of Fitzpatrick’s three completions (yes, three) in the 1st half, Johnson caught two of them, including a 29-yard catch just before halftime. Johnson did his best work in the 2nd half, however. After picking up 19-yards on a dig early in the half, Johnson (despite being his shortest catch on the day) made a tremendous grab on his next catch. Running a quick out, Johnson was wide-open and had the first down marker in mind. Fitzpatrick’s throw was well wide, however, and forced Johnson to leave his feet. Stabbing at the errant throw with one hand, Johnson was able to pull the toss in. Johnson made another great catch on his next target, picking up 37 yards on the play. Fitzpatrick threw the ball up for grabs and Johnson was able to high point the ball, and despite CB Darrin Walls being all over him, haul the catch in. Johnson’s final catch was another pretty grab, as he was forced to elevate and fully extend on the high throw from Fitzpatrick. The catch came on 3rd down, extending the Bills’ final drive, allowing them to put the final nail in the New York coffin. Also worth noting, Johnson had his 3rd consecutive 1,0000 yard season, the first Buffalo WR to ever accomplish the feat.