There were the flashes of brilliance in 2014. There is the addition of fellow wideout Mike Wallace to divert attention. There is the rapidly improving ron-field rapport with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
It all adds up to the potential for a breakout year for
Offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who coached Johnson in Cleveland in 2012, has tracked his development. And he likes what he has seen this offseason.
"He's stronger," Turner told the team website. "He was recovering from that knee surgery a year ago, and I don't know that he was ever 100 percent. I think he's 100 percent. He's got a great work ethic ... and he's a big, strong guy. He's a 218-pound receiver that can run. He's got everything you need to be a productive player in this league."
Johnson showed his potential late last year by catching 25 passes for 415 yards in the final seven games.
Johnson was taken by Packers in the seventh-round of the 2013 draft but was never promoted from the practice squad. He left Green Bay for Cleveland in 2013 before Minnesota took him out of the Browns' practice squad in 2014. Under Turner, Johnson put together a breakout season, registering 58 targets, 31 catches and 475 yards. He racked up 415 of 475 receiving yards once he became a regular starter from Week 11 through the end of the season.
Now, if Bridgewater regresses to 150 yards with a tough matchup Week 16 at Miami, it won't matter who's catching the ball, but at least in deeper leagues, Johnson is worth a look with the strides he and his quarterback have made together.
For more major takeaways from Week 15, be sure to check out my latest post to the Fantasy Football Today blog.
Johnson led the way for Minnesota receivers. He tied for the team-lead with seven targets, coming down with five catches. Johnson was able to show some big-play ability, hauling in a 40 yard pass from Teddy Bridgewater in the second quarter.
Johnson will take on the Dolphins Week 16.
Johnson finished with four receptions for 103 yards on eight targets. It was the first time Johnson surpassed more than 100 receiving yards in a game this season.
The majority of Johnson’s receiving yards came in the first quarter when Johnson connected with Teddy Bridgewater for a 56-yard touchdown.
The Vikings will play at Detroit Week 15.
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