After the Chargers missed three times on free-agent wide receivers, (Eddie Royal, who signed with the Bears; Andre Johnson, who took less money to join the Colts; and Randall Cobb) they agreed to terms with Stevie Johnson on a three-year contract. Johnson spent his first six seasons in Buffalo, where he was the first Bills receiver to have three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. His best showing was in 2010 when he caught 82 passes for 1,073 yards and 10 touchdowns. While his production has since dipped, there is thought that the right scheme, role and quarterback could reverse that trend. The Chargers feel they can help him. Indeed, the Associated Press reports Johnson is fitting in well with Philip Rivers and the offense. Johnson has taken Royal's spot in the slot and also is playing outside. Upon arrival in San Diego, Johnson noted that Rivers would be the best quarterback he played with. Rivers has been impressed so far. "Stevie is off to a heck of a start," Rivers said. "If there is one guy I would say I am most excited about I would probably single him out. The plays he's made and we've already had a handful of trust-building plays and confidence-building plays between the two of us. It gets me excited that he can become a huge part of our success this year." Johnson's work hasn't escaped HC Mike McCoy, either. He said what makes Johnson different is his knack for beating press coverage. "He has a unique release that he can use to get off the ball," McCoy said.
Did I mention his production dipped? Perhaps plummeted would be a better word as he managed just 35 receptions for 435 yards and three scores with the 49ers last year.
Fantasy owners shouldn't get their hopes too high, but Johnson is worthy of a late-round flyer for WR needy teams.