In a Twitter request from @andsmith_46, two top-tier stud wide receivers are on the board in Dez Bryant and Calvin Johnson. Which one should you be selecting? Bryant is coming off a great year with 88 receptions, 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns, a career year as a Dallas Cowboy. Johnson is coming off an injury-riddled season, but is still one of the best wide receivers in the league. Bryant is looking to cash-in as a free agent and Johnson is looking to have a big bounceback year. Let’s dive in!
Let’s start with some strengths and weaknesses of each player from a fantasy standpoint:
Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys):
- Coming off career year and is truly an elite wide receiver heading into 2015
- Dallas did not add any wide receivers in free agency or the draft who would contend with his targets or opportunities
- Losing DeMarco Murray may be beneficial for Byrant in the sense that the Cowboys will lean on him more to lead the offense
- Jason Witten is getting older and may be losing targets as Tony Romo’s go-to receiver and favorite target
- Best offensive line in football will keep Romo upright and the run game going for play-action
- Another year of experience for Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and Gavin Escobar could help the overall offense and take targets from Bryant
- Murray being gone could affect the overall effectiveness of the offense, hurting the production of Romo and Bryant
Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions):
- Healthier going into 2015 season
- Golden Tate last year helped the overall offense succeed, which lessened the load on Johnson and decreased away double-teams
- The loss of inconsistent Reggie Bush and addition of rookie Ameer Abdullah could create a more efficient offense
- Last time I checked, Johnson is still 6-foot-5, a physical specimen, and still makes amazing plays all over the field
- Is he truly healthy?
The Argument of Bryant over Johnson
Bryant looked really great towards the end of last year and was a touchdown machine. He will be the focus of the offense this year as Murray has moved on to rival Philadelphia. Will give everything to prove he is worth the huge contract he wants. The offensive scheme won’t change and Bryant may be the beneficiary of not having a true running back because he will now be looked at to provide more plays for the offense. Bryant is looking for another career year in 2015!
The Argument of Johnson over Bryant
The last two seasons Johnson played 16 games:
2012: 122 catches, 1,964 yards, 5 TD
2013: 84 catches, 1,492 yards, 12 TD
If Johnson is healthy going into 2015, the sky is the limit. He was the premier wide receiver in the league before he encountered some injuries this past season. Johnson could bounce back and have a huge year in 2015!
Would You Rather Draft Decision:
Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys)
When it comes down to this decision, it comes down to two important aspects of production. No. 1 is the health of the player and Johnson has yet to prove that he will be 100 percent heading into the 2015 season. Bryant is healthy and ready to go for 2015. No. 2 is what is the player’s situation on the team. Johnson is fighting with Golden Tate, Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew for targets. But he’ll also need to stay healthy. Bryant is the only true wide receiver on the team who can make a play at any time. Cole Beasley is a dependable slot receiver, Jason Witten is a possession tight end, and Terrance Williams is basically just a deep threat. There isn’t a quality No. 2 on the Dallas roster, whereas Detroit has Tate, who emerged as a true No. 2 receiver on the depth chart and can also fill in when Johnson is hurt and be a No. 1. I’m taking the healthy and motivated player to have another great season in 2015.
If you have a “Would You Rather Draft” for Dan Collins, tweet your idea to Shep_Collins and he may pick yours to debate in an upcoming article. Follow him for fantasy football and NFL Draft insight.