By Adam Harris-
(CBS) It has been a fantasy football match made in heaven since 2009 in Detroit. Matthew Stafford’s connection with Calvin Johnson could be spiritual, mental or maybe just based on size, speed and talent.
Johnson’s 6-foot-5 frame is a quarterback’s dream, and it fits right into the nightmare of Stafford’s multiple-arm-slot, take-a-chance-and-just-throw-it-up-there type of quarterback play. The game these two play fits right alongside one another like lamb and tuna fish, and the numbers show it.
Since entering the league in 2009, Matthew Stafford has 10 high-impact fantasy games. For the purpose of this breakdown, I consider at least four touchdown passes or at least 440 passing yards as a high-impact game for fantasy quarterbacks. Among those impact games, Stafford has thrown for five touchdowns three times, exactly three touchdowns 10 times and more than 500 yards once. Stafford has had all of his impact games with a healthy Johnson on the field.
These are the numbers that had fantasy owners drafting Stafford as the fourth quarterback off the board this year, but his 2014 season of zero impact games has many owners with draft remorse. That makes now as good a time as any to buy into Stafford. Johnson is expected back this week, and Stafford’s price is the lowest it will be for the rest of the year.
In his career without Johnson, Stafford has zero fantasy impact games, and he has never thrown for more than two touchdowns. With his best football friend scheduled to come back and come back healthy, Stafford owners should expect a great second half.
Johnson is in the same reliant boat as his quarterback. In the 63 games that Johnson has had Stafford throwing to him, he has produced 17 fantasy impact games. For the purpose of this breakdown, I consider at least two touchdowns or at least 150 yards as impact games for a fantasy wide receiver. Calvin has gone for more than 200 yards four times, more than 300 yards once and has caught three touchdowns once with Stafford slinging it to him.
In the 49 games Calvin has played without Stafford as his quarterback, he has just five impact games, never reaching more than 160 yards or more than two touchdowns.
When these buddies are on the field together, there is a 15 percent chance that Stafford is going to have an impact fantasy day and there is a 26 percent chance that Megatron will have an impact fantasy day. Impact potential is key, especially the way I broke it down, because those type of games can win weeks by themselves.
When these two are separated, Stafford’s chance of performing at an impact level drops to zero percent and Johnson’s drops to 10 percent, history shows us.
I would advise to buy Johnson right now, but you should have already been trying to do so. Johnson owners are going to hang on to him now more than ever after waiting out his high ankle sprain.
Stafford is more of a realistic buy and could be considered a throw-in by many owners because of the depth at the quarterback position. Guys like Ryan Tannehill, Joe Flacco or even Ben Roethlisberger won’t be comparable to Stafford from here on out. Stafford should be considered a major upgrade over those quarterbacks mentioned above, and even guys like Andy Dalton, Philip Rivers, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson.
Adam Harris is a producer for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @aharris670 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.