Is anyone going to argue that Chris Johnson has not been a total bust through two weeks? All you have to do s look at the statics and it becomes blatantly obvious…
19 carries for 21 yards and 0 TD
Granted, he has added 8 receptions for 58 yards, but for a player selected in the first round we expected a fantasy stud. Instead we have gotten waiver wire fodder, and even that is being generous.
It is not like the Patriots or Chargers are notoriously stingy against the run, he simply has not been effective. This is beginning to look an awful lot like 2011, when fantasy owners were blaming an extended holdout for his poor start to the year:
- September – 98 yards on 46 carries (2.1 yards/carry)
- October – 294 yards on 61 carries (3.3 yards/carry)
However, he did right the ship and averaged over 4.0 yards/carry for the remainder of the year giving us hope. Yes, the touchdowns were simply not there (he rushed for 4), but that is the least of our worries for 2012.
Unfortunately he hasn’t shown any signs of being the elite back he once was. So what is our excuse this year? How about this little nugget from Matthew Berry of ESPN (click here for the article):
“First, the good news. It’s not all his fault. Love this one that John Parolin dug up: Even though Johnson has only 21 yards rushing this year, he has 23 yards after contact. Hang on, let me add this up… yes, that means he has negative two yards BEFORE CONTACT. In other words, his average point of contact is behind the line of scrimmage. So hey … it’s not all him!”
That line alone tells us all we need to know. If your offensive line is that bad, it is going to be impossible to produce no matter how good of a back you are. Is it something that can be corrected? You would hope so, but time will tell.
The return to health of Kenny Britt should help a little bit, since it will give opposing defenses another dynamic threat to focus on. Is it enough to get us excited? I wouldn’t think so, but at least it is a step in the right direction.
This week Johnson doesn’t get any favors in facing the Detroit Lions, though they haven’t been lights out against the run thus far. After that he draws a Texans team that is boasting the best overall defense in the league (and allowing 72.0 rushing yards per game without a touchdown) and then Vikings and Steelers, so is there really hope to be had?
I would say yes, considering that after that stretch the defenses should get dramatically easier. Plus, you have to believe that the Titans will make the necessary adjustments to try and open up some holes.
While I obviously would not be using him if I could avoid it, Johnson simply isn’t this bad. He righted the ship a year ago and I would anticipate similar results in 2012. You can kick the tires now, but another poor week and the price tag is likely going to plummet. If that happens I would strike immediately.
What are your thoughts of Johnson? Is he a player you would target via trade? Why or why not?
Make sure to check out the rest of our Week 3 rankings: