Will Chris Johnson Turn it Around


By Vidur Malik



One of the most baffling cases of low production from a fantasy superstar has been that of Chris Johnson.


He was probably among the top three picks in your draft, and with a new contract in the books going into the season, it was easy to assume he would run like the 2,000-yard rusher he was a few years ago.


After putting up atrocious numbers in the first three weeks of the season, during which he rushed for 98 yards on 46 carries and no touchdowns, he somewhat redeemed himself by gaining 101 yards on 23 carries in a 31-13 win over the Cleveland Browns in week 4.


Does this mean Johnson is getting back to form? Will he be a big-play threat for the rest of the season?


At this point, it’s tough to confidently say yes to both those questions. That’s obviously not the news you want to hear if he’s on your team, but after seeing what he’s done in the first four weeks of this season, you should make sure you’re confident in the other running backs on your team or pick some up off the waiver wire.


The Titans are going up against the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers this week, so Johnson may be able to go over the 100-yard mark again. The Steelers gave up 155 rushing yards to Texans running back Arian Foster, who gained 5.2 yards per carry in Houston’s 17-10 win. With Johnson’s speed, he could very well run for a similar yards-per-carry average, so there’s a good chance he’ll do well this week.


But the fact that we even have to question whether he will have a big day is cause for concern. In years past, this would never have been an issue. There are very few players in the league who are threats to score at any given moment in a game, and Johnson is still one of them, so you might not want to give up on him just yet, but keep an eye out for other backs if you want to upgrade your overall production at that position.


Stevan Ridley of the New England Patriots could be a good option. He rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries in a win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, so there’s a good chance he’ll continue to get carries. You might also want to consider Roy Helu of the Redskins and Ricky Williams of the Ravens if you really need an addition.


One quarter of a season is not enough time to declare a player’s season over, but it is enough time to get a sense of whether you should be worried about a player’s production. Johnson is way too talented to be replaced, but it would be smart to consider adding running backs to your team in case he puts together another string of bad games.


You must be logged in to post a comment.