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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fantasy football: Analyzing Chris Johnson's struggles

When Chris Johnson dropped to the end of the first round in The News-Herald's 12-team, point-per-reception league earlier this month, I was no longer cursing the fact I had drawn the last pick in the first round.

I'm back to cursing.

In two games, the running back who convinced the Titans to reward his holdout with a $56 million contract has 19 carries for 21 yards.

Nineteen carries. Twenty-one yards. Zero touchdowns. An average of 1.1 yards per attempt.

Sunday at San Diego, Johnson had eight carries for 17 yards and caught two passes for 11 yards.

Granted, the Titans have lost to the Patriots and Chargers by the combined score of 72-23, which explains Johnson's norm of 9.5 carries per contest. But the lack of production is still alarming from a player who followed his contract dispute by rushing for 1,047 yards, averaging 4.0 yards per attempt and scoring four touchdowns last season.

Johnson's only value in PPR leagues last season were his 57 receptions for 418 yards.

If you take a look at his 2011 game log, you'll realize 473 of his rushing yards and three of his TDs occurred in the three games in which he rushed for at least 130 yards. The three contests came in a four-game span between Nov. 13 and Dec. 4.

Take away those three games, and Johnson rushed for 574 yards and scored one touchdown in the 13 games in which he "played."

Is he a very good player on a bad team? Or is he an overpaid former stud who received a huge contract and hasn't been the same since?

Well, in four weeks, we might be very much in the corner of the latter.

The Titans' schedule doesn't get much easier. In Week 3, they will play host to the Lions, followed by games at the Texans and Vikings. In Week 6, they will play the visiting Steelers.

By then, I might be wishing I had gone in a different direction at No. 12 overall. (Did I mention I selected the now-injured Matt Forte at No. 13? Talk about a back-to-back bonanza.)

If you have two quality running backs in addition to Johnson on your roster, now might be the time to sit C.J.

If you're like me and you loaded up at wide receiver and waited on selecting another running back because you thought you had two pretty good ones, including Johnson, you probably have to wait a while before benching C.J.

Either way, this is now an 18-game stretch in which Johnson has four TDs and four productive games (he rushed for 101 yards against the Browns in Week 4 of 2011).

This is no longer a trend.

It's a problem.

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Blogger Anthony said...

Nice post...And we all make mistakes with regards to drafting fantasy football players. I know I've made my share of them.

September 18, 2012 at 3:58 PM 

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