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2010 Fantasy Football: Why You Should Pass on Chris Johnson




Written by John Lindinger (Injured Reserve on the forums). I've been in what seems like a million fantasy football leagues with John, and I consider him to be one of my toughest competitors. He will be providing some fantasy insight for this Web site from time to time. You can e-mail John at jflcr11@aol.com.

July 14, 2010.


Why You Should Pass on Chris Johnson

My 2010 Fantasy Running Back Rankings are:

1. Maurice Jones-Drew
2. Adrian Peterson
3. Ray Rice
4. Chris Johnson
5. Frank Gore

I anticipate that placing Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice, and Adrian Peterson atop my rankings will not be received well. It is understandable after witnessing Chris Johnson's tremendous 2009 campaign. But when it comes to fantasy football, there is no worse sin then being a year behind. Why don't you ask Matt Forte and Steve Slaton owners how it felt to waste a first-round pick on these supposed up and coming superstars?

While I am not predicting a similar kind of meteoric downfall for Chris Johnson, I do foresee a reduction in his numbers across the board next season. After all Johnson had far and away the biggest workload of any back in 2009, notching 358 rushes and 50 receptions. He might be young, but 408 touches have made those legs anything but fresh. So amid your jubilation of being dealt the first pick, maybe you should take the time to be wary of selecting an overworked running back.

My growing distrust of Johnson's 2010 prospects stems from examining the follow-up seasons of the other five running backs who broke the 2,000 yard rushing barrier.

  • Eric Dickerson's historic 1984 campaign netted him 2,105 rushing yards. His following season was a let down by his standards, as he only rushed for 1,234 yards.

  • In Jamal Lewis's encore performance to his impressive 2,066 yard season he barely managed to eclipse 1,000 yards, finishing with only 1,006.

  • Barry Sanders, by far the most successful of the bunch, ran for 562 less yards (going from 2,053 to 1,491).

  • O.J. Simpson did not fare any better than the rest. He went from 2,003 yards in 1973 to only 1,125 in 1974 (and now he's in jail!).

  • But, I saved the worst for last. Terrell Davis was never the same after his 1998 season, in which he posted 2,008 rushing yards. The following year he only managed 211 yards in four games. Davis would never again play more than half a season.

    Jones-Drew, Peterson and Rice are all better choices than Johnson for different reasons. Jones-Drew presents fantasy owners with the rare combination of safety and elite performance. Unlike Adrian Peterson, he is heavily involved in the passing game and is not faced with the looming threat of a young touchdown vulture.

    Despite his fumbling difficulties and the presence of Toby Gerhart, fantasy owners know what they are getting when they select Adrian Peterson, a tough runner who will post huge yardage figures and be a consistent touchdown producer.

    Ray Rice is far and away the riskiest pick of the group. But as with all investments, larger risk comes with the potential for unmatched returns. Despite splitting time with Willis McGahee, he ran for impressive yardage totals and had an incredible 78 receptions. If Rice takes another step forward this season, he could very well end up being the most valuable player in PPR formats.

    The 2010 season will be the year when fantasy owners holding the No. 1 overall pick drool at the prospect of having Johnson in their backfield. In their excitement they will throw away the advantage luck afforded them. These owners will proclaim at season's end that no one could have predicted such an underperformance from Johnson. They will be wrong.

    Respect the historical significance of what Chris Johnson is up against and allow other owners to overpay for his year of much-needed rest.






    More 2010 Fantasy Football Articles:
    2010 Fantasy Football: Home

    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings:
    2010 Fantasy Football Playoff Rankings - 1/5 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football: Week 17 Fantasy Rankings - 1/2 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - 8/31 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - 6/6 (Steve)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs - 9/6 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs - 7/3 (Steve)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 9/7 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 7/14 (Steve)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends - 8/31 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends - 7/20 (Steve)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Kickers - 6/10 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defenses - 6/11 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Auction Values - 9/2 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: IDP Defensive Linemen - 8/3 (Steve)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: IDP Linebackers - 8/7 (Steve)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: IDP Defensive Backs - 8/14 (Steve)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Team-by-Team - 6/7 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Dynasty Rookie Rankings - 4/30 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Rookie Rankings - 4/29 (Walt)

    2010 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets:
    2010 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 150 Traditional - 9/6 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 150 PPR - 9/6 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 150 Touchdown League - 9/6 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Downloadable Spreadsheets - 9/7 (Walt)

    2010 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts:
    2010 Fantasy Football Draft: WF.com Free League - 9/7 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Draft: Real Traditional Draft - 9/1 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Draft: Real PPR Draft - 8/26 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Draft: Real PPR Draft - 8/18 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Draft: Real Experts PPR Draft - 8/12 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Experts Mock Draft - 8/12 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Draft: Pros vs. Joes - 7/28 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR Draft with AKA - 7/20 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Mocking ESPN's Fantasy Mock Draft - 7/7 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: The Four-Man PPR Fantasy Draft - 7/1 (Walt)

    2010 Fantasy Football Articles:
    2010 Fantasy Football Injury Reports: Week 17 - 1/2 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football: Start Em, Sit Em - 12/29 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football: Add/Drop - 12/20 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football: Stock Index - Week 8 - 10/29 (John)
    2010 Fantasy Football Buffet: Week 8 - 10/28 (Steve)
    2010 Fantasy Football Stock - 9/7 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Preseason Stock - 9/3 (Walt)
    2010 NFL Preseason Recap, Fantasy Football Notes - 9/3 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football: High-Upside Late-Round Sleepers - 8/25 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football: Top 12 Players to Avoid - 8/25 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football: Undervalued Players - 8/13 (John)
    2010 Fantasy Football: Buy Low - 8/6 (Walt)
    ESPN's 2010 Fantasy Football Magazine Errors - 8/3 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football: Defense Strategy - 8/2 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football: My Round-by-Round Strategy - 7/27 (Walt)
    Lack of 2010 Fantasy Depth: Blame the 2008 NFL Draft Class - 7/26 (John)
    2010 Fantasy Football: Why You Should Pass on Chris Johnson - 7/14 (John)
    2010 Fantasy Football: Draft Strategies - 7/13 (John)
    2010 Fantasy Football: Wide Receiver Scarcity - 6/30 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Sleepers (Late-Round) - 6/2 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Sleepers (Mid-Round) - 6/1 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Busts - 5/31 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football Mailbag - 5/29 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks with New Receivers - 5/1 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football: 2010 NFL Draft Stock Up - 4/29 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football: 2010 NFL Draft Stock Down - 4/29 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football: Free Agency Stock Up - 4/15 (Walt)
    2010 Fantasy Football: Free Agency Stock Down - 4/12 (Walt)
    Running Backs with Most Carries - 4/10 (Walt)




    2014 NFL Mock Draft - April 24


    2014 NBA Mock Draft - April 23


    NFL Free Agents - April 22


    2015 NFL Mock Draft - April 17


    Fantasy Football Rankings - March 28


    NFL Picks - Feb. 2



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