| Running Back, Arizona Cardinals
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|Draft: 2008 Round 1 (24)
College: East Carolina
Ht: 5’11” Wt: 191 DOB: 1985-09-23 Age: 30
|After a disastrous 2011 season that featured a holdout and the worst production of his four-year career with just 1,047 rushing yards and four touchdowns, it is hard to find a running back with more polarizing fantasy prospects than the Titans Chris Johnson. Although Johnson agreed on contract terms with Tennessee in time to start on opening day, he showed up out of shape and was not the explosive player that he was during the first three years in the league when he ran for 4,598 yards and 34 touchdowns. Although some of his troubles could be laid at the feet of the teamís offensive line, Johnson looked disinterested and appeared to run tentatively, often times failing to hit the hole hard and turn up field. Removing three solid performances against three of the worst run defenses in the league (Carolina, Tampa Bay and Buffalo), Johnson managed just 574 rushing yards and 9.7 FPts/G in his other 13 contests. The question is can Johnson bounce back in 2012? He has little competition for touches and the supporting cast at the skill positions has been upgraded so defenses will not be able to focus on shutting him down as much as they have in the past. Along the offensive line, Steve Hutchinson was signed to shore up the left guard position but troubles remain at center. While some may view Johnson as a boom/bust pick, he is unlikely to perform worse than he did last season and he has tremendous upside. Expect him to produce at a rate somewhere between what he did in 2010 and 2011, good enough to be taken as a low-end RB1.
| Ellington ruled out, David Johnson to start -- Fri Dec 4 5:40 pm --|
Rookie RB set to handle heavy workload
|Andre Ellington (toe) has been ruled out for Sunday's game in St. Louis. As expected, Ellington will miss at least one game due to the turf toe injury he suffered in Week 12. David Johnson is thus set to serve as the unquestioned leader of Arizona's backfield in Sunday's game, but with Chris Johnson done for the season, Ellington may still get his shot at an increased role. David Johnson will be backed up by Stepfan Taylor and Kerwynn Williams. (CBS Sports)|
FF Today's Take: Despite some fumbling issues, David Johnson has been fairly productive as a rookie. The 24-year-old, who has eight touchdowns this season, will be looking to add to that total against the Rams on Sunday.
| Chris Johnson out 6-8 weeks -- Tue Dec 1 11:10 am --|
Cards will look to David Johnson, Kerwynn Williams
|Mike Jurecki on Twitter: "Hearing Chris Johnson (tibia) expected to miss six to eight weeks. RB Kerwynn Williams could be an option from the practice squad." (Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: It's likely that this development, coupled with the Andre Ellington injury, gives rookie RB David Johnson the opportunity he needs to excel and reach RB2 value, though Bruce Arians has consistently downplayed his possible use as a workhorse for whatever reason. Johnson is the 1A add this week, with Williams as 1B.
| Report: Chris Johnson has fractured tibia -- Mon Nov 30 6:05 pm --|
Timetable for return unknown
|Tough blow for Cardinals: Chris Johnson has fractured tibia, out extended period of time but team still gathering how long this shelves him. (Jay Glazer on Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: Initial reports suggested Johnson was dealing with a knee bruise, so the combination of this report and Andre Ellington's turf toe means David Johnson could become a potential second-half fantasy stud. In the off-chance David Johnson was dropped after his scoring flurry earlier this season, now is the time to be picking him up. The rookie has eight all-purpose touchdowns on 76 touches as a runner, receiver or returner.
| Chris Johnson, Ellington in question for Week 13 -- Mon Nov 30 5:35 pm --|
Rookie David Johnson in line for first career start
|The resurgent season of running back Chris Johnson might be derailed for a bit after a helmet to the side of his left knee Sunday left him with a contusion and possible missed time. The Cardinals might also be missing backup Andre Ellington, who suffered a turf toe on the same possession as Johnsonís injury.
There is no official timetable for eitherís return, coach Bruce Arians said Monday, but rookie David Johnson looks like the starter for now and ďI have all the confidence in the world in him starting,Ē Arians said. (azcardinals.com)|
FF Today's Take: David Johnson has been given the "rookie treatment" by old-school coach Arians due to ball security and pass-blocking issues. However, he has proven to be a big-play threat just about every time he touches the ball (eight all-purpose touchdowns on 76 touches as a runner, receiver or returner). If CJ2K and Ellington are both ruled out for next week, the rookie should be considered a high-upside RB2 against a Rams defense that is starting to fade.
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