Chris Johnson has to be one of the most difficult players to rank heading into the months of June, July and August. In 2009, Johnson ran for 2,006 yards, pulled in 50 receptions for 503 yards and had 16 total scores. In 2010, CJ2K took a small step backwards, as he ran for 1,364 yards, pulled in 44 receptions for 245 yards and had 12 total scores… 2010 was still a good season, and Johnson was still a top five overall pick heading into most 2011 fantasy football drafts… Well, in 2011, CJ2K dropped off significantly, rushing for just 1,047 yards and 4TDs. Granted, he pulled in a career-high 57 passes, which resulted in 418 receiving yards, but his diminished rushing production and his 4 total touchdowns created a grip of CJ2K doubters out there heading into 2012 — I say use this to your advantage!
Sure, there is still a ton of risk attached to Johnson’s name heading into 2012, but he still has potential to be a top five fantasy running back. He is only 25 (turning 26 in September), so mileage isn’t an issue… I honestly think half of CJ2K’s problems last year were due to his holdout (physical), and the other half were mental as a result of the holdout. A solid off-season conditioning program, which the runner is actually participating in this off-season, will have Johnson both physically and mentally prepared for a bounce-back campaign. According to our Average Draft Position data, which is compiled using multiple industry ADPs, Johnson is currently slotting in that 1.08-2.01 range. First of all, even on a disappointing season, let’s say 1,000-1,100 rushing yards, 200-300 receiving yards and 5-7 scores, Johnson can earn 1.08-2.01 type value. If he rebounds to top five running back status, that’s how you win a league!