Kerryon Johnson, RB Detroit Lions

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Lions running game shows signs of life

Saturday, August 11, 2018, 9:45am

MLive.com - [Full Article]

The running game showed some badly needed and long-awaited signs of life, mostly in the form of Kerryon Johnson. He had a team-high 67 yards from scrimmage, 34 of which came on seven carries. That's a fine debut, yet some of his best moments aren't reflected in the box score.

In the third quarter, Johnson stiff-armed one defender, then crossed-over another in the open field for a 57-yard run. It didn't count because of a Tyrell Crosby penalty, and that doesn't matter. This team is just trying to accumulate some talent in the backfield, and Johnson already looks the part.

Related players: Ameer Abdullah, LeGarrette Blount

Fantasy Impact:

The story said all three backs averaged at least 4.0 yards per carry. Abdullah continues to look good and is having a nice camp, we've reported over the last week. Some who follow the team feel Abdullah will make the squad as a fourth back, but Johnson is expected to be the star of the backfield as the season goes on with Theo Riddick the pass-catcher and Blount the change-of-pace and short-yardage back.

Scouting Report

Fantasy Upside

By trading up to draft him in the second round, the Lions have high hopes for Kerryon Johnson. He ran for nearly 1,400 yards and scored 20 total TDs last season. RB Coach David Walker described the rookie as a “three-down player,” as Johnson showed good hands in college, snagging 55 passes in three years. He possesses good agility with his 5-foot-11 and 206-pound frame.

Fantasy Downside

Despite being Detroit’s RB of the future, Johnson will likely start the season behind veterans LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick, the latter of whom has been the team’s backfield workhorse in the passing game. The Lions haven’t had a back run for 100 yards in a game since Reggie Bush did so in November of 2013, and there are still concerns about the offensive line’s run-blocking.

2018 Bottom Line

It’s quite possible that a Detroit RB will eclipse the century mark in a game this season and odds are better of that being the quicker Johnson than Blount. Look for the two to share touches for the first month of the regular season, with Johnson eventually earning more playing time later, especially if the club falls out of playoff contention. While he’s a bit of a gamble to add to your fantasy team in 2018, the former Tiger should pay dividends in keeper leagues.

2018 Strength of Schedule - DET
W1W2W3W4W5W6W7W8W9W10W11W12W13W14W15W16W17
20
NYJ
26
@SF
16
NE
8
@DAL
21
GB
BYE25
@MIA
12
SEA
1
@MIN
14
@CHI
2
CAR
14
CHI
32
LAR
4
@ARI
24
@BUF
1
MIN
21
@GB

Schedule difficulty based on schedule-adjusted, positional defensive ranking. Top DEF = 1, bottom DEF = 32.