• Chris Johnson

  • RB
  • ,
  • 37
  • 200 lbs
  • 5' 11"
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Scouting report

by Brandon Niles

ARI RB Chris Johnson - Week 5 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 5 at Philadelphia Eagles

Chris Johnson keeps getting touches, but he hasn’t been particularly effective with them. He had 13 carries last week for only 32 yards, and he’s averaging a paltry 2.6 yards on 36 attempts so far this season.

The Eagles have given up 3 rushing touchdowns so far this year, but only Denver has allowed less rushing yards per game so far this season, and they’ve been far more effective stopping the run than the pass this season. Johnson always has potential because of his workload, but he’s a desperation starter at best.

by Brandon Niles

ARI RB Chris Johnson - Week 4 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 4 vs. San Francisco 49ers

Chris Johnson took over as the lead back in Arizona last week against the Cowboys, but he only averaged 1.4 yards on 12 carries, making it hard to think he’ll thrive in the role. Right now, it seems like the Cardinals trust him most on first and second down. He’s worth rostering, but he’s too risky to trust inserting into your lineup, even in a nice matchup against the 49ers and their 23rd ranked run defense.

by Brandon Niles

ARI RB Chris Johnson - Week 3 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 3 vs. Dallas Cowboys

Chris Johnson came off the street to carry the ball 11 times for 44 yards against the Colts last week. Johnson lacks the star power he used to have, but he seems to have the confidence of head coach Bruce Arians, and the coaching staff has indicated they’ll give him more work moving forward. It’s still scary to trust Johnson in what could be a committee approach to the backfield, but if you’re desperate, Johnson could be worth gambling on in large standard leagues as a low-level flex option. The Cowboys gave up 118 yards on 25 carries last week, and a total of 178 yards on the ground to the Broncos as a whole.

by Brandon Niles

ARI RB Chris Johnson - Week 2 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 2 at Indianapolis Colts

Chris Johnson was productive for 11 games in 2015 as the lead back in Arizona before an injury limited him to four outings in 2016, opening the door for David Johnson to take over. Now, with David Johnson injured and out for the next few months, the Cardinals have brought back the veteran Chris Johnson.

He’s not worth starting this week and will be hard to trust until we know how the snaps are going to shake up in the Arizona backfield, but he’s worth rostering if you have the roster space in case he can recapture some of the magic from two seasons ago.

by Bob Harris

ARI RB Chris Johnson - 2017 Fantasy Football Outlook

Fantasy Upside

The Cardinals re-signed Chris Johnson in July after the veteran tailback failed to draw much interest as a free agent. Johnson, who turns 32 in September, will again assume a backup role behind David Johnson and alongside Andre Ellington. He held that spot through Arizona’s first four games last year before suffering a season-ending groin injury. Could he do more? Head coach Bruce Arians said the plan this season, should both Johnsons remain healthy, is to use more two-back sets. The Cardinals have had those sets in their playbook in the past but personnel availability limited or even eliminated their use, Arians said.

Fantasy Downside

Assuming David Johnson is hitting on all cylinders, it's hard to imagine him yielding much work to Chris Johnson.

2017 Bottom Line

Johnson heads into his 10th season as a pro, closing in on 10,000 career rushing yards—a mark only 29 players in the history of the NFL have reached. He'll enter the season with 9,537. As ESPN.com noted, Johnson's legs have the rest needed to make a push toward 10,000 if given the opportunity. Fantasy owners shouldn't bet on him getting enough to satisfy them, even if he makes a run at that 10,000-yard mark.

by Brandon Niles

ARI RB Chris Johnson - Week 1, 2016 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 1 vs. New England
Chris Johnson was very productive last year as the lead back in Arizona before getting injured and paving the way for David Johnson to take over. This year, Chris is back and ready to be a change-of-pace player for the Cardinals. CJ2K should only be considered a handcuff, however, as he’s only likely to get a handful of touches with David Johnson taking the bulk of the work and a healthy Andre Ellington still lurking around.

by Bob Harris

ARI RB Chris Johnson - 2016 Fantasy Football Outlook

Fantasy Upside
Chris Johnson decided to re-sign with the Cardinals for another year after visiting Miami. From a fantasy perspective, it's bigger news for Miami than it is in Arizona. Seeing more work than most expected, Johnson ran for 814 yards at 4.2 yards per carry before landing on injured reserve in December with a fractured tibia. Despite starting just nine games, he became the first Cardinals running back in 30 years to break the 100-yard rushing mark in four different games.

Fantasy Downside
But as NFL.com pointed out, he wasn't the same player late in the year. His speed fell off, but Johnson, 30, won't be asked to play the workhorse role. Not with second-year back David Johnson set for a monster campaign in Arizona's prolific offense. Remember: General manager Steve Keim told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine last month that it's "scary" to ponder how good the younger back can be as he develops in his second and third seasons. HC Bruce Arians seems to agree, calling David Johnson a "bell cow" player.

2016 Bottom Line
Still, Johnson believes he can team with his second-year teammate to give the Cardinals a high-octane backfield, the likes of which they haven't seen this century. "I feel like me and him can probably be the best tandem in the NFL this year," Chris Johnson said. Sure. Theoretically speaking it would be. But the younger Johnson figures to be a three-down workhorse this season, with the elder Johnson spelling him and Andre Ellington used as a situational change-up and receiving threat. That probably relegates CJ2K to handcuff status this season.

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