• David Johnson

  • RB
  • , Houston Texans
  • 30
  • 224 lbs
  • 6' 1"
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147691633314
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Draft note
by John Paulsen
Someone in my Scott Fish Bowl league called Johnson an “oatmeal pick,” which sums him up perfectly at this point in his career. Johnson was the No. 19 back (in half-PPR) while only playing 12 games last season. His 13.6 PPG was the No. 15 per game average, so he produced solid RB2 numbers when healthy. The Texans are likely to be without Deshaun Watson, so the offense is expected to take a big step back. Houston added both Phillip Lindsay, Mark Ingram and Rex Burkhead, but lost Duke Johnson (9.5 touches per game). David Johnson played at a 45-reception pace despite the team’s 4-12 record, so another season of negative game script may not result in an increase in catches. New HC David Culley comes from Baltimore, where he was the assistant head coach, passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach. This is notable since the Ravens did not utilize their backs much in the passing game in recent years. Tim Kelly stays on as the offensive coordinator so there is some continuity there. Kelly said that the team will run the ball more in 2021, and Johnson’s rushing efficiency (4.7 yards per carry) wasn’t bad, though that was with Watson in the fold. Johnson’s 12th-round ADP is incredibly cheap for a NFL starter, though he certainly lacks the sort of RB1-type upside that drafters are looking for when taking swings in later rounds.

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Scouting report

by Bob Harris

HOU RB David Johnson - 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook

2019 Bottom Line
The Texans acquired David Johnson last year in the blockbuster trade that sent DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona. The Texans then spent this offseason bringing in additional big-name backfield help. Houston's new brass added veteran Mark Ingram and perennially underrated Phillip Lindsay to the backfield. Johnson is the only holdover from the old regime and new Texans coach David Culley likely will want to do things his way. To try to look at the bright side, at least Johnson has rediscovered some of his old form. When a dislocated wrist prematurely ended his 2017 season, he never looked the same over two more seasons with the Cardinals. But in his first season in Houston, Johnson actually managed to set a career high with 4.7 yards per attempt. In 12 games, he finished with 691 rushing yards and six touchdowns. There's some limited PPR upside here, too, as Johnson was targeted 46 times a year ago and finished with two receiving scores.

Fantasy Upside Johnson split duties last season with Duke Johnson. It's not clear how much David will share this year, but it's not looking great as he approaches 30 years old in December. The Texans look like they want a running back-by-committee approach with the signings of Ingram, Lindsay, and -- to a lesser extent -- Rex Burkhead eating into the workload.

Fantasy Downside
Ingram played in just 11 games last season, earning a career-low 299 yards and two TDs in 72 carries as the Ravens moved on. Lindsay remains a dynamic runner out of the backfield who is coming off a down season due to injury after earning back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons to open his career. All three players are used to working in committee backfields -- much like fantasy managers are familiar with dealing with them. Approach with caution and set expectations for Johnson accordingly.

2021 Strength of Schedule - HOU

W1W2W3W4W5W6W7W8W9W10W11W12W13W14W15W16W17
29
JAX
12
@CLE
15
CAR
20
@BUF
21
NE
10
@IND
19
@ARI
5
LAR
11
@MIA
BYE28
@TEN
14
NYJ
10
IND
16
SEA
29
@JAX
17
LAC
8
@SF

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

Game Stats

WeekOppRuAttRuYdsRuTDFumYPCRecRecYdsRecTDTgtsYPRSTDPPRSnaps%
1@KC1177107.003320410.6716.919.948/5981.4%
2BAL1134003.09216048.005.07.056/5994.9%
3@PIT1323101.772230311.5010.612.645/4795.7%
4MIN1663003.942290314.509.211.236/6555.4%
5JAX1796005.6527043.5010.312.345/5877.6%
6@TEN1957103.001120212.0012.913.956/7277.8%
7GB1442013.004421410.5012.416.454/6879.4%
8BYE--------------
9@JAX216008.0000010.001.61.67/6410.9%
10@CLE--------------
11NE--------------
12@DET--------------
13IND1044104.4000020.0010.410.437/6457.8%
14@CHI--------------
15@IND827003.38111060119.6413.324.355/6979.7%
16CIN121281010.67311133.6725.928.950/5296.2%
17TEN1484106.003360512.0018.021.062/6398.4%
Per game12.2557.580.500.084.702.7526.170.173.839.5212.2114.9645.92/61.6775.43%
Totals147691614.70333142469.52146.5179.5551/74075.43%
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