2014 is Chris Johnson’s year to re-emerge
- Updated: August 19, 2014
During the offseason I took a look at The Chris Johnson Conundrum, and now that he’s playing for the New York Jets it’s time to dig into his potential for the 2014 season. Johnson hasn’t lived up to expectations since his through-the-roof 2009 season in which he rushed for 2,006 yards. However, his numbers are excellent. In the last 6 seasons he has only missed one game and his average rushing numbers over that time are better than every running back in the league that isn’t named Adrian Peterson. Those numbers are a bit skewed by the monster 2009 season, but he’s still had over 1,000 yards rushing in each of his 6 seasons.
Johnson now finds himself on a Jets team that likes to “ground and pound”, and that’s nothing but good for the 28-year-old. This is a Jets team that was the #6 rushing offense in the league in 2013 which is an improvement over the #14 Titans, and it’s a team that is willing to dedicate to the running game. While Johnson isn’t going to get 270+ carries, he’s going to be a force on that offense. Sure, he’ll be splitting time with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell. However, I believe the Jets are going to be very active in the run game this season. Active enough for Johnson to have an up season. I predict the 2014 season will give us a re-emergence of Chris Johnson as an elite runner. Don’t look for the redzone and goal line woes of last year to dominate his narrative, and don’t expect the running-back-by-committee potential to hinder him as much as many are expecting. Early indications in preseason are looking up. In the second preseason game he rushed for 63 yards on 10 carries and saw more snaps than expected largely due to Chris Ivory being out with injury. He may not be CJ2K anymore, but I expect him to be a top five guy in 2014.
Fantasy Focus: I expect Johnson to be a top 5 fantasy running back in 2014, so that means he could be a great value in drafts. He’s currently being valued as an RB23 going around 60th overall in snake drafts. This is a steal for a player that was the #9 fantasy running back in standard formats and #8 in PPR in the 2013 season. Keep an eye on him and pick him up for your team.
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...