2012 Recap: Chris Johnson’s owners probably went gray or bald or possibly both in 2012. His overall numbers look good 276/1243/6 (4.5 YPC), adding 36/226/0 as a receiver, to rank 18th among RBs with 11.4 FPG. When he was good, he was really good with 5 games with 120 yards or more. When he was bad, he was really bad with 6 games with fewer than 50 yards rushing, and was under 3.0 YPC in each of those games as well. Johnson seemed to give up when there wasn’t a hole and danced in the backfield way too much. In his defense, of his 5 projected starters on the offensive line, 4 went down to various injuries throughout the season. Once again, Johnson didn’t miss a game as he has been an ironman during his career.
What’s Changed: The offensive line was improved in free agency with Andy Levitre and an early draft pick Chance Warmack which should improve the interior of the offensive line. If the holes are created, Johnson will fly through them. The blocking scheme will go back to the zone scheme that was implemented in the 2009 season, but even CJ’s RB coach has said Johnson can’t create his own holes. Shonn Greene was added to back up Johnson and unless Johnson completely falters, I can’t imagine a scenario where Green threatens Johnson’s carries.
Outlook: Johnson has a lot of things to like: his health, his ability, the improved offensive line, and the zone blocking scheme that orchestrated the magical 2009 season. There are issues with him that cannot be easily overlooked. The Titans pass attack has some intriguing weapons, but Locker hasn’t showed that he can get it done yet. He averaged only 2.7 rec per game with Locker under center, so watching how Locker progresses will be something to keep an eye on this Summer. Johnson was a terrible 29th with 6 carries inside the 10 last year while Greene was fourth with 19. So Greene could somehow work his way onto the field for short yardage and goaline work. Johnson is a guy who I can’t fully get behind, but at the right ADP I might pull the trigger. I know I sound like a flip-flopping politician, but Johnson is one of those guys that brings it out of me.
Juan – has written 5290 posts on this site.
Juan Elway is an enthusiast of Fantasy Football, Movies, and Combat Sports, but don't call him an expert. He once shook Adrian Peterson's hand and AP winced in pain. Follow him on Twitter where you can partake in all sorts of shenanigans.