It is officially time to give up on Chris Johnson. Maybe I am late to the party, but there is no hope at this point. He may have a few random successful outbursts scattered throughout the season ... good luck trying to predict when to play him.
The bubble has burst
The biggest problem I maintain when it comes to his lack of success has been his inability to adapt to offensive coordinator Chris Palmer's read-blocking system. This design requires running backs to pick a hole and go, whereas Johnson's natural style is best used in a power-blocking system that forces him to a specific gap and removes all decision-making concerns. Nothing against Johnson, but he isn't the sharpest tool in the shed and excels when he relies on instinctual reactions when the ball is in his hands.
The offensive line has been so-so, at best, and having an inexperienced quarterback under center allows defenses to focus on stacking the line, too. It's not all Johnson's fault. Still, it doesn't change the fact that he cannot run effectively in this system. Either the offense has to change to adapt to him, or it's time for the Titans to look to ship him to another team. Unfortunately, his prohibitive contract effectively makes him untradeable, without a restructuring first.
Look at the run defenses he faces in the next month: Houston Texans (11.0 fantasy points per game allowed), Minnesota Vikings (9.3), Pittsburgh Steelers (13.7) and Buffalo Bills (14.7). He still has the Chicago Bears (9.0) and Texans again to worry about, not to mention a respectable Miami Dolphins unit.
The only thing you can hope for as a Johnson owner is one big game to give him some semblance of trade value.
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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