As we gear up to the start of the NFL season, Football Absurdity is going to bring you a comprehensive breakdown of every notable player that will be available in fantasy football drafts. We last saw David Johnson futilely bashing into an offensive line that Kenyan Drake would nimbly and deftly dance behind and power through. Now, in the funniest trade in the history of the NFL, David Johnson is a Houston Texan. What can we expect from him in 2020 fantasy football leagues?
David Johnson ADP and AAV:
Standard Scoring ADP: RB22, 48 overall
PPR Scoring ADP: RB20, 38 overall
Average Auction Value: $13
David Johnson NFL Statistics:
David Johnson Overview:
There’s no getting around an immutable fact: David Johnson was not a good running back last year. Kliff Kingsbury was able to work around his running back’s inability to be a running back by throwing far too many targets at Johnson, who managed to keep a fingernail’s grip on fantasy relevance until Kenyan Drake’s arrival. Then, everything fell apart. Seventeen carries and six catches for ninety total yards. That’s what DJ mustered as Kenyan Drake stole his job over the last six games of the season. Granted, DJ was nursing an injury, but that is just an all-around terrible display of footballing.
Now, he is a Texan, thanks to Bill O’Brien’s insane machinations that involved sending out one of the best wide receivers in the league to get an albatross contract and a second-rounder. I truly believe that BoB’s insane scheme was the best-case scenario for DJ’s 2020. Why? Because O’Brien is a stubborn coot and will die to prove that he made the right decision with Johnson. DJ’s only competition for touches, aptly, is also a DJ (Duke Johnson, Jr.).
But! Bill O’Brien snatched a borderline usable season from the corpse of Carlos Hyde last year, mostly through stubborn insistence on running the football. If the Texans use David Johnson as a lead back, getting 75% of the production that Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde managed last year, that comes out to 1,440 yards and eight touchdowns. If Johnson is the head of a 60/40 split, that comes out to about 1,150 yards and six touchdowns. Not bad production coming out of the end of the fourth round, if you’re desperate to fill out your RB room.
David Johnson Draft Strategy:
Inevitably, once the real draft season comes around, one type of guy in your league will end up with David Johnson: the half-informed guy who drafts solely on name recognition. If David Johnson was a middling-fifth-round selection, I probably wouldn’t have a major gripe with him, but going in the early fourth in PPR? No, thank you. Duke Johnson could easily make this a 50/50 split, and DJ’s realistic upside is, what, RB18? He’s going barely behind that, and his downside is so palpable you could reach out and touch it as easily as an opposing defender could reach out and tackle DJ in 2019. I’m passing on DJ at his current price. Call me crazy but I’m not too keen on running backs who haven’t been good in a couple of years.
Best Case Scenario:
Bill O’Brien’s proverbial time machine to turn back the clock on David Johnson is a literal time machine. Current David Johnson is transported to the past, and 2016 David Johnson becomes present DJ.
Worst Case Scenario:
David Johnson continues to be second-half-of-2019 David Johnson, and Bill O’Brien is not fired.
[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com and airyards.com]