Week Seventeen Analysis: Chris Johnson has scored three touchdowns of at least 80 yards this season. He also has five games in which he's failed to reach even 30 rushing yards, including last week's dud in Green Bay. He's been an all-or-nothing proposition all season, and a sore ankle has now added yet another reason to worry. Fortunately, Jacksonville's 31st ranked run defense has given up over a touchdown per game to opposing backs, and Johnson totaled 109 scoreless combo yards in the first meeting. Considering the matchup, Johnson's big upside probably outweighs the risk, but there are never any guarantees.
Week Sixteen Analysis: The Monday nighter against the Jets was Chris Johnson's career in a nutshell. He busted off a 94-yard homerun, and totaled just 28 yards on his other 20 carries. He's essentially the Adam Dunn of the NFL; it's all or nothing. It had been "nothing" in the three games prior to last week—he'd averaged 80 scoreless combo yards on just 3.3 yards per carry. Green Bay is a neutral opponent in terms of rushing yards, receiving yards and touchdowns, so there's nothing to really hang your hat on here. You can certainly chase the long-ball, just don't expect to get any sleep on Championship Eve.
Week Fifteen Analysis: Just when we thought we could finally trust Chris Johnson again, he's pulled the rug out at the absolute worst time. So typical. Over his last three games he's averaged a scoreless 80 combo yards on just 3.3 yards per carry, and with his offensive line in complete shambles, a rebound seems unlikely. The good news is that the Jets' 29th-ranked run defense just surrendered 100 combo yards and a score to something called Montell Owens, only two weeks after giving up nearly 250 combo yards and two touchdowns to Patriots backs. We know we can't trust Chris Johnson to show up, so we'll have to put our faith in New York's ineptitude.
Week Fourteen Analysis: The wildly streaky Chris Johnson has cooled off the last two weeks. He's averaged 90 scoreless combo yards on just 3.9 yards per carry, after averaging 7.2 yards per carry, 149 combo yards and a touchdown per game in his previous four contests. This week he'll face a bottom-third Colts run defense that's given up over a touchdown per game to opposing backs this year. Indianapolis has had their way with Johnson in the last three meetings, holding him scoreless, and to a modest 92 combo yards per game. Still, it's a plus matchup, so it's all a matter of which Chris Johnson shows up Sunday.
Week Thirteen Analysis: While Chris Johnson came up a bit short against Jacksonville, he still managed to eclipse 100 total yards for the sixth consecutive game. His career resurgence began almost exactly two months ago when he racked up 157 combo yards against this very same Houston defense. The Texans gave up their first two rushing scores of the season to the Lions on Thanksgiving Day, but they still rank No. 2 against opposing backs in rushing and No. 7 in receiving. Johnson is too hot to bench, but you'll want to temper expectations in this tough matchup.
Week Twelve Analysis:
Going into his bye, Chris Johnson had scored four times in his last four games, and had averaged 128 combo yards over his last seven. Even more impressively, during that seven-game stretch, Johnson only dipped below 110 combo yards once, so hopefully he's been able to pull fantasy owners out of the hole that he dug for them. While Johnson has failed to score or reach even 70 combo yards in any of his last three meetings with Jacksonville, that should change this week. The Jaguars are a bottom-five run defense that's given up 12 touchdowns and over 165 combo yards per game to opposing backs, so keep riding the hot hand.
Week Ten Analysis: Last week, Chris Johnson reminded us that his world-class speed can flip a bad fantasy box score upside down on any given play, regardless of matchup. Johnson's garbage time 80-yard touchdown against Chicago was his third score in as many games, and two of the three have come from at least 80 yards out. Moreover, he's averaged 127 combo yards over his last six games, and has only dipped below 110 combo yards once. Miami is giving up just 3.5 yards per carry, and they've yet to allow 100 combo yards to an opposing back. I'm still wary of Johnson, but his surprising consistency makes him plausible in a very tough matchup.
Week Nine Analysis: Last month we were counting Chris Johnson's rushing totals one inch at a time, but it looks like he's finally grown tired of the satirical math equations. Johnson's now topped 110 combo yards in four of his last five games, including outbursts of 157 and 198 yards. That recent hot streak will be tested this week against Chicago's league-leading run defense. In the Bears' last five games, opposing starters have averaged just 67 combo yards. Moreover, Chicago hasn't allowed a score to the position in their last six games, and Johnson's only scored in one of his last 12 games. It's a devastating matchup for a fickle player, so proceed with caution.
Week Eight Analysis: In Chris Johnson's last six games, he's finished with less than 30 combo yards three times, and more than 110 combo yards three times. It's essentially become a weekly coin flip, but after his recent success against both Houston and Pittsburgh, and Sunday's 198-yard, two-touchdown explosion in Buffalo, Johnson gets a cautious benefit of the doubt in another soft matchup. The Colts have been nearly as bad as the Bills against opposing backs—just two weeks ago they gave up 161 yards and three touchdowns to the sloth-like Shonn Greene, and two weeks before that Maurice Jones-Drew went for 193 and a score. Another big day is well within reach for Johnson.
Week Seven Analysis: Granted, Chris Johnson hasn't scored in 10 straight games, but he's taken some baby steps toward legitimacy in recent weeks. Johnson racked up 114 combo yards against Pittsburgh, which came just two weeks after he totaled 157 yards against an outstanding Houston run defense. If a breakout is indeed coming, this would be the week. Opposing rushers are averaging over 5.1 yards per carry against Buffalo's league-worst run defense, and no team has allowed more touchdowns to the position than the Bills' eight. Johnson has momentum and matchup on his side, and with six teams on bye, he makes for a surprisingly intriguing start.
Week Five Analysis: In his seven games prior to last week, Chris Johnson's high water mark was 61 rushing yards, so forgive yourself if you benched him. After all, despite his inexplicable 141-yard outburst against a stout Houston defense, Johnson has still failed to score in eight straight games. That streak doesn't seem to be in any kind of jeopardy this week. The Vikings are allowing less than 3.2 yards per carry, and they've joined the 49ers as the only two teams yet to surrender a touchdown to an opposing back. Trade Chris Johnson now, and if you can't, continue to treat him as a matchup play.
Week Three Analysis: Going back to the beginning of last season, Chris Johnson has averaged one touchdown every 87 touches, so at 20 touches per game, you're getting at touchdown early in each fifth game. Worse, he's topped just 64 rushing yards in 4 of his last 20 games. That's horrible. Johnson's eight carries last week marked his lowest total in his last 23 games, and he currently ranks 55th amongst backs with just 21 rushing yards. In fact, 11 quarterbacks have rushed for more yards than Johnson this year! He's become a fantasy black hole—there's no rock bottom from which to bounce back, and every week he's dragging fantasy teams to uncharted new depths. Detroit has been middle-of-the-road against opposing backs, but the matchup doesn't even matter anymore.
Week Two Analysis: It's déjà vu all over again. Chris Johnson's first step towards redemption last week against New England didn't cover much ground. Twelve feet, to be exact. CJ2K is currently on pace for 64 yards this season, as his four-yard output represented the newest low-point of his career. He's now eclipsed the ordinary mark of 70 rushing yards just four times in his last 19 games. Fortunately, he's still active in the passing game. San Diego bottled up Darren McFadden as a rusher last week, but McFadden caught 13 balls for 86 yards, so Johnson's receiving skills are certainly his best bet here.
Week One Analysis: Chris Johnson might be the biggest wild card in all of fantasy football this year. We saw his ceiling in 2009 and his floor in 2011, and the gap in production between those two seasons spanned 1,044 total yards and 12 touchdowns. That's a ridiculous swing, considering that he played all 16 games both seasons. New England was just O.K. against the run last year, and only four teams were worse at defending backs against the pass—an area where Johnson excels. If he wants it, he should have a nice opener.
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