"Sophomore slump" was not in David Johnson's vocabulary in 2016, as he was the No. 1 Fantasy running back in all formats. We expect another solid campaign this year in 2017. Johnson was a Fantasy stud in every sense of the description last year with 293 carries for 1,239 yards (4.2 yards per carry) and 16 touchdowns, as well as 80 catches for 879 yards and four touchdowns on 120 targets. He averaged just over 23 touches a game in 2016, but Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has said he wouldn't mind giving Johnson close to 30 touches a game this season. We hope that's not the case because we don't want him to break down, but Johnson scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in 15 of 16 games last season. The lone game where he was held to single digits was Week 17 when he suffered a knee injury, but he's fine heading into training camp and should continue to dominate. He's a top-three pick in any format, and he could easily be the No. 1 overall pick in the majority of leagues.
Johnson had three carries for 16 yards in Saturday's preseason game against Oakland. Johnson looked sharp while getting three carries on the first four snaps, then quickly turned things over to Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington. The superstar back could see a bit more time in the next couple exhibitions, but he probably won't get extended run until Week 1. The return of a healthy Chris Johnson doesn't figure to have much impact, if any, on the younger Johnson's workload.
Johnson won't play in Thursday's Hall of Fame Game against the Cowboys, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site report. Head coach Bruce Arians is keeping his starters on the sideline in the NFL's annual exhibition opener, paving the way for positional battles to play out on national television. Behind Johnson, there's some question whether Chris Johnson will be the primary backup due to recent health concerns. On Thursday, though, Kerwynn Williams, Elijhaa Penny and rookie T.J. Logan will more than likely be the most utilized Cardinals RBs.
Head coach Bruce Arians said he would like Johnson to get 30 touches per game next season, ESPN's Josh Weinfuss reports. A rate of 30 touches per game works out to 480 for the year, which would be the second most any player has ever taken in a season. Johnson led the NFL with 373 last year, and he even had an outside shot to reach 400 prior to injuring his knee in Week 17. Already fully recovered from that injury, Johnson could make a push for that milestone in his second season as Arizona's lead back. He figures to be the most popular No. 1 selection in fantasy drafts this summer, coming off a 2016 season in which he led the NFL in scrimmage yards (2,118) and touchdowns (20). Johnson, Le'Veon Bell (groin) and Ezekiel Elliott should lead a revival of the running back position at the top of drafts.
Johnson relayed Saturday that his left knee is healthy, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports. "My wheel is good. Good to go already. Back training, full throttle. Doing everything," Johnson said. Johnson electrified throughout the 2016 season, pacing all NFL players in yards from scrimmage (2,118) and touchdowns (20). In the Cardinals' Week 17 thrashing of the Rams, though, he didn't have much of a chance to get in the act, as he injured his left knee early in the second quarter. Thankfully, he was diagnosed with a mere MCL sprain, which is accompanied by a 6-to-8 week recovery timetable. Just over a month later, a video emerged of Johnson jumping out of a pool with the message, "Progress going great!" His statement this weekend confirmed as much, meaning he should be available for the entirety of the offseason program.
Johnson (knee) is approaching the end of his rehabilitation from an MCL sprain in his left knee, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports. An unsightly knee injury resulted in an abbreviated season finale for Johnson. Fortunately for the running back, he was diagnosed with a sprained MCL, which was expected to require a 6-to-8 week recovery effort. Now in the stretch run, he posted a short video of himself jumping out of a pool last Wednesday, revealing that he's nearly 100 percent. Expect Johnson to embark soon on his preparation for a repeat of his breakout 2016 campaign.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||10/01||San Francisco 49ers||33||27.13|
|6||10/15||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||22||18.75|
|7||10/22||@Los Angeles Rams||14||16.63|
|9||11/05||@San Francisco 49ers||33||27.13|
|13||12/03||Los Angeles Rams||14||16.63|
|16||12/24||New York Giants||7||14.88|
|3 Year Avg||209||910||12||58||668||4||253|