Despite turning 23 years old before the start of the 2020 season, it's beginning to look like Kerryon Johnson will be a flop for Fantasy. After two straight seasons ended early by injuries and underwhelming production, the Lions spent a second-round pick on rookie D'Andre Swift, seemingly squashing any chance of Johnson becoming a heavy volume dynamo. Johnson may still see some work, including early on in the season, but considering he rarely had 20 touches (just six times in his career), he doesn't offer much excitement. Johnson is a decent No. 3 or bench running back worthy of a pick after 90th overall on Draft Day.
General manager Bob Quinn said he views Johnson and second-round draft pick D'Andre Swift as complements to each other, Michael Rothstein of ESPN reports. It's no secret that head coach Matt Patricia prefers a running back-by-committee approach. When also considering the fact that Johnson has missed 14 games through his first two seasons, it's not surprising that Detroit was willing to spend a second-round pick on another back despite having already used a second-rounder on Johnson back in 2018. With that said, Swift appears to be the superior prospect as both a runner and pass catcher, and it's not unreasonable to think the rookie could take over the top spot sooner rather than later in 2020. Johnson -- and Bo Scarbrough, to a much lesser extent -- will probably still be involved in the rushing attack no matter what, but Swift possesses the greatest upside of the group.
Johnson recorded 11 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown in the team's Week 17 loss to the Packers. Johnson worked effectively in his second game back from injured reserve, ripping off long runs of 20 and 14 yards. He also punched in his third touchdown of the season, finding the end zone from one yard out late in the second quarter. Though his 2019 season was derailed by a knee injury, Johnson should serve as the Lions lead back in 2020 and will likely be touted as a top breakout candidate.
Johnson ran for 42 yards on 10 carries and caught his only target for one yard during Sunday's 27-17 loss to Denver. In his first action since Week 7, Johnson garnered 10 of Detroit's 21 running back carries while chalking up a respectable 4.2 yards-per-carry average. Prior to his mid-game knee injury against the Vikings Oct. 20, Johnson had amassed a hefty 17.4 carries per game but managed only 3.3 yards per rush on those attempts. Johnson remains a limited contributor in the Lions' passing game, but he could prove to be a viable fantasy play Week 17 against a Green Bay defense that is surrendering 120.9 yards per game on the ground this year.
Johnson (knee) is listed as active Sunday at Denver. After Johnson completed his rehab from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, the Lions officially elevated him to the 53-man roster Saturday. On Sunday morning, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Johnson is slated to get "significant carries" in his first game action since Week 7. In the five games that he's completed this season, Johnson averaged 19.2 touches for 82.2 yards from scrimmage per game while scoring three touchdowns. If he's indeed a bell cow Sunday, he'll push fellow running backs Bo Scarbrough (ribs), Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic down the depth chart.
Johnson (knee) is expected to receive "significant" carries in Sunday's game against the Broncos, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Even though the Lions just activated Johnson from injured reserve one day ago following an eight-game layoff, Rapoport's report suggests the team's lead back won't be eased back into the mix. If that's the case, Johnson could approach the 17.4 carries he averaged in his five full games prior to suffering the knee injury, though the game script could call for lesser work on the ground if the Lions fall behind early. At 3-10-1, the Lions aren't incentivized to overextend Johnson in their final two games, but the uncertain status of Bo Scarbrough (ribs) could prompt Detroit to rely on Johnson to carry the running game out of necessity. Ty Johnson, Wes Hills and J.D. McKissic are the Lions' remaining depth options, with none of those players having shown much promise as ballcarriers this season.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/20||@Green Bay Packers||26||21.22|
|4||10/04||New Orleans Saints||4||13.24|
|14||12/13||Green Bay Packers||26||21.22|
|16||12/27||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1||10.63|
|3 Year Avg||116||522||3||21||170||1||91|