Johnson rushed nine times for 28 yards and caught his lone target for three yards in Monday's preseason game versus the Giants.
Johnson led the game in rushing attempts but couldn't find much room behind an offensive line that rested its best players Monday. Still, Johnson is clearly Cleveland's No. 2 tailback heading into this season, and his hands make him an excellent PPR asset.
Johnson rushed one time for five yards and caught his only target for nine yards during Thursday's preseason win over the Saints.
Although he was quiet in Cleveland's first preseason game, Johnson has been building up hype in training camp, especially as a receiver. Coach Hue Jackson has said he envisions using him as a slot receiver, as well as in the backfield. Most of Johnson's fantasy value comes from his ability to catch passes, so if Jackson utilizes him like he wants to, the third-year pro could become extremely valuable in PPR leagues.
Already locked in as the Browns' top pass-catching back after hauling in 61 and 53 balls his first two seasons, Johnson now is expected to get more playing time from the slot, which will allow the Browns to keep both him and Isaiah Crowell on the field. Given that he'll probably be in the backfield on passing downs, the extent of Johnson's slot role may be a bit overstated on the training-camp hype circuit. It's still a development worth watching in the preseason, particularly as pertains to PPR formats.
Johnson is officially designated as a running back, but with Isaiah Crowell atop the depth chart there, his versatility coud allow him to see the field elsewhere. With 114 receptions for 1,048 yards through his first two seasons, Johnson has proven plenty capable as a pass catcher, and the Browns have a vacancy in the slot following the offseason depature of Andrew Hawkins. With the expectation that Johnson could start at receiver, his fantasy value figures to notice a bump, even if it ends up resulting in fewer carries.
Johnson could take on a larger role in the offense this season, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports. "He's hungry," running back coach Kirby Wilson noted. "He's very knowledgable. He's a great worker. He's committed to being the best that he can be. He's one of our better leaders and one of our better playmakers. So we expect big things from him starting in training camp."
Johnson has been a decent backup through his first two seasons in the league but will look to make the leap this season, playing second fiddle to Isaiah Crowell. If he can continue to develop his raw abilities behind a revamped Browns offensive line, the 23-year-old could be primed for career numbers across the board. With very little competition in the backfield this offseason, Johnson will ultimately be in control of how many reps he gets with the first team offense.
|P3||8/26/17||@ TB||7:30 pm|
|P4||8/31/17||@ CHI||8:00 pm|
|2||9/17/17||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|3||9/24/17||@ IND||1:00 pm|
|6||10/15/17||@ HOU||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 9|
|10||11/12/17||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|12||11/26/17||@ CIN||1:00 pm|
|13||12/3/17||@ LAC||4:05 pm|
|16||12/24/17||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|17||12/31/17||@ PIT||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|