Chris Johnson: Fantasy Owners Shouldn't Panic over CJ2K Just Yet

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2012

Sep 09, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) runs with the ball after a reception against the New England Patriots during the second half at LP Field. The Patriots beat the Titans 34-13. Mandatory credit: Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

Eleven carries. Four yards. No, I don't blame you if you own Chris Johnson and are already panicking.

But step back from the ledge for a moment and hear me out. The time to give up on Chris Johnson may come this year, but it hasn't happened yet. 

First of all, I'm guessing if you drafted Johnson you selected him in the first round. Here's a hard and fast rule for fantasy football you should follow: you don't give up on first-round selections after one week!

If you are that worried that Johnson might be a bust, why did you draft him in the first place?

Now, I get that CJ2K is probably on a shorter leash than most first-round picks given how utterly disappointing his 2011 campaign was for fantasy owners. He killed more than a few fantasy seasons, so seeing him rush for just four yards certainly inspired flashbacks and panic attacks across the United States.

But the Tennessee Titans also fell behind quickly to the New England Patriots and had to play keep-up. That's never good for a team's ground attack. And if you wanted a silver lining, Johnson had six catches (on seven targets) for 47 yards, salvaging at least a few points for fantasy owners.

It wasn't much, but it was an indication that even if the ground game isn't clicking, the Titans will still ensure that Johnson is involved in this offense. And honestly, I don't think there will be many more weeks when Johnson has just 17 touches—there's no doubt who the most talented player on the team's offense is, after all.

But I'm sure some of you aren't convinced. I'm sure some of you took a chance on Johnson bouncing back this year but lost your confidence that would happen after seeing a performance so reticent of 2011. 

To you I say, what is your alternative?

You will be selling low right now if you try to move Johnson. Nobody is going to give you equal value in a trade just a week after CJ2k managed only 5.1 fantasy points. There were other owners that already passed up on him in the first round—what makes you think they'll suddenly ignore his risk and trade you equal value?

Never trade low. What do you gain by trading Johnson now? What happens if he suddenly regains his 2008-10 form and you've paid 75 cents on the dollar to move him? 

You'll kill yourself for being so impatient, that's what will happen.

And are you really going to bench him? Really? Do you have so many safe running backs laying around on your bench that you can comfortably ignore Johnson's upside this week because you've been frightened off by one poor performance?

I didn't think so.

And yet, I've heard people already ready to trade him or bench him, folks ready to pull the plug. To these people I say, relax. Give Johnson more than a week. Go on YouTube and watch his highlight reels to remind yourselves of what he's capable of doing.

Like I said, there may come a time to give up on Johnson this year. But c'mon folks, that time is definitely not in Week 2.

Away from the ledge, everyone.


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