Few assassins have been as successful as Chris Johnson. He has personally taken out thousands of fantasy football seasons by refusing to live up to his first-round, $50-auction potential.
Much has been made of his attitude this week since he expressed his frustration with his teammates' performance. However, he isn't completely wrong. His line has struggled to open up holes, resulting in him being hit behind the line of scrimmage more than any other running back.
Johnson is too young to have lost the speed and vision that made him a fantasy MVP in 2009. He ran for 2,006 yards, caught 50 balls and scored a total of 16 touchdowns.
The next year, he was the most certifiable consensus No. 1 pick since LaDainian Tomlinson. His 2010 wasn't terrible (1,609 total yards, 12 touchdowns), but he didn't produce the numbers that were expected of him.
Things have continued to get worse.
His declining numbers took a huge hit last season, when he barely topped 1,000 yards rushing and notched a grand total of four scores.
Despite his fall from grace, the buzz around Johnson coming into this year was that he was worthy of at least a third-round pick. Some thought he might be a second-rounder. Nothing could have been further from the truth, as described in the introduction.
In short, Johnson is not worth a fantasy start at this time. But there is one exception.
If your other running backs are backups or the second banana in a committee, giving Johnson a chance is your best bet.
The reasoning is simple. Johnson has the skills and speed to produce when he's properly motivated and the line gives him a seam. Although any evidence of his former form is getting harder to find with each passing game.
Somebody call the coroner. Chris Johnson has struck again.
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