Chris Johnson: Fantasy Owners Must Bench Titans RB vs. Vikings

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistOctober 4, 2012

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 17:  Running back Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans rushes upfield against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFL preseason game August 17, 2012 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Following his best game since last December, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson is back in the good graces of fantasy owners everywhere. After all, it's not every day that a running back goes for 141 yards against the Houston Texans

But that was last week, and things change at the drop of a hat in fantasy football. What works one week is never guaranteed to hold for the next week. It is an ever-evolving game of chess that owners are playing both with their opponents and the players on their roster. 

In Week 5, Johnson gets his opportunity to go up against another smash-mouth, in-your-face defensive line that has defended the run really well so far, the Minnesota Vikings

From a statistical perspective, the Vikings are one of the top 10 run defenses in the NFL. They only allow 85.3 yards per game on the ground and have allowed just one rushing touchdown while forcing three fumbles. 

Some of that success can be attributed to the teams the Vikings were playing. Aside from San Francisco, which is one of the best running teams in the league and only ran for 89 yards, the only other team in the top half of the league in rushing yards they have played is Jacksonville (15th). 

However, what the Vikings lack in competition, they make up for in aggressiveness and action. They are so big and physical up front that they can overpower almost any offensive line in the league, as evidenced by their destruction of the 49ers

If that isn't enough, the Titans lack the element of surprise in this game. They are going to be playing without Jake Locker, who went down last week with a shoulder injury and is sitting out at least one game (per 

With Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback, everyone knows the Titans are going to try to establish Johnson and the running game early to take pressure off the veteran quarterback. 

The Vikings can prepare to load the box in order to force Hasselbeck into beating them. Until he proves capable of that, the Vikings have no reason to respect the passing game. 

This will be very ugly for Johnson, back to the level he was playing at in the first three weeks when you were wondering what you saw in him to draft him in the first place. Keep him on the bench this week.