Chris Johnson Benched: Fantasy Owners Must Target Javon Ringer

Zachary D. RymerMLB Lead WriterOctober 30, 2011

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 18:  Javon Ringer #21 of the Tennessee Titans runs against the Baltimore Ravens at LP Field on September 18, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Tennessee won 26-13.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The massive contract he signed before the start of the season notwithstanding, this has not been a good year for Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson. By extension, this has not been a good year for CJ's fantasy owners.

And now for the bad news: It's about to get much worse.

As you may have heard, Johnson had yet another lousy game in Tennessee's 27-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, rushing for just 34 yards on 14 carries. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Johnson was used sparingly while Javon Ringer saw a huge increase in playing time.

Per Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, we know that this is not a one-time thing:

Well, there you have it. Johnson started the season as the highest paid running back in the NFL. He is now the highest paid part-time running back in the NFL.

If you own Johnson, I wish I could tell you to just drop him. Unfortunately, my guess is that you're not allowed to do so because Johnson is on the can't cut list. You therefore have no choice but to keep him.

If so, the first thing you need to do is follow the Titans' lead by moving Johnson to the bench. He hasn't produced all year, and his production is likely only going to diminish from this point forward.

Once you bench Johnson, you need to immediately put in a claim for Javon Ringer. He's not about to be Adrian Peterson any time soon, but he's going to be a better option than Johnson.

Heck, we saw as much on Sunday. Ringer carried the ball just as many times as Johnson, but he gained 60 yards, nearly twice as many as his high-priced comrade.

This is not a fluke. Ringer averaged over 10 yards per carry last week against the Houston Texans, and he averaged four yards per carry against the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier this month. As they say, the numbers don't lie, and these numbers tell us that Ringer is finding the holes and gaining better yardage than CJ has been able to do all season.

This is particularly true of Johnson's day on Sunday, when he just couldn't catch a break. This tweet gives you an idea of just how poorly Johnson was running:

For the record, Ringer is 5'9". But since he's actually been gaining good yardage in recent weeks, I guess that's neither here nor there.

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