LeGarrette Blount, Theo Riddick Fantasy Outlook After Kerryon Johnson Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2018

Detroit Lions running back LeGarrette Blount (29) during pregame of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Duane Burleson/Associated Press

The Detroit Lions' backfield pecking order will change after rookie running back Kerryon Johnson was ruled out of Thursday's Thanksgiving Day game against the Chicago Bears with a knee injury.

Tim Twentyman of the Lions official website provided the update Wednesday.

Let's check out how Johnson's status might impact LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick in the fantasy football world amid the team's crowded depth chart at the position.


LeGarrette Blount

Blount is a high-floor, low-ceiling fantasy commodity when he's getting consistent early-down carries, which should be the case if Johnson is sidelined for a while.

The 31-year-old is one of the league's best between-the-tackles punishers, which he displayed in 2016 en route to a career-best 1,161 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns with the New England Patriots.

Blount, who's also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers since going undrafted in 2010, should be in line for most of the work on first down as well as short-yardage and goal-line situations. That gives him his biggest appeal in standard formats.

From a fantasy perspective, that should make him a solid No. 2 running back or flex option in all leagues for the duration of Johnson's absence.


Theo Riddick

Riddick is the Lions' back to target in points-per-reception formats.

He's never been a major contributor on the ground, posting a career-high 92 attempts in 2016, but he's been a consistent factor in the passing game. His third-down role should become even more defined if Detroit moves forward with a clear timeshare.

It's not going to provide a significant boost to his fantasy value in standard formats. But if he's available in a PPR league, it's worth adding him and inserting him in the lineup at the flex for Thursday's contest because of his game-breaking ability.

The Fantasy Streamer @TheFFStreamer

Week 12 RB Stream #2 - Theo Riddick DET vs CHI. Kerryon Johnson is hurt and will miss the thanksgiving contest, opening the door wide open for Riddick. Blount has been awful in 2018 so Riddick should get work. With injuries at WR, Riddick could get good volume in passing game

So both Lions rushers are worth monitoring in fantasy leagues until Johnson is back in the fold, which will muddy the picture once again.