If you were one of the poor souls who drafted Chris Johnson last season, well, you’d probably rather watch The Godfather Part III on a continuous 48-hour loop than ever draft him again.
The veteran running back was a statistical disaster, finishing with barely over 1,000 rushing yards and just four touchdowns. Not very good for a player who cost you a first-round pick.
However, there is some optimism for the 2012 campaign. Last year was an odd one in the NFL, as a lengthy lockout kept players away from teams and out of OTAs. It was even worse for Johnson, who also went through an extended holdout that cost him even more time off the practice field. In fact, there have been reports that he wasn’t in great shape until the second half of the season.
With the lockout long gone and a full slate of OTAs, training camp and preseason games ahead, CJ2K is going to be in a much better position to re-gain his form as an elite fantasy runner.
“I think he’s excited to get last year behind him as we all are as far as the running game goes,” coach Mike Munchak told the Nashville Tennessean. “We know it’s not going to be worse, believe me.”
Shockingly, the Titans finished next to last in the NFL in average rushing yards per game in 2012. With things back to normal (remember, football players are creatures of habit) and expected improvements to the offensive line, I wouldn’t be shy about drafting Johnson in the second round in a standard 10-team league. Coming off a season where he posted a career best in catches, he could even come off the board late in Round 1 in larger PPR formats.
So, spare yourself the pain and agony of watching Al Pacino attempt to carry an awful storyline over and over again – and don’t be afraid to draft Chris Johnson next season.