Johnson expects to be workhorse: Say this for the New York Jets: they’re consistent. The confusion of the “maybe it is, maybe it isn’t” quarterback competition now seems to have spread to the backfield. Last week, the coaching staff suggested that the team would use Chris Johnson as part of a running back committee. This week, Johnson says that’s not going to happen. The veteran rusher told Around the League that “if I’m making plays they’re going to want to keep handing the ball off to me.” Sounds like a case of Johnson employing the “ride the hot hand” principle. It’s nice, in theory. But the reality is that he’s averaged 290 carries in his six seasons — that’s a number that few backs are reaching nowadays. With Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell waiting in the wings, we’ll believe Johnson is a workhorse back when we actually see it.
Thomas to have bigger role: Last season, Julius Thomas burst onto the scene from the first game of the season and didn’t slow down for the remainder of 2013. Now, the Broncos tight end says the team plans to use him “a lot more creatively” in 2014. Th0se are words that should warm the heart of any fantasy owner. Thomas is already a big part of what is arguably the league’s most high-powered offense. If Peyton Manning and the Denver coaching staff can find new and inventive ways of getting Thomas the football, there’s no reason he can’t repeat as a top three fantasy tight end this season.
Walker wants ‘to catch 80 balls’: Before arriving in Tennessee, the knock on Delanie Walker was his inconsistency catching the football. He took a big step toward shedding that label by catching 60 passes and six touchdowns last season — both career-highs. This season, he plans to step up even more, saying “I’m looking to catch 80 balls this year.” It’s an ambitious goal for a player who saw just north of 80 targets last season. It’s especially ambitious in an offense that is still fairly unsettled at quarterback. It would be wonderful to see Walker take that leap forward, but he’ll still fall in the range of a lower-end TE1.
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