Is Kerryon Johnson Worth His Draft Price?Tweet
There’s something going on in fantasy leagues all around the world. Former second round pick Kerryon Johnson is getting drafted VERY high. Currently sitting at a 3.04 ADP in most 12 team leagues, Johnson is primed as one of the best backs to have on your team in 2019. However, this hype has seemingly come out of no where. So, is Johnson worthy of his ADP? Or is he over-hyped for his position? Let’s take a look at what to expect from Kerryon Johnson in 2019.
Where’s the Hype Coming From?
Johnson came into 2018 coming off an amazing season at Auburn. The 43rd overall pick in the draft, Kerryon won the starting role after an impressive 16 carries for 101 yards (6.31 yards per carry) in a week three win against the Patriots. Johnson started the next seven games before he was placed on injured reserve with a knee sprain prior to week eleven. During this stretch, he had an outstanding 158 yards on 19 carries (8.32 yards per carry) against the Dolphins. He also had his first multi-touchdown game (1 rushing 1 receiving) against Chicago. Johnson finished his season with 119 carries, 641 yards (5.43 yards per carry) and 3 touchdowns. He also had 32 receptions for 213 yards(6.65 yards per reception) and 1 touchdown.
Johnson was on pace to break 1000 yards in his rookie season. While that number is impressive, I find his receiving stats intriguing too. He was on pace for about 350 yards which, including his rushing yards, is an amazing rookie season. The main concern is his scoring production. He only had 4 touchdowns in ten games which is alarming for fantasy owners. The Lions weren’t slouches either. In those 10 games the team averaged 22 points per game which isn’t amazing but surely some of those points should’ve come from the rushing attack. His sudden rise in stock is confusing and without doing your research, you might be taking a player who will only get you 8 touchdowns at most in the second round.
Will Johnson Live Up to the Hype?
Looking towards 2019, Johnson will look to take a big step forward after a shortened season. The Lions will rely on Johnson much more, he will step into an every down role which will lead to more carries. If Johnson can consistently get 20+ carries a game he will have a huge season. His only competition comes from the recently signed C.J. Anderson who dominated the playoffs last year. The Lions have become a better team overall, but not on offense. They added TE Jesse James but their O-Line was left relatively untouched. Their offense now consists of TEs T.J. Hockenson and Jesse James, WR Kenny Golladay and Kerryon as the main weapons. The lack of additional O-Linemen signings will put pressure on second year player Frank Ragnow, along with tackles Rick Wagner and Taylor Decker, to step up and help anchor a line that needs to create more lanes for Johnson.
The WR duo of Golladay and Marvin Jones is a formidable threat. After Golladays breakout 2018, the Lions could look to get him more targets in hope of him being the number one weapon. Of course, Marvin Jones is also a huge deep threat that isn’t to be slept on. He’s made a name for himself in Detroit and will take attention away from Golladay which could be hazardous for opposing defenses. The dual TE threat of James and Hockenson also provides Stafford with big targets in the red zone, which unfortunately reduces Johnson’s scoring opportunities. The Lions will unlikely tread towards the run game and have Johnson and Anderson both serve as complimentary pieces to Stafford’s passing attack.
As of right now, Johnson is not worth his ADP. He already wasn’t getting scoring opportunities and the addition of two new TE’s that can score will only make it worse for him. However, that’s not to say you shouldn’t draft him with the given chance. If you reach for him at the end of the second or third, he can be worthy but it’s a dangerous selection. People who see his potential could potentially stash him and wait till he flashes some of that potential and then trade him. However, if Johnson is still available in the late 4th or early 5th round then you should snag him because by then you should have your top players which lessens the risk of taking Johnson. Kerryon is worth being your RB2 or your flex player, but as a second round pick, avoiding him is the safest move for your team. Guys like Phillip Lindsay, Devonta Freeman or Derrick Henry are better choices if they are available when you are picking.
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Is Kerryon Johnson Worth His Draft Price?Tweet