Columnist Jon Sousa discusses how his favorite team now has one of the best options in fantasy football
In the words of Michael Jordan, “I’m Baaaaaack!” It’s a glorious time of year. Spring is in the air, the NHL Playoffs are starting, school is almost finished, and the NFL Draft is right around the corner. While I could go on about what teams needs what player, I’d instead like to focus on something that is near and dear to my heart, my beloved New York Jets.
Unless you’ve been living under a for a few days, you have most likely heard that the Jets have signed former All-Pro running back Chris Johnson to a two-year contract. My first thought was “Holy crap, my team has a former 2,000 yard rusher on our team” and then my mind quickly turned to what kind of fantasy impact he could have in East Rutherford this year. Johnson’s 2013 stat line read like this: 279 touches, 1,077 yards, 3.9 yards per carry, 6 touchdowns along with 42 receptions on 52 targets for 345 yards and 4 touchdowns. Not too shabby, in fact, good enough for 11th in rushing in the NFL last season. Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory, the Jets two feature backs last season had 697 and 833 yards respectively and combined for 4 touchdowns for the entire year (DE Sheldon Richardson had two by himself, just to put that in perspective), so it’s an obvious upgrade for a team that has been without a star running back since the days of Curtis Martin.
Should you be quick to trust Johnson as a centerpiece of your fantasy squad this year? I say yes. The Jets as a team were 25th in the NFL in total offense last season, but 6th in the NFL in total rushing offense. The entire team rushed for 2158 yards on 493 attempts. Compare this to 2932 yards passing with 266 completions on 488 attempts (Good for 31st in the NFL, only Tampa Bay was worse.) It’s no secret that Rex Ryan will pound the rock this coming season, and Chris Johnson will get the bulk of that load. I only have two concerns regarding Johnson’s fantasy success in 2014. One, can Johnson handle the responsibility of a full-season workload with such uncertainty at quarterback (which is a discussion for another day), and two, will Johnson be able to get the goal line touches that he “deserves” with names like Ivory, Powell, and Richardson in the mix.
The bottom line is that Johnson is going to get the carries that a Top-10 fantasy back in the NFL deserves. Will he turn that in to another 2,000-yard season and maybe a playoff appearance for my Jets? Only time will tell.
Categories: Fantasy Football