has been stuffed for a one-yard gain or less 34 times this season. He's gained more than 10 yards on a run five times. While Johnson hasn't been a disaster in fantasy leagues, he's been one of the least effective running backs
in football so far. His usually excellent receiving game has suffered too; he's somehow averaging 3.2 yards-per-reception.
So what's going on here?
Johnson has always been a boom or bust runner, but this is easily the worst stretch of his career. When I watch Titans games, I see Johnson working very hard for very little gain. Teams are stacking eight and nine defenders in the box against him. But that was the case last year.
The big difference is on the offensive line. The team got rid of Kevin Mawae
at center, who was supposed to be their weak link. But now leaks are springing at every spot. And the Titans passing game hasn't proven it can beat one-on-one matchups on the outside.
I think Johnson will bounce back and have a strong season. In fantasy leagues, I'd buy low. But that evaluation is not based on anything I've seen this year. It's on his incredible history.
Johnson ate up neutral matchups last year. He didn't have one run over eight yards against the Broncos. Against New York, he only started having a good fantasy day on his 29th carry of the day.
I'd rather own Adrian Peterson
right now than Johnson, but who else would you rather bet on? Johnson would still be my No. 2. He's managed to put decent numbers even when he's struggling. Bigger days should be ahead, but it's time to start seeing it. Johnson owners didn't draft him for borderline RB1 production.Week 5 QuarterbacksQB Going up: Eli Manning
gets his turn beating up on the Texans. … Kyle Orton
has earned matchup proof status. … Shaun Hill
has put up good stats, but Sam Bradford
has the far easier matchup in their showdown. … With a week to prepare and a neutral matchup, Kevin Kolb
should do better than people expect. He'll get yards. … Joe Flacco
has bounced back from his ugly start. Denver is a plus matchup.QB Going down: Donovan McNabb
is just as unreliable in Washington as he was in Philadelphia. … Don't expect Randy Moss
to save Brett Favre
's season – not in this matchup. Moss can't block for Favre. … There's no way you can try to guess whether Good Garrard or Bad Garrard will show up. … Gut feeling Vince Young
will air it out this week, for some of the reasons I talked about above. Editor's Note:
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