It's nearly impossible to write anything about any player without looking at it from a fantasy perspective. Yes, these names on draft lists, that are traded like commodities in leagues all over the world, are actually human beings, too.
Just because they're people, however, doesn't make it any harder to excoriate them when they don't match up to lofty preseason hype. Take, for instance, Chris Johnson.
CJ2K is having a little bit of a software issue. That is, he's running too soft.
His year totals read something like this: 302 yards, one TD and an ABYSMAL 2.8 YPC. This from the same player who, just last year, ran for 1,364 yards and 11 TDs.
The more troubling stat to look at, though, is that out of 107 attempts, he has only four runs of more than 10 yards. His longest run of the season is just 25 yards!
Now, it's possible that CJ really isn't in shape and will only get better as the season progresses. His 2.1 YPC in September increased to 3.3 in the month of October. He's currently on pace to finish the year with roughly 214 carries, 600 yards and—gasp—2 TDs. He'll probably finish with slightly better stats than that, but how much better remains to be seen.
Coach Mike Munchak is moving towards the dreaded running-back-by-commitee strategy, bringing in Javon Ringer to split carries with Johnson. It may be a few games too late, as the problem so far has been CJ (despite what he'd have you believe).
You can't blame the arrival of Matt Hasselbeck for the decline in production. Yes, Vince Young added that wild card mentality, which might have given CJ more room to run in the backfield. But the Titans are currently ranked 13th in passing offense, so the problems are strictly on the rushing side of things.
The obvious move from a fantasy perspective is to grab Ringer if he's still available. He does show promise and will at least run forward, instead of scampering in the backfield waiting for a hole.
Even getting Ringer might not be the salvo you need though, as the Titans rank dead last in rushing offense, averaging 482 yards a game.
If someone else has snagged Ringer, some other backs that would at least be an upgrade over CJ in his current state include Jackie Battle, Roy Helu, Delone Carter and maybe even Kevin Faulk (based on his involvement against the Steelers).
If you've got CJ, chances are you picked him up anywhere between picks six and fifteen. For a pick that high, you're definitely not going to be getting much return on investment. The best bet is selling someone on his name value and potential and perhaps trying to fill other holes on your team.
What's most likely going to happen is it will be revealed after the season that CJ was battling an undisclosed injury. He'll finish the year stronger than he started, but he's got a lot of ground to make up in the next nine games if he wants to finish over 1,000 yards.
For those of you that don't want to do the math, he'll pretty much have to reel off nine straight 100+ yard games to get to 1,200 yards. On this year's Titans' team? Not too likely.
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