Chris Johnson is going to win many fantasy football owners a title this year. Take that to the bank. This isn't just coming as a reactionary piece after his 58-yard scamper to paydirt in Tennessee's first preseason game against the Washington Redskins last night, either.
Seriously, though, Johnson needs to be on your roster this year if you have a shot at him. The crazy part: He can be your No. 2 running back in 2013. Whaaaaat???!!! Yes, that's right.
Jonesing for Johnson
Johnson is going, on average, at pick 21.41 overall, per Mock Draft Central. That's if you take another rusher in Round 1. If you go receiver, or for some foolish reason TE or QB in the first round, Johnson could be your RB1. He'll be a solid No. 1 this year, but having him as your No. 2 will make you extremely tough to beat.
Since his 2,006-yard rushing effort in 2009, CJ2K has been a big disappointment, especially when his carries dropped from 358 to 316 and then to 262 in 2011. The 2013 Titans are committed to becoming a strong force on the ground, led by Johnson. They committed to that when they signed guard Andy Levitre to a six-year deal and drafted Chance Warmack in the first round of this year's draft.
Head coach Mike Munchak and offensive line coach Bruce Matthews, who both had Hall of Fame careers as O-linemen, will undoubtedly make this unit successful and give Johnson room to run.
Gone is previous offensive coordinator Chris Palmer (he was fired midseason last year) and in is Dowell Loggains. Johnson is already more comfortable under Loggains, and now the new OC will have a full season to implement his plan.
Throw in third-year QB Jake Locker in a season that should really see him make some nice strides as a passer, and you suddenly have an offense that could be explosive. Kenny Britt and Kendall Wright both have the talent to stretch the field and give opposing secondaries headaches.
Perhaps most important of all is that Johnson has a chip on his shoulder after underwhelming the past couple of seasons. He's humbled, hungry and ready to prove that he still deserves the CJ2K nickname. I think he's fully primed and ready to return first-round value for fantasy footballers this year.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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