Aug 6, 2008
I’m kind of having a hard with Larry Johnson this year in fantasy drafts, but I think I’ve reached a conclusion: I’m going to avoid him.
We all know what Johnson can do, both good and bad. He can be a man amongst boys, dominant. He can also be a dog who seemingly can’t get out of his own way when running in a bad offense and behind a bad line.
Complicating matters a little this summer, however, is how he looks, which is very good. Our own Adam Caplan was a little taken back last week watching him scrimmage against the Vikings in Minnesota by how slim, trim, and quick he looked. His schedule is also very favorable, and QB Brodie Croyle has seemingly taken a step forward this year. The Chief defense may be decent, although their secondary is still a big question.
However, and it’s a big however, their line is still a mess. Have you ever heard of Rudy Niswanger? Neither did I until recently. He’s their starting center. They have a rookie at LT, and he’s banged up, too. If RT Damion McIntosh goes down again, they’re in trouble, and they’re in trouble no matter what, really. Can Johnson overcome a bad line? He didn’t last year. Can he bring it on every carry when he has to carry an offense on his back? He didn’t last year. Can he show the heavy workload from 2005-2006 hasn’t slowed him down? He didn’t last year.
Yes, we have him pretty high in our rankings, but we really have no choice, and I suspect we have him lower than most. It’s not that I view him as being un-draftable. My avoidance of Johnson is very simple.
Johnson’s ADP is about 13. Obviously, there are plenty of stud players being drafted in that range, such as Maurice Jones-Drew, Reggie Wayne, Terrell Owens, Andre Johnson, etc.
Bottom line, and it’s really very simple: if you take Johnson, you’re going to do so over another stud who is much safer. And I’m just not willing to do that, especially with so many solid options at RB available in the 4th round and beyond.