35-Year-Old Running Back – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Football Outlook
There was no outlook written for Rudi Johnson in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Rudi Johnson Contract Information:
Unrestricted free agent following the 2008 season.
Johnson rushed four times for 16 yards in Sunday's loss to Tampa Bay.
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|Rushing||Rush Distance||Big Rush Games||Receiving||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Fumbles|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Rushing Stats||Red Zone Runs||Receiving Stats||Red Zone Targets|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Rushing||Rush Distance||Receiving||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Red Zone Runs||Red Zone Targets|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Rudi Johnson: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)"I think he just got in and he started feeling it, running and getting it going," Marinelli said. "So we kind of went with him." It looks like the team may work with the dreaded running back by committee, which makes both Johnson and Smith risky plays from week to week. Johnson will certainly figure into the equation more prominently than he did in Weeks 1 and 2, but his Week 3 production may be hard to count on.
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Rudi Johnson.
Johnson's 2007 season was disastrous, as a lingering hamstring injury limited him to just 2.9 YPC in only 11 games. Even when he did play, he clearly wasn't his former self, and it appeared the high workload from the previous three seasons (an NFL-high 1,039 carries) had caught up to him. He's still just 28, and his overall mileage isn't glaringly high, so his career can't be completely written off. He averaged 12 touchdowns and 1,407 rushing yards from 2004-2006. Johnson offers nothing in the passing game, and his career 4.0 YPC mark suggests he needs a high volume of touches to produce, but the Bengals didn't address the running back position during the offseason, so the team is confident he can bounce back. He's effective at the goal line, and Cincinnati's high-powered offense should produce plenty of scoring opportunities. Johnson is fully recovered from his hamstring woes, and the coaching staff has already named him the starter during minicamp, so he could be undervalued in 2008.
Johnson would never be confused for an exciting runner, but he gets the job done nevertheless. How’s this for consistency: Johnson has scored exactly 12 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons, while finishing with 1,538, 1,548 and 1,433 total yards, respectively, during each campaign. While constant injuries prevented Chris Perry from threatening Johnson’s workload, the Bengals used their second-round draft pick this year on Kenny Irons, who could cut into Johnson’s touches immediately. Irons has more breakaway speed and should provide a change-of-pace for Johnson, but it remains to be seen how the two will be utilized. Since Johnson is coming off three consecutive 335-plus carry seasons, the Bengals would be wise to ease his workload, as a breakdown is a real possibility at the current rate. Still, Johnson is no doubt set to get the bulk of the carries and should be good for virtually all of the goal-line carries. His lack of activity in the passing game drains some of his fantasy value, but the Bengals offense should only be better this season, with Carson Palmer another year removed from knee surgery. Despite 53 red-zone carries, Johnson only saw 13 goal-line opportunities, as Cincinnati likes to throw when close to the end zone. Johnson’s mediocre 38-percent conversion rate might have something to do with that. The 3.8 YPC last year is sub-par, so Johnson is more of a product of his environment than an elite NFL running back.
Johnson’s not a flashy runner, earning his yards by lowering his head and pounding between the tackles, and it’s that lack of perceived speed that left him on the draft board until the second day of the 2002 draft. Still, it took him just a season and a half to push Corey Dillon out the door in Cincinnati and entrench himself as the Bengals feature back. And despite the presence of Chris Perry (drafted No. 26 overall in 2004), it’s a role Johnson figures to hold for the foreseeable future. Johnson’s last two years in that role have been remarkably consistent, especially considering the evolution of the offense around him – yardage totals of 1,454 and 1,458, with 12 TDs in both 2004 and 2005. Johnson’s limitations keep him from stepping up to the next level and becoming one of the truly elite NFL running backs, however. His red zone numbers (17.1 percent, or 12-for-70, in ’05; 14.9 percent, or 10-for-67, in ’04) have been distinctly unimpressive for a player who makes his living as a power runner, and he offers nothing to the passing game other than being a play-action decoy. On the bright side, he doesn’t have much competition for those red-zone touches – Marvin Lewis’ affinity for the screen pass (Bengal RBs caught four short-yardage TDs last year, none of them going to Johnson) does cut into his action somewhat, but no other running back in Cincinnati has rushed for a touchdown since Johnson took over the starting role. In other words, what Johnson lacks in efficiency he makes up for in volume.
With Corey Dillon out of the fold, and rookie Chris Perry sidelined for most of the season with hamstring and abdominal injuries, Johnson carried the full load for the Bengals in 2004, and the results were good. In fact, Johnson parlayed his performance into a five-year, $26 million deal, so even with Perry likely to make a full recovery, Johnson should continue to be the main ball carrier for the Bengals. Johnson won’t blow anyone away with his speed, but at 5-11, 220 pounds, he’s a hard-running power back who bowls his way over defenders between the tackles and wears down defenses as the game progresses. Johnson’s not much of a receiver – he caught just 15 passes in a full season – and as a result, the more versatile Kenny Watson could spell him on third downs this season. Near the goal line, Johnson was just slightly above league average, scoring on six of 15 attempts (40 percent), and given his similar 2003 percentage (5-of-12, 42 percent), we’d expect more of the same. The key for Johnson will be how many goal-line attempts he gets, but if Carson Palmer develops with his young receiving corps, we’d expect Johnson to match last year’s touchdown total assuming he sees close to as many carries.
A former fourth-round pick, Johnson showed some giddy-up last year in the second half, averaging almost 5.0 per carry and scoring six times. What impressed the coaches most about Johnson in 2003 was his not being Corey Dillon. This year, he’ll have to hold off first-round pick Chris Perry, whose north/south focus will make him the likely choice as goal-line back. The Bengals finished 27th in short-yardage running efficiency, and Johnson scored on just five of 18 carries inside the 10. Johnson hasn’t shown much niftiness or hands out of the backfield, and scouts view Perry as an excellent receiving threat.