35-Year-Old Running Back – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Football Outlook
There was no outlook written for Larry Johnson in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Larry Johnson Contract Information:
Cut by Miami in September of 2011.
Johnson is on the Bengals' radar, according to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network.
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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.
Larry Johnson: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Johnson is clearly behind Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas (who is dealing with a hamstring issue) at this point, but he still has some ability as a downhill runner, which gives him some value as an insurance policy and perhaps as a complement in the Miami backfield.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)That he was originally cut is an acknowledgment that he would be clearly behind Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas, but Johnson still has some ability as a downhill runner, a trait that gives him some value as a complementary player/insurance policy.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Johnson had a 22-yard touchdown in the Dolphins' last preseason game, but 46 yards on 12 carries in his final two games just didn't cut it. This leaves Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas atop the depth chart at running back in Miami.
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Larry Johnson.
Johnson hasn’t even reached 1,500 career carries, but he’s already turning 31 this season and hasn’t topped 875 rushing yards since 2006. He didn’t score a single touchdown last year, and while he showed some improvement after joining the Bengals midseason, it’s tough to argue his awful performance (2.9 YPC) in Kansas City was due to a poor offensive line when you consider Jamaal Charles got an NFL-high 5.9 YPC under the same circumstances. Johnson now joins a Washington backfield with Clinton Portis, Willie Parker and even the promising Ryan Torain competing for carries, which doesn’t bode all that well for a back in the decline phase (though Portis and Parker are both declining as well, and Torain is about as injury prone as they come).
Johnson ran for just 874 yards and five touchdowns last season, missing four games for disciplinary reasons. Once a workhorse who set the single-season record with 416 carries in 2006, Johnson received 20 rushing attempts in a game only once after Week 4, averaging just 12.5 totes over the final four contests. Heï¿½s also irrelevant in the passing game, catching just 12 passes last year. Still, he did gain 4.5 YPC, his highest mark since 2005. Johnson is 29 years old, but because he sat behind Priest Holmes at the beginning of his career, his mileage remains relatively low. Heï¿½s now two years removed from that 416-carry season, but last yearï¿½s big bounce back in YPC suggests thereï¿½s still something left in his legs. Johnsonï¿½s status within the Chiefs organization is tenuous, but he attended voluntary OTAs in June and ran with the first team, and the team didnï¿½t address the position in the draft. Jamaal Charles impressed during limited work last season, but Kansas City doesnï¿½t have much depth at running back, so Johnson could stay put, even with new coach Todd Haley taking over. Haley will implement a pass-heavy philosophy, but with Matt Cassel upgrading the quarterback position and Dwayne Bowe emerging as a star, the Chiefsï¿½ offense could be sneaky productive. With Tony Gonzalezï¿½s departure, Johnson could also be even more involved in the red zone. His 17 goal-line carries tied for fourth-most in the NFL last season, and that was in just 12 games, so his scoring potential is high, even if Haley likes to throw near the goal line.
Coming off a 2005 season in which he set an NFL record with 416 carries, Johnson felt the aftereffects last year, gaining just 3.5 YPC before a foot injury ended his season after eight games. After racking up 40 TDs the previous two seasons, Johnson also was held to just four scores last year. He was starting to come on before the injury, however, scoring all four of his touchdowns and piling up 371 yards during his last three contests. He was also on pace to shatter his career-high in receptions. Johnson is a bruising runner who is extremely physical. He sheds would-be tacklers with ease and punishes opposing defensive backs when he reaches the second level. Johnson will turn 29 this season, but since he didn’t become a full-time back until later in his career, his mileage is still relatively low. However, it remains to be seen just how much that 416-carry season affects him long-term. Even on a poor offense and in a half season of work, Johnson saw nine goal-line carries, so he remained on pace with the league-leaders. Kansas City's offense is abysmal, as its 14.1 points per game last season ranked second lowest in the league. Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez are nice complementary weapons on offense, but quarterback remains a huge question. Brodie Croyle is the likely starter, but his performance (5.4 YPA) thus far suggests defenses can focus their attention on stopping the ground game. After carrying the ball just 158 times last year, Johnson should enter 2008 with fresh legs, and he’s already called himself 100 percent recovered from last year's foot injury.
While Johnson’s 2006 season might have fallen short of the high expectations created by his huge 2005 campaign, 2,199 total yards and 19 touchdowns isn’t too shabby. Still, in 70 more carries, Johnson gained just 39 more yards than during the previous year and scored three fewer times on the ground. A punishing runner, Johnson is as physical as any back in the game. On 25 goal-line carries, he found the end zone 15 times, which is an elite 60-percent clip. There are some concerns, however, as Johnson is coming off an NFL-record 416-carry season. Historically, many backs suffer significant drops in production after shouldering extreme workloads. Johnson didn’t accumulate much mileage earlier in his career, though, as he didn’t become a full-time back until mid-2005, so that could mitigate the lingering wear and tear. While last year’s heavy workload is one concern, there are other issues that might be even more pressing regarding Johnson’s 2007 outlook. The Chiefs offense as a whole doesn’t figure to be very good, whether it’s on account of coach Herm Edwards’ predictable play calling or questions at quarterback. Damon Huard played well last season, but the team is likely to hand the reins to Brodie Croyle at some point, meaning a signal caller with seven career pass attempts could take the snaps. Another big worry is the Chiefs’ offensive line, as the once dominant unit lost Will Shields to retirement in the offseason. It was a group in flux before Shields’ departure, and now, it could be in major trouble. Johnson's performance since entering the league in 2003 has allowed him to void the final two years of his rookie deal, and as a result, he'll be a free agent in 2008. He is grossly underpaid and wants a massive contract, so trade rumors surfaced during winter. Some have placed the odds of a training camp holdout at 50-50, but either way, Johnson should eventually find himself on the field this year. Assuming it’s with the Chiefs, expect them to rely on him heavily, particularly in the red zone – his 84 carries there last season easily led the league.
Last season, Johnson had to wait coming out of the Chiefs’ bye in Week 6, before he received even 10 carries in a game. Think about that for a minute. LJ rushed the ball fewer times in his first four games combined than he did in Week 11 against the Texans, yet by season’s end still managed the third-highest yardage total in the league. The pace he was on over the season’s final nine weeks was staggering – he averaged just over 150 yards on just under 30 carries a game. As for Johnson in 2006, there is very little to dislike here. At 6-1, 230, he’s a powerful downhill runner with great acceleration who is equally adept at making tacklers miss or simply pounding through them. His former status as Holmes’ backup has also kept him fresh and low-mileage. The Chiefs have lost nothing from an offensive line that has been among the best in the game for years now. Additionally, Johnson has little competition for touches in the red zone (Tony Gonzalez had just a dozen passes thrown his way inside the 20 in 2005) and scored on nearly a quarter of his red-zone carries last season (16-of-65). He even contributes in the passing game, though mostly in the flat as Kansas City looked for ways to get him open in space where he can do the most damage. The worst things you can say about Johnson heading into 2006 are that he hasn’t yet shown the ability to hold up under a full 16-game workload and that he plays in arguably the toughest division to run in (San Diego and Denver finished 1st and 2nd in rushing yards allowed/game in 2005). But given his size and clean bill of health there are no red flags to indicate a breakdown is on the horizon, and Johnson beat both the Chargers and Broncos for 130-plus yard games during his nine-game sprint to the finish line. If any back in the NFL has the potential to explode for a 2,000-yard, 25-TD season for the ages, it’s Johnson. Other elite RBs might seem like slightly safer, or at least more established players to grab first overall in your draft, but Johnson is the one you’ll kick yourself for passing over.
If you’re trolling for upside in the middle rounds, this is the guy to get. Over last five games of the season, while Priest Holmes and Derrick Blaylock were out, Johnson rushed for 498 yards on 99 carries (5.0 yards per), caught 17 passes for 233 more yards and scored 10 touchdowns. Prorated over a full season, those numbers come out to 1,594 yards rushing, 54 catches for 746 receiving yards and a whopping 32 touchdowns. And while the Chiefs played Oakland twice and Tennessee during that stretch, they also ran roughshod over a tough Broncos defense and played at San Diego. Of course, it’s easy to take a small sample and come up with crazy numbers when extrapolating over the long haul, but given Johnson’s size (6-1, 230 pounds), his ability to hit the hole quickly and find cutback lanes and that he’s running behind arguably the best offensive line in pro football, Johnson has as much upside as any back in the draft. The central problem for Johnson is that he’s Holmes’ backup. And while Johnson should spell Holmes fairly frequently and see more work than a typical reserve, it would likely take a Holmes injury for Johnson to see more than 30-40 percent of the Chiefs’ carries. But given Holmes’ age and injury history, Johnson is worth a middle-round flier, and if you already have Holmes, you might even want to take Johnson a round early for insurance.
Priest Holmes (check the per-carry averages) wasn’t much better than replacement value the second half of last season, and Johnson is sure to do some significant damage behind Kansas City’s outstanding offensive line, should the overworked Holmes get injured.