David Johnson

David Johnson

30-Year-Old Running BackRB
Houston Texans
2021 Fantasy Outlook
The DeAndre Hopkins trade will forever be viewed as the height of Bill O'Brien's hubris in Houston, but in defense of the player Hopkins was traded for, Johnson actually put together a decent 2020 campaign. A concussion and a stint in the COVID-19 protocols cost him four games, but the former Cardinal might have taken a run at his second career 1,000-yard rushing season if he'd played a full schedule. Johnson is still a useful receiving option out of the backfield and can outrun some would-be tacklers, but he's not as fast or as elusive as he was earlier in his career, and his 9.5 percent broken-tackle rate last season put him in the company of greybeards like Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore rather than lead backs in their primes. O'Brien is finally gone, and while new head coach David Culley has no investment in Johnson, offensive coordinator Tim Kelly is a holdover. The team did stock up on established alternatives in the backfield, bringing in Phillip Lindsay from Denver and Mark Ingram from Baltimore, a situation which could result in a committee or a camp battle to determine who gets first crack at the lead role. Johnson may even be stuck in a passing-down role, with Lindsay or Ingram handling most of the carries. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#118.24
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $5 million restructured contract with the Texans in March of 2021.
Eight touches in season finale
RBHouston Texans
January 10, 2022
Johnson had five carries for 28 yards and caught three of four targets for eight yards in Sunday's 28-25 loss to Tennessee.
ANALYSIS
Johnson had missed four of the previous five games due to a quad injury and stints on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He played 17 snaps, well behind Rex Burkhead, who emerged as the team's top back over the second half of the season. When healthy, Johnson was the team's third-down back, and he finished with 32 catches on 42 targets for 225 yards and a touchdown. As a runner, he carried 67 times for 228 yards without a touchdown. He will enter the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, and it's uncertain, probably unlikely, that the Texans bring him back. The backfield needs a serious upgrade -- Houston finished 32nd in rushing in 2021 after ranking 31st the previous year, but that's just one issue facing the Texans, who need to make a decision on the future of head coach David Culley and navigate the trade of quarterback Deshaun Watson. Johnson may represent unwanted memories of the previous regime under Bill O'Brien, so look for him to ply his trade for another team in 2022.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
See red zone opportunities inside the 20, 10 and 5-yard lines along with the percentage of time they converted the opportunity into a touchdown.
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do David Johnson's 2021 advanced stats compare to other running backs?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Broken Tackle %
    The number of broken tackles divided by rush attempts.
  • Positive Run %
    The percentage of run plays where he was able to gain positive yardage.
  • % Yds After Contact
    The percentage of his rushing yards that came after contact.
  • Avg Yds After Contact
    The average rushing yards he gains after contact.
  • Rushing TD %
    Rushing touchdowns divided by rushing attempts. In other words, how often is he scoring when running the ball.
  • Touches Per Game
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) he is averaging per game
  • % Snaps w/Touch
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) divided by offensive snaps played.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
  • % Targeted On Route
    Targets divided by total routes run. Also known as TPRR.
  • Avg Yds Per Route Run
    Receiving yards divided by total routes run. Also known as YPRR.
Broken Tackle %
11.9%
 
Positive Run %
88.1%
 
% Yds After Contact
62.7%
 
Avg Yds After Contact
2.1
 
Rushing TD %
0.0%
 
Touches Per Game
7.6
 
% Snaps w/Touch
32.9%
 
Air Yards Per Game
6.4
 
Air Yards Per Snap
0.28
 
% Team Air Yards
2.2%
 
% Team Targets
8.0%
 
Avg Depth of Target
2.0 Yds
 
Catch Rate
76.2%
 
Drop Rate
2.4%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
6.1
 
% Targeted On Route
0.4%
 
Avg Yds Per Route Run
0.02
 
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2021
2020
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2016
2021 NFL Game Log
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2020 NFL Game Log
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Snap Counts
Snap %
Houston TexansTexans 2021 RB Snap Distribution See more data like this | See last season's snap counts
#% of Team Snaps

36234%
12066%
30128%
127%
15214%
00%
10610%
4122%
989%
00%
192%
00%
161%
95%
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where David Johnson lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2021 David Johnson Split Stats
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Measurables Review
How do David Johnson's measurables compare to other running backs?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
Height
6' 1"
 
Weight
224 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.50 sec
 
Shuttle Time
4.27 sec
 
Cone Drill
6.82 sec
 
Vertical Jump
41.5 in
 
Broad Jump
127 in
 
Bench Press
25 reps
 
Hand Length
9.63 in
 
Arm Length
31.25 in
 
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring David Johnson
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Kevin Payne digs into the NFL Week 18 offerings at the DraftKings Sportsbook and lines up his favorite sides, props, and a certain parlay involving the Giants as they enter Sunday's game as big underdogs.
NFL Game Previews: Week 18 Matchups
9 days ago
Erik Siegrist previews the Week 18 matchups with game predictions, fantasy projections and DFS picks as the Chargers face the Raiders with a playoff spot on the line.
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Backfield Breakdown: Week 17 Recap & Week 18 Sleepers
13 days ago
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Gameday Injuries: Week 17
15 days ago
Juan Carlos Blanco sorts out another robust injury report on the most critical week of the NFL season for most fantasy leagues.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
It could be hard to separate Johnson's own potential at this stage of his career from the entirely baffling trade that brought him to Houston, but there are reasons to think he will bounce back - at least to some extent - with his new team. Through the first six weeks of 2019 he provided solid production for the Cardinals, amassing 613 scrimmage yards and five touchdowns, but an ankle injury took him out of the starting lineup, and he never got a real chance to reclaim the job as coach Kliff Kingsbury found other backs he liked better. Johnson can still provide decent speed in the open field and strong receiving skills, but he finished 44th in broken-tackle rate in 2018 and would've been 30th last season if he had taken enough carries to qualify. Fortunately, Houston's offensive line could be in position to give him the support he needs as the young core drafted last year prepares to take a step forward. Johnson will not make Houston fans forget All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, for whom he was traded, and it is not clear how much he will share the workload with Duke Johnson (another back with impressive receiving skills), but David might have something left in the tank, and coach Bill O'Brien has every incentive to let him show it.
Johnson was healthy in 2018, but the same can't be said for the offense around him. Josh Rosen's introduction to the NFL was brutal, and the offensive line was made up of revolving doors --- 11 players took at least 100 snaps at guard or tackle. Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald were the only players defenses had to worry about much of the year, so it's no surprise the running back's production suffered in that environment, with his 3.6 YPC a career low. Even with the train wreck around him, Johnson compiled 1,386 scrimmage yards and 10 TDs on 308 touches, displaying his usual speed on the rare occasions when he had room to run. Now he gets to play for coach Kliff Kingsbury, whose offense should spread out the field for both Johnson and No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray. While the offensive line still looks subpar, Murray's speed can help keep defenses honest if Kingsbury installs rollouts, run-pass options and read-options. There's also hope the offense can establish a vertical presence to shift attention from Johnson, as Christian Kirk showed promise before his season-ending foot injury and is now joined by rookie wideouts Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler. The setup for Johnson might not be ideal, but it's at least a step forward from last year, and backup Chase Edmonds doesn't pose much of a threat to the workload.
Coming off his breakout 2016, expectations were sky high for Johnson last year, which made it all the more devastating when his campaign lasted all of 11 carries before a dislocated left wrist landed him on injured reserve. Healthy once again, the 26-year-old will be the focal point of the Arizona offense regardless of whether Sam Bradford or Josh Rosen is under center. Johnson's speed and elusiveness are both elite, and he also has the size and explosiveness to blow through arm tackles and gain yards after contact, along with outstanding receiving skills that make him a genuine three-down threat. New coach Steve Wilks is more defensive-minded than Bruce Arians, but with former Chargers boss Mike McCoy coming in as offensive coordinator, the Cardinals should still be in good hands. McCoy maximized the talents of another prolific pass-catching back, Danny Woodhead, during his time in San Diego. While it will be tough to repeat the 20 touchdowns Johnson scored in 2016 - he needed 58 red-zone carries and 14 red-zone targets to get there - another season with more than 2,000 scrimmage yards is possible given his likely workload. The biggest question for Johnson in 2018 will be health-related - not just for him, but for a veteran Cardinals offensive line that lost both its starters on the left side to injury last year and remade its right side in free agency this offseason. Johnson is entering a contract season and skipped mandatory minicamp while angling for an extension, but he ultimately decided to show up for the start of training camp in late July.
After a dominant finish to his rookie campaign, big things were expected from Johnson in 2016, but it's doubtful even his most enthusiastic boosters foresaw what was coming. The 25-year-old seized the Cardinals' starting job by the throat and never let go, recording at least 100 yards from scrimmage in an NFL-record 15 straight games before finally being held in check by a limited snap count in a meaningless Week 17 contest against the Rams. Along the way he scored 20 TDs, piled up 2,118 combined yards and received 72 red-zone touches, leading the league in all three categories and establishing himself as one of the few true every-down backs left in the modern game. Johnson's 6-1, 224-pound frame allows him to run with some power, but it's his elusiveness and speed in the open field that set him apart as a home run threat, and his 34 runs of 10 yards or more tied him for fifth in the NFL. Bruce Arians' offense also took full advantage of Johnson's pass-catching skills, and his 54.9 receiving yards per game led all NFL backs. That 2016 performance may not even represent his ceiling, though. With Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald both in the twilight of their careers, the Arizona attack may end up relying even more heavily on its young stud RB in the coming years, which is a scary thought for opposition defenses.
After a splashy combine and a third-round selection in the spring draft, Johnson's rookie year stumbled from the gate. A balky hamstring held him down in August, and two ball-security issues from Johnson in Week 4 (one fumble, one dropped touchdown pass) sparked a stunning Rams victory in Arizona. Johnson resided in the Bruce Arians doghouse for the next seven games, limited to 30 inconsequential touches, but when the Cardinals needed the rookie for the stretch run, everything exploded. Johnson racked up 599 total yards and five TDs over the next four weeks, averaging 5.3 yards a carry and securing 14 of 20 targets. His signature performance came in front of a national TV audience — a 187-yard, three-touchdown trampling at Philadelphia. Arians confirmed in spring Johnson will be the team's No. 1 back entering camp, with veterans Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington clearly in the background. Johnson is the rare combination of a home-run hitter and a grinder—someone who can score from anywhere on the field, but also a physical back who finishes runs. He's capable of being an electric receiver. The Cardinals finished the season with a stinker, but they had one of the NFL's best offenses. This is a team you want to invest in, and you need to consider Johnson at any point of the first round.
One of the stars of this year's combine, Johnson parlayed impressive performances in almost every drill into a third-round selection by the Cardinals. While his 6-foot-1, 224-pound frame gives him the appearance of a power back, his skill set is more varied than your typical short-yardage specialist, and his pass-catching skills could eventually make him a three-down back. His career at Northern Iowa didn't always rise to the level of his workouts, however, and despite his size he didn't break too many tackles or hit holes with as much authority as expected. At the outset of training camp, Johnson sustained a Grade 2 hamstring strain, delaying his first practice to Aug. 17. The development precipitated the signing of veteran Chris Johnson, which could push the rookie down the depth chart and out of consideration for many touches to start the regular season. Acting in David Johnson's favor is Andre Ellington's injury history, but interested owners will have to weigh both sides of the equation before selecting him.
More Fantasy News
Off COVID list
RBHouston Texans
January 5, 2022
Houston activated Johnson (illness) off the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
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Remains on COVID list
RBHouston Texans
Undisclosed
January 1, 2022
Johnson (quad) remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of Sunday's game against the 49ers.
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Added to COVID-19 list
RBHouston Texans
Undisclosed
December 27, 2021
The Texans placed Johnson (quadriceps) on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday.
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Sidelined for Week 16
RBHouston Texans
Quadriceps
December 26, 2021
Johnson (quadriceps) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Chargers.
ANALYSIS
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Iffy for Week 16
RBHouston Texans
Quadriceps
December 24, 2021
Johnson (quad) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Chargers after not practicing this week, Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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