David Johnson
David Johnson
26-Year-Old Running BackRB
Arizona Cardinals
2018 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Cardinals in September of 2018.
Compiles 70 total yards in loss
RBArizona Cardinals
October 18, 2018
Johnson rushed 14 times for 39 yards and brought in all three of his targets for another 31 yards in the Cardinals' 45-10 loss to the Broncos on Thursday.
ANALYSIS
On paper, Johnson appeared to have a tantalizing matchup and opportunity for his first true breakout performance versus a Denver defense that had surprisingly been gashed on the ground this season. However, the game script played out much differently, with the Broncos' three-touchdown first quarter quickly putting an emphasis on the passing game for the Cardinals. Johnson still logged a serviceable 14 carries, but the 25 touches he managed in a Week 4 loss to the Seahawks still serve as his season high. That's a far cry from Johnson's 2016 salad days, when he rivaled Le'Veon Bell for the title of best running back in the league while seeing 377 touches overall. Johnson will look to bounce back from yet another pedestrian outing against the 49ers in Week 8.
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David Johnson NFL Stats
Total
Fantasy/Red Zone
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David Johnson NFL Game Log
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Depth Chart Status
Snap Counts
  • 2018 Offensive Snaps:
    320
  • 2018 Special Teams Snaps:
    0
 
Off Snaps:
ST Snaps:
2016
964
1
2017
46
0
2018
320
0
Measurables Overview

(Compared to other RBs)

Height:   6' 1"
ABOVE AVERAGE
Weight:   224 lbs
ABOVE AVERAGE
40-Yard Dash:   4.50 sec
GOOD
Shuttle Time:   4.27 sec
WEAK
Cone Drill:   6.82 sec
GREAT
Arm Length:   31.25 in
ABOVE AVERAGE
Hand Length:   9.63 in
ABOVE AVERAGE
Vertical Jump:   42 in
ELITE
Broad Jump:   127 in
ELITE
Bench Press:   25 reps
GREAT
Arizona Cardinals Team Injury Report
Questionable
Doubtful
Out
Questionable
Doubtful
Out
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
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
Scores, fumbles in loss to Vikings
RBArizona Cardinals
October 14, 2018
Johnson carried 18 times for 55 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 27-17 loss to the Vikings. He also caught two passes for 15 yards on five targets and lost a fumble.
ANALYSIS
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Scores twice
RBArizona Cardinals
October 7, 2018
Johnson had 18 carries for 55 yards and two touchdowns while catching two of three targets for 16 yards in Sunday's 28-18 win at San Francisco.
ANALYSIS
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Grinds out 112 total yards
RBArizona Cardinals
September 30, 2018
Johnson rushed 22 times for 71 yards and one touchdown during Sunday's 20-17 loss to the Seahawks. He added three receptions for 41 yards on four targets.
ANALYSIS
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Scores receiving touchdown
RBArizona Cardinals
September 23, 2018
Johnson had 12 carries for just 31 yards, but scored on a 21-yard touchdown reception in Sunday's 16-14 loss to the Bears. He caught all four of his targets for 30 yards.
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Could see more work in slot
RBArizona Cardinals
September 18, 2018
Arizona head coach Steve Wilks acknowledged Monday that the team needs to be more "creative" in finding ways to get Johnson the ball in space, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports. "We talked about that," Wilks said, referring to his conversations with offensive coordinator Mike McCoy regarding Johnson's usage. "We've got to utilize David from the standpoint of getting him out of the backfield, putting him in the slot, putting him out there to try and create that matchup that we need."
ANALYSIS
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