David Johnson
David Johnson
29-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 three-year, $39 million contract with the Cardinals in September of 2018.
Garners 47 total yards in loss
RBHouston Texans
September 19, 2021
Johnson rushed six times for 25 yards and secured both targets for 22 yards in the Texans' 31-21 loss to the Browns on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
The veteran was second on the team in carries behind Mark Ingram but only outpaced No. 3 option Phillip Lindsay by one tote. Johnson's work in the passing game was solid, but as long as all three of the veterans are at full health, each will likely have a difficult time putting together noteworthy individual performances. Through two games, Johnson looks to be competing with Lindsay for pass-catching duties out of the backfield as opposed to challenging Ingram for carries, but that naturally could change over time. Johnson will hope for more overall involvement in a Week 3 Thursday night matchup against the undefeated Panthers.
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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.
Broken Tackle %
0.0%
 
Positive Run %
100.0%
 
% Yds After Contact
10.0%
 
Avg Yds After Contact
0.3
 
Rushing TD %
0.0%
 
Touches Per Game
6.0
 
% Snaps w/Touch
27.3%
 
Air Yards Per Game
9.0
 
Air Yards Per Snap
0.41
 
% Team Air Yards
3.2%
 
% Team Targets
12.9%
 
Avg Depth of Target
2.3 Yds
 
Catch Rate
50.0%
 
Drop Rate
0.0%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
4.3
 
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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

364%
222%
202%
101%
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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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This Week's Opposing Pass Defense
How does the Browns pass defense compare to other NFL teams this season?
The bars represents the team's percentile rank (based on QB Rating Against). The longer the bar, the better their pass defense is. The team and position group ratings only include players that are currently on the roster and not on injured reserve. The list of players in the table only includes defenders with at least 3 attempts against them.
CLE
@ Browns
Sunday, Sep 19th at 1:00PM
Overall QB Rating Against
114.7
 
Cornerbacks
63.0
 
Safeties
121.5
 
Linebackers
123.6
 
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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
5' 11"
 
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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7 days ago
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Weekly Rankings: Week 1 Value Meter
13 days ago
Jeff Erickson has the answers for all of your start/sit dilemmas with his Week 1 rankings.
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
Produces as receiver
RBHouston Texans
September 12, 2021
Johnson carried the ball three times for 10 yards in Sunday's Week 1 win over the Jaguars. He added three receptions for 18 yards and a touchdown.
ANALYSIS
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Provides explosive play
RBHouston Texans
August 28, 2021
Johnson carried the ball four times for 30 yards in Saturday's preseason game against Tampa Bay.
ANALYSIS
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Nearly invisible Saturday
RBHouston Texans
August 22, 2021
Johnson did not receive a carry and failed to catch his only target in Saturday's win over the Cowboys.
ANALYSIS
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Usage suggests third-down back
RBHouston Texans
August 17, 2021
Johnson could be the Texans' third-down back, Aaron Reiss of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Barely used in preseason opener
RBHouston Texans
August 15, 2021
Johnson lost one yard on his only carry during Saturday's preseason win over the Packers.
ANALYSIS
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