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David Johnson - Fantasy Points Outlook

Basic Stats Basic Stats

David Johnson


#32 Running Back

132 Projected Points

ADP: 7.10
Bye: 10
Experience: 6 Yr(s)
Age: 29
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 224
40 Time: 4.51

2021 Projections & Outlook


#32 Running Back

132 Projected Points

ADP Rush Atts Rush Yds Rush TDs 100 Fum Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs
7.10 151 613 5 1 1 41 354 1

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Basic Stats Preseason Player Analysis

What You Need to Know:

  • Johnson ranked 17th among RBs in PPR points per game and 15th in non-PPR in his Texans debut last year.
  • He missed 3 games with a concussion and a 4th after landing on the COVID list as a high-risk close contact.
  • Johnson scored as a top-24 PPR RB in 9 of his 12 outings. That 75% rate was tied for 8th best.
  • His 3 biggest fantasy outings came in his final 3 games. Johnson ranked 6th, 4th and 11th among RBs in PPR points those weeks.
  • Among 47 RBs with 100+ carries last year, Johnson ranked 29th in Elusive Rating, 31st in Pro Football Focus rushing grade and 23rd in Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
  • Among 37 RBs with 30+ targets, Johnson ranked 29th in yards per route run and 33rd in PFF receiving grade.
  • Johnson averaged 16.1 opportunities (carries + targets) per game last year -- 22nd most.
  • That volume is in jeopardy this coming season after the Texans …
    • Hired a new GM in Nick Caserio and a new HC in David Culley
    • Signed RBs Phillip Lindsay and Mark Ingram in free agency
  • Lindsay beat Johnson in PFF rushing grade last year, but Johnson led the way in Elusive Rating. Ingram trailed both guys by a healthy margin.
  • Johnson is easily the most accomplished pass-catcher of the trio. He’s averaged 3.3 catches and 34 yards per game for his career vs. Lindsay’s 1.8 catches and 11 yards and Ingram’s 2.0 catches and 14 yards.
  • With Deshaun Watson’s Texans future on the ropes and WR Will Fuller gone, this could be 1 of the worst offenses in the league. The other QBs are Tyrod Taylor and rookie Davis Mills. The top 5 WRs figure to be Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb, Nico Collins, Keke Coutee and Chris Conley.
  • The 2020 Texans offensive line ranked 27th in both Pro Football Focus’ run-blocking grades and Football Outsiders’ adjusted line yards.
  • 3 of 5 starters return from that group: LT Laremy Tunsil, RT Tytus Howard and LG Max Scharping.
  • The Texans traded for former Patriot Marcus Cannon, who’s expected to start at RG. He opted out of the 2020 season and received middling Pro Football Focus grades the previous 2 years.
  • C Nick Martin is expected to be replaced by Justin Britt, who tore an ACL in October of 2019 and missed all of 2020.

Draft Sharks Bottom Line:

Johnson was a nice fantasy asset last year, finishing top 17 in points per game across scoring formats.

His situation looks much shakier heading into 2021, though. He’s playing under new HC David Culley and will face added competition from arrivals Phillip Lindsay and Mark Ingram. Plus, Houston’s offense figures to struggle without QB Deshaun Watson for part or all of the season.

Johnson could still provide RB3 or flex value if he remains the backfield’s lead ball-carrier and pass-catcher. But if this turns into a 3-man committee, you’ll want to stay away.


Recent Shark Bites View All Shark Bites »

Texans OC (and play-caller) Tim Kelly talked up a higher volume run game at OTAs. “I’ve got to do a good job calling more runs and letting our backs and line get into a rhythm as far as how that game’s being played out up front,” he said via the Houston Chronicle. “Each year you go into the offseason looking at different schematic ways and personnel ways you can improve, and we feel like we’ve done that.” RB coach Danny Barrett called the backfield a “healthy competition,” with presumed starter David Johnson, Mark Ingram, Phillip Lindsay and Rex Burkhead in the mix for touches. Houston clearly has room to run more after ranking 29th in run rate last season. Still, it’s tough to get behind any piece of this backfield — especially if Deshaun Watson isn’t under center.

View all David Johnson Shark Bites »

The Texans and RB David Johnson have agreed to a restructured 1-year contract. He'll make "up to" $6 million with $4.25 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It's a pay cut from the $8 million Johnson was originally scheduled to make this season -- but it should lock him in as Houston's lead back in 2021. Johnson averaged a career-best 4.7 yards per carry in his Texans debut last year, finishing with 691 rushing yards and 6 scores in 12 games. He added a 33-314-2 receiving line to finish 16th among RBs in PPR points per game.

View all David Johnson Shark Bites »

Texans RB David Johnson has been activated from the COVID list. He'll return for Sunday's game against the Colts but only sits in RB3 territory in the Week 15 Rankings.

View all David Johnson Shark Bites »

The Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson reports that Texans RB David Johnson landed on the COVID list as a high-risk close contact. That means he'll be cleared for Week 15 if he avoids a positive test. We'll keep an eye on Johnson this coming week.

View all David Johnson Shark Bites »

Texans RB David Johnson has been placed on the COVID list. He's out for Sunday's game against the Bears and is uncertain for Week 15 and beyond. His absence puts Duke Johnson back in the lead role this weekend. He averaged 11 carries and 3.3 targets in 3 games in that role earlier this year. Against Chicago's 4th-ranked RB defense, Duke is just a low-end fantasy option.

View all David Johnson Shark Bites »

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