Pro Football Talk tweeted that Tampa Bay is "a team to watch as a potential Duke Johnson destination." We're guessing the tweet is based on whispers the site has heard around the league. The fit certainly makes sense considering the Bucs are sporting 1 of the league's worst RB groups in Ronald Jones, Peyton Barber and Andre Ellington. Johnson would immediately become the team's best pass-catching back and could easily emerge as the lead ball-carrier. He's worth a later-round pick in fantasy drafts right now in hopes he finds a new home before Week 1. In Cleveland, though, he'll struggle for even RB3 value in PPR leagues behind Nick Chubb.
The Browns agreed to a 3-year, $15.6 million extension ($7.7 million guaranteed) with RB Duke Johnson on Thursday, NFL Network reports. Johnson already looked likely to hang on to his significant offensive role, and this extension only solidifies that standing. It's especially important given the additions of Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb to the Cleveland backfield this offseason. Johnson is a nice value in current PPR drafting.
Browns run-game coordinator Kirby Wilson says the team wants to have RB Duke Johnson on the field "as much as possible because we believe so strongly in him as a playmaker," according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Week 10 saw Johnson play his largest snap share since the season opener, but last week found him back down a bit: 49% compared with 59%. Johnson has caught 4+ passes in 4 straight games, though, after reaching that number just twice through the 1st 6. He scored on a 27-yard catch last week and totaled 88 yards the game before. Cleveland would be wise to increase his playing time against the Bengals on Sunday.
Browns RB Duke Johnson exited in the 4th quarter of Sunday's game to be checked for a concussion. We'll update his status when we learn more. Johnson previously sustained a concussion in August of 2015.
Update: Johnson cleared the protocol. He'll be available when Cleveland comes out of its Week 9 bye.
Browns RB Duke Johnson has been "doing everything" on offense early in training camp, HC Hue Jackson said. "He can catch out of the backfield. He runs the ball. We line him up in different places where we can get an advantage with him. He is a weapon for us," Jackson gushed. "We are just trying to use him as much as we can, and we do." Isaiah Crowell has established himself as Cleveland's lead back, but there's still room for Johnson. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry on 74 totes last year and hauled in 53 of 74 targets. Only 5 RBs caught more passes. Johnson ranked 30th at his position in PPR points in 2016 and sits in a similar spot in our 2017 PPR rankings. He's coming off the board at RB39 in recent MFL10 drafts.
Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot reports that Browns RB Duke Johnson has been lining up as a slot receiver "and could replace Andrew Hawkins in that role this season." Johnson's receiving skills are no secret, but that specific role should increase his playing time and give the young RB a path to regular touches even if Isaiah Crowell continues to work as the clear lead back. Johnson finished 2016 third on the team in targets (74) and 5th among all NFL RBs in that category. Hawkins finished last year 5th on the team with 54 targets. Johnson's target ceiling for 2017 could reach 90 -- perhaps even higher if WR Corey Coleman struggles further with durability issues.
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