Kerryon Johnson Fantasy Football Outlook & Value 2019

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Position Ranking- RB17, ADP- 3.11, Auction Value($200)- $26, Team- DET, BYE- 5

For years, the Detroit Lions lacked a go to running back in their offense. But after Kerryon Johnson’s encouraging rookie season, that may change. Johnson only played 10 games thanks to injury, but he was having a very impressive start to his career before he went down. The Lions replaced their offensive coordinator, and it appears that the Lions will try to become a more run oriented team. Kerryon Johnson may very well become the focal point of the Lion’s offense.




Matt Patricia’s first season with the team did not go well, and he seems to already be on a hot seat. The Lions have been stuck in mediocrity for years, and their starting quarterback Matthew Stafford isn’t getting younger. If they want to become contenders with this core, they better start as soon as possible. Johnson seemed to provide a spark in the Lions offense when he was playing, and he might very well be the x-factor that’ll determine the Lions ceiling this season.


Despite starting just 7 games, Kerryon Johnson was incredibly efficient in his rookie season, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. The Lions offensive line was pretty mediocre, but Johnson was still able to be a force in the ground game. With another year of experience and an offensive coordinator that will utilize him more, Johnson has the opportunity to cement himself as one of the premier backs in the league. His chemistry with Stafford will likely improve, meaning his receiving production might see a boost as well. His ceiling is 1400 rushing yards, 500 receiving yards, and 12 total touchdowns.


Even if he had a promising start, Johnson is still just a rookie that played in just 10 games and started 7. We’ve seen other rookies before that proved to be one hit wonders and statistically declined after their first season (Alfred Morris comes to mind). It’s also worth noting that he suffered a knee sprain, and though it’s just a one-off injury so far, that could soon change if he doesn’t take care of his body properly. It also doesn’t help he’ll have to play both Minnesota and Chicago twice a year, as both are one of the best defensive teams in the league. Johnson has the makings of a future star but there’s no guarantee he’ll reach that level. He could end up battling a sophomore slump and more injuries, and that might limit his production this year. His floor is a 700 rushing yard, 200 receiving yard, 5 touchdown season.

What to Expect

Detroit LionsKerryon Johnson is currently ranked as the 17th best running back and has an auction value of $26. He’s anticipated to be drafted in the 3rd round. Johnson’s auction value isn’t great or terrible. There are some slightly better options that provide more bang for their buck, but at the same time it isn’t a gross overpay. If you’re a believer in the Lions, then there’s no major reason not to take Johnson.

He’ll likely be a RB2 for you, with the potential to give RB1 production. The Lions are seemingly facing a crossroads. There have been rumblings concerning Matt Patricia’s job security and even some whispers about Stafford. Another mediocre season won’t do much to quiet those rumors. The Lions finally seem to have the running back of the future in Johnson, and they’ll be relying on him to carry the brunt of the ground game. I expect Johnson to live up to those expectations and have a quality season. I think he’ll rush for 1300 yards, gain 400 yards through the air, and find the end zone 11 times.

Despite being born in Orange County growing up as a die hard Lakers fan, his fandom is pretty diverse and extends as far as Syracuse University. Aside from sports journalism and analytics, he’s passionate about video games and critiquing movies. Eventual goals include ownership of the entire NBA and NFL.

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