The most electric player in the NFL? With all due respect to the likes of Odell Beckham Jr. and Tyreek Hill, this writer’s vote is for Arizona’s David Johnson, and he has eyes on history in 2017. We examine some props for Johnson 2017.
If you are starting to plan for your 2017 NFL fantasy draft, no doubt you will find Arizona running back David Johnson as the No. 1 ranked player overall. The guy is a statistical beast – and more proof you don’t need to waste a first-round pick on a running back. Johnson was the 86th overall pick by the Cardinals in the 2015 draft from little Northern Iowa (the alma mater of new Hall of Famer Kurt Warner).
Just for fun, here were the running backs taken ahead of Johnson that year and a comment:
*-Todd Gurley, No. 10 Rams: He was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2015 but regressed in 2016.
*-Melvin Gordon, No. 15 Chargers: A bust as a rookie but had a strong bounce-back 2016 campaign.
*-T.J. Yeldon, No. 36 Jaguars: Meh. He’s now a backup to Leonard Fournette.
*-Ameer Abdullah, No. 54 Lions: Former Nebraska star can’t stay healthy.
*-Tevin Coleman, No. 73 Falcons: Part of a great 1-2 punch with Devonta Freeman.
*-Duke Johnson, No. 77 Browns: Decent all-around player but nothing special.
The Saints skipped over David Johnson five times, the Browns four times and 16 teams three times. The Cardinals were targeting Abdullah in the second round before the Lions snapped him up four picks before Arizona’s choice.
Johnson rushed for 581 yards on 125 carries as a rookie with eight touchdowns and caught 36 balls for 457 yards and four scores. Last year, he put up 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns on 293 carries and caught 80 balls for 879 yards and four scores. Johnson’s 20 total touchdowns were a franchise record and led the NFL as did his 2,118 all-purpose yards.
He also tied the NFL record for most consecutive games with at least 100 yards from scrimmage in a season with 15. In Week 17 against the Rams with a chance to break the mark, Johnson left the field on a cart in the first quarter with an injured left knee after getting tackled awkwardly and didn’t return. The game meant nothing to Arizona, so the team played it cautious.
On 5Dimes NFL odds for this season, Johnson is given totals of 1,850.5 total yards, 1,225 rushing yards and 14 combined rushing/receiving touchdowns. His goal is to become the third player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards and get 1,000 receiving in a single season – that’s being called a DJ1K1K.
The two who did it are Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (1,381 rushing and 1,048 receiving) in 1999 and Roger Craig (1,050 rushing and 1,016 receiving) in 1985. The NFL record for all-purpose yardage in a season is 2,696 by the Saints’ Darren Sproles in 2011, but he also returned kicks. Johnson returned kickoffs in 2015 but not last year – he’s too valuable. Chris Johnson holds the single-season record of 2,509 yards from scrimmage in 2009.
Arizona coach Bruce Arians says he wants Johnson to get 30 touches a game this year: “I think 30 touches is not too much for him when you're talking about 10 receptions, 20 carries. And that's not 20 times up the middle where he's gonna get busted up. We're going to make sure we take care of him."
Johnson topped 20 carries five times in 2016, with a high of 33 against Seattle in a 6-6 tie. His season high in catches was nine vs. Washington. Johnson averaged 23.3 touches per game. He has a shot to get 1K/1K but must play every game and that’s not something you can easily count on in the NFL. So I’m leaning ‘under’ the yards simply because of the chance for injury. He could miss a game or two and still top the TDs mark.Free NFL Picks: ‘Under’ Both Yards, ‘Over’ TDsBest Lines Offered: 5DimesBet On NFL Futures & Props At SBR's Top-Rated Sportsbooks