Chris Johnson has been one of the biggest busts so far in fantasy football. The Titans running back went in the first round of almost every draft and has been abysmal so far. A slow start was expected since he held out of training camp to land a big contract, which he did.
Conditioning and football playing shape were legit concerns considering the lack of off-season activities with the lockout. Johnson had 101 yards rushing on 23 carries against the Browns in Week 4. Besides that, he hasn't topped 53 yards rushing in the other five games.
If you didn't know it was Johnson, you would think you are watching an ordinary running back. He's not hitting the hole with authority and he's shown no burst at all. The offensive line hasn't blocked well, but Javon Ringer gained 31 yards on three carries last week, while Johnson had 18 yards on 10 carries.
Johnson is averaging 2.9 yards per carry. He has 24 catches for 143 yards, so at least that's helped somewhat in PPR leagues.
Would I buy low on Johnson? It depends on what I have to give up. A reader traded Jackie Battle for Johnson. That's the definition of buying low and I would certainly do that. Would I trade Roddy White for Johnson? I wouldn't. I would explore trying to get Johnson, but I wouldn't give up much.
Johnson doesn't look close to the player we saw two years ago. The litmus test is this week. If you own Johnson, you need to play him this week. The Colts are awful defensively and are falling apart. The Colts rank 31st against the run and have allowed nine rushing TDs.
After a tough Bengals defense in Week 9, Johnson gets another awful run defense in the Panthers in two weeks. If Johnson doesn't thrive against the Colts, he could be on the bench for many weeks the rest of the way.