Cover Photo: Norm Hall/Getty Images


Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson came into the 2018 NFL season as one of the top fantasy players at any position, but through three weeks he hasn't delivered on any of that hype. Johnson was looking to make a triumphant return, after missing almost all of 2017 with a wrist injury, but his production has been nearly non-existent so far under new head coach Steven Wilks.


Former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians thinks he knows why. 

Arians went on to say: "I just don’t like the use of David Johnson in this offense. David Johnson is a premier wide receiver and I don’t see him out of the backfield creating the mismatches that he should be out creating and opening up things for Larry Fitzgerald."

It would also help to have Johnson in the game during crucial fourth-quarter third downs, which the Cardinals did not do Sunday against the Chicago Bears. Instead, they handed off to Chase Edmonds and failed to convert. Arians' claims are also at least slightly supported by Johnson's lack of production. The back has caught just 10 passes for 63 yards and one touchdown so far this season and has run the ball 34 times for 116 yards and one touchdown.


When Johnson was playing under Arians, he averaged 23.3 touches a game, but so far in 2018, he's averaging just 14.7 touches per game and the Cardinals offense looks horrendous. Fantasy-wise, none of this bodes well for Johnson's future production.

At this point in time, given Arians' comments and Johnson's stats, the outlook for Johnson is worth monitoring. He has too high of a ceiling to bench or cut him, but don't go into your matchup expecting Johnson to carry your team to victory, like he did in 2016.

As for the Cardinals themselves, if they want rookie quarterback Josh Rosen to be successful moving forward, it would be in their best interest to try and get the ball to their best player a little more often.


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Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.