David Johnson Could Have Bounce-Back Fantasy Season in Cardinals' Revamped Offense

Max Staley
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen
facebooktwitterreddit

Cover Photo: Getty Images

Though he hasn't really shown it over the past two seasons, David Johnson has proven he can be one of the best all-around running backs in the NFL. In 2016, Johnson tallied 2,118 yards from scrimmage and added 20 total touchdowns, establishing himself as both a premier runner and receiving threat.

Unfortunately, Johnson missed most of the 2017 season with a broken wrist, and he had an underwhelming return in 2018 on a dreadful Arizona Cardinals' roster.

However, the Cardinals have seemingly executed a complete overhaul of their offense this offseason, which could lead to a bounce-back year for Johnson and his fantasy owners in 2019.

Arizona's new head coach Kliff Kingsbury has developed a reputation as an innovative offensive mind, and he'll have no shortage of weapons in 2019. With Kyler Murray, a dynamic pair of rookie wide receivers, and Kingsbury's Air Raid offense, the Cardinals should have a bunch of incoming talent.

Arizona's offense mustered only 14.1 points per game (PPG) last season, which ranked dead last in the league by nearly a full 6.0 PPG. So, if Kingsbury manages to mesh all of the new players with the Cardinals' incumbent starters, this offense could take a huge step forward next season.

With Johnson surrounded by a better supporting cast, defenses likely won't be able to key in on him, which could allow him to return to his 2016 form.

In fact, one of the primary reasons Johnson was less effective last season was because he was seemingly misused. Johnson is one of the best pass-catching RBs in the NFL, though he was targeted only 76 times last season.

That's 44 less targets than he recieved in 2016. Johnson actually had more receptions in 2016 (80) than he had targets in 2018 (76). To put that into perspective, that's fewer targets than middling talents like Nyheim Hines (81) and T.J. Yeldon (78) had last season. Clearly, Kingsbury needs to prioritize getting Johnson more involved in the passing game.

Arizona's offense figures to be much improved in 2019, and Johnson looks like one of the primary beneficiaries. If Kingsbury uses Johnson in the passing game like Bruce Arians did in 2016, Johnson could be back in the conversation for top fantasy RB next season.


Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today. New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.


Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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.

facebooktwitterreddit