David Johnson Fantasy Outlook in Week 15 Makes Him a Boom-or-Bust Option

Dan Israeli
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/Getty Images

It has been a lost season for David Johnson in fantasy football, as injuries and the surrendering of his workhorse role in the Arizona Cardinals' offense have contributed to a disappointing year, slotting him in at RB23 in standard scoring formats.

Johnson has been surpassed by Kenyan Drake as the lead back in Arizona, having logged far fewer snaps in every game the two have played together since Drake joined the Cardinals prior to Week 9. Johnson did show a pulse in Week 14 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, turning five touches into 53 yards, highlighted by a 24-yard touchdown catch.

Johnson logged 22 snaps in Week 14, which was still 17 fewer than Drake, who led the backfield with a 65 percent snap share. In his return from injury, Week 7 fantasy hero Chase Edmonds played just 11 snaps and saw only one carry.

Awaiting the Cardinals in Week 15 is a home date with the Cleveland Browns, in which the Cardinals are 2-point underdogs, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Cleveland gives up the 17th-fewest fantasy points to running backs, but were gashed by Joe Mixon in Week 14, who ran the ball 23 times for 146 yards and a touchdown, chipping in three catches for 40 yards.

Johnson recently aired some frustration over his reduced playing time. While the Cardinals' coach Kliff Kingsbury did discuss getting Johnson "into a groove," it's unclear if that will result in more carries and/or playing time at Drake's expense.

With most people playing in their fantasy football semifinal in Week 15, it will be impossible to trust Johnson as anything more than a narrative-driven desperation FLEX, who is more valuable in PPR leagues. Drake, meanwhile, is ranked as RB28 in our Week 15 PPR rankings.

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