Ty Johnson Fantasy Value Rises as Handcuff to Kerryon Johnson

Dan Israeli
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The Detroit Lions parted ways with veteran plodder C.J. Anderson ahead of Week 3, creating a shift in the team's running back depth chart. The biggest beneficiary looks to be rookie Ty Johnson, who is now the clear-cut handcuff in fantasy behind starter Kerryon Johnson.

A sixth-round rookie out of Maryland, Ty received just one carry in Week 1, but saw his role increase in Week 2 with seven total touches that he turned into 36 yards. The rookie was already working ahead of Anderson in Detroit's second game, and now will only have J.D. McKissic to compete with for RB snaps behind Kerryon.

Much like Darwin Thompson of the Kansas City Chiefs, Ty has generated a lot of buzz in the fantasy community despite being a sixth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. A four-year player for the Terrapins, he averaged 7.6 yards per carry and is known for his blazing speed. Ty checked in with a 4.45 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

He only tallied 29 receptions over 43 games at Maryland, but did average 11.0 yards per reception and was touted for his pass-catching ability in training camp. He will likely compete with both Kerryon and McKissic for third-down work.

While he makes sense as a handcuff for Kerryon owners, Ty also has standalone value considering Detroit has been hesitant to give its incumbent starter too many touches thus far.

Kerryon only received 12 carries in Week 2's win over the Los Angeles Chargers, and his snap share actually went down from 57 percent in Week 1 to 54 percent in Week 2. The Lions' starter also carries some injury risk, as he missed six games last season.

Ty is not a viable start just yet, with the Philadelphia Eagles on tap in Week 3. He's owned in just 2 percent of Yahoo! leagues though, and he's worthy of a flier, especially if you're a Kerryon owner.


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