Ty Johnson Injury Gives J.D. McKissic and Paul Perkins Improved Fantasy Outlook in Lions' Backfield

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 03:  Ty Johnson #31 of the Detroit Lions in action against the Oakland Raiders at RingCentral Coliseum on November 03, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions v Oakland Raiders | Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Already plagued by injuries with Kerryon Johnson on IR and Matt Stafford sidelined, things keep getting worse for the Detroit Lions.

Ty Johnson, the leader of their already-thin backfield, went down with an injury in the first half against the Chicago Bears, and he headed to the locker room for evaluation. That leaves J.D. McKissic and Paul Perkins as the Lions' top-two RBs.

Johnson hasn't produced much with Kerryon on the shelf, but he did notch 16 carries and seven targets over the last two games, playing 61 percent of the Lions' offensive snaps last week.

Working primarily as a receiver out of the backfield, McKissic has seen at least three targets in four straight games, though he's also yet to see more than five carries in a game this year. Perkins has only 23 receptions since his 2016 rookie season, and with Ty Johnson out, McKissic's role as the primary passing-down back is even safer.

His lack of rushing volume does create some room for Perkins to offer upside as well, though. Perkins has barely seen the field for Detroit, playing just nine snaps and carrying the ball five times since being signed in Week 6. At this point he stands to be the primary early-down and short-yardage back almost by default.

A potential concussion could turn this into an extended absence for Johnson, which would open the door for McKissic and Perkins as potential fantasy football sleepers, as long as Johnson is sidelined.

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

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