Chris Johnson has been a fantasy beast at times during his career. The name recognition that he has may have a tendency to inflate his ADP, who doesn't want CJ2K now that he is playing for the ground and pound Jets. Before falling into that trap, remember the two most important words from the first sentence of this paragraph. They aren't "fantasy beast", but rather "has been". Johnson is a 29 year old running back who shies away from contact, does not break tackles and may or may not be running on a bad knee. These facts establish a baseline for his value, but they do not mean that he is undraftable.
In 2013 the Jets averaged just a hair under 31 rushes per game, good for 5th in the league. It should not come as a surprise to anyone who pays attention that the Jets are going to run the ball - a lot. The key for your fantasy team is predicting how many of those runs will go to Chris Johnson. According to the New York Post, coach Rex Ryan has said
"I definitely think it's going to be a committee approach,"
when he was asked about the backfield. Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory should both get a solid chunk of the carries and it would stand to reason that Ivory or Powell would receive the goal-line carries as well.
All is not lost for those owners looking to take a chance on Johnson. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg referred to Johnson as a "First-ballot hall of famer" according to nfl.com, showing that he has high regard for the back and may advocate for him. In addition to this, the Jets have been experimenting with moving Johnson around the formation a lot and splitting him out wide. While he does not have the same explosiveness that he did, Johnson could pick up big chunks of yards if the Jets can manage to get him the ball in space.
When you get right down to it, Chris Johnson is being drafted too high at the moment. He has an ADP of mid-fifth round, leaving more desirable options still on the table. Some of the players with a lower ADP than Johnson who I would take before him include: Joique Bell, Stevan Ridley, Ben Tate and Lamar Miller. I would even be on the fence about taking guys like Steven Jackson or Maurice Jones-Drew over Chris Johnson this year. Johnson is surrounded by too many capable backs who are a better fit in the Jets' system. If you see the player formerly known as CJ2K in the late sixth or seventh round on the other hand, draft away and start him with confidence as a flex.
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