Fantasy Football: 5 Things We Learned in Week 10
Welcome Back, David Johnson
David Johnson really gave us a scare at the start of this year. The Arizona Cardinals looked downright putrid for the first few weeks before moving on from Sam Bradford at quarterback in mid-September and elevating Byron Leftwich to offensive coordinator in mid-October. Since then -- and knock on wood -- things have started to get a little better for the struggling team.
One of the biggest storylines from their offensive struggles was their deeply uncreative usage of Johnson, one of the most dynamic and athletic running backs in the league. Virtually every run play called for Johnson was an inefficient run up the middle behind their backup center. Even more concerning was that he was running very few routes relative to his landmark 2016 season, and the routes he was running were for very short passes -- not exactly fantasy gold.
That started to change in Week 8 before the Cardinals bye. He only posted 12 fantasy points, but he was able to post multiple receptions of over 10 yards. It was a big step in the right direction, and that trend continued after their bye week. In their Week 12 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Johnson truly looked like a wide receiver catching the ball. He tore up the Chiefs defense through the air, catching 7 of 9 targets and cruising to 85 yards and a touchdown. Pending Monday Night Football, his receiving performance alone would have landed him among the top 12 wide receivers in Week 10.
The receiving usage was vital to Johnson's dominance in years past, and it looks like it's returned. Of course it would be foolish not to mention that he also saw 21 carries in the game, which he took for 98 yards and another touchdown. It was the most rushing yards he's had in a game since November 2016.
Byron Leftwich might be new to the offensive coordinator position, but it seems like he's at least doing alright by David Johnson. Johnson is finally living up to the draft capital fantasy managers used on him this summer.