I’ll flat out cop to something – I have been wrong about Chris Johnson this season. Twice.
During pre-season talk, I was the biggest supporter of CJ2K and said that his disappointing 2011 season was simply an anomaly. This is Chris freakin’ Johnson we’re talking about after all. In terms of fantasy, I had him as my 6th overall pick. Well, in the early going that faith turned out to be misplaced as Johnson looked abysmal in the opening few weeks.
The second time I was wrong about Chris Johnson was when I gave up on him. As CJ2K struggled to increase his production, I lost hope and began to doubt in Chris Johnson to the point where in one fantasy league I turned down an offer of Rashad Jennings, Chris Johnson and Andre Brown for my starting RB Alfred Morris – and I did it without even having to think twice about it.
As they say, the third time’s the charm.
I have watched and re-watched what film I have of Chris Johnson’s outstanding performance against the Buffalo Bills yesterday and it soon became apparent to me that the CJ2K who so terrified offenses a couple of years back is still there. The blazing speed, the dazzling cuts and the amazing agility are all still there. While the Bills have been a rather soft matchup for running backs this season, it was an opportunity for those of us who pay attention to see the truth – that for all of the discussion surrounding Chris Johnson’s problems this season and some of the mistakes he has made at times, he is still the home run hitter that he always was.
Now I’ll admit that a few things still scare me. The Tennessee offensive line is still a mess and quite frankly is the biggest concern here. I’ll also admit that the Titans offense has drastically changed from the days of Vince Young handing the ball to Johnson on what seemed like every single play. I will even accept that while there has been all the challenges around him that Johnson’s inability to take the five or six yards available and instead going for the big break and failing has been a big reason he has put up numbers this season.
Well you know what – I don’t particularly care about any of that.
At the end of the day, one thing is very clear to me – Chris Johnson is still CJ2K. I’m not going to listen to his detractors who have nicknamed him CJ0K. I’m not going to allow the arguments against him to dampen my faith in him again. I am most certainly not going to advise anyone to stay away from him in fantasy football. For me, he is still one of the single most dynamic running backs in the NFL today and all the ability he showed in 2010 is still there. You may not think he can bring it out and show the maturity required to be a consistently elite producer but I certainly do.
Call it faith, call it hope, call it whatever you want – you can keep your labels. To me he only needs one – CJ2K. Chris Johnson – I believe.