Once upon a time, Larry Johnson was Fantasy relevant.
He still is – although perhaps as a cautionary tale of too much complaining, not enough production.
It’s too bad because we’ve seen some great production from him even in the last two, stunted years.
Maybe it was the immense number of carries in 2005 & 2006 (336 & 416 respectively).
Whatever the cause, he has been in trouble or hurt often after the last few years.
It didn’t help his numbers last year that he caught just 12 balls after several seasons of 30+ catches. It looks unlikely that the Chiefs will utilize him to catch out of the backfield much this season, although with All-World Tight End Tony Gonzalez has gone of to Atlanta.
So, it’s possible LJ could get a few more catches since Brad Cottam is rumored to be staying in to block a lot.
We’ve seen too much of a dip to think Johnson is ready to bounce back anytime soon. Especially with a shaky offensive line, an unproven quarterback (albeit coming of a tremendous year) throwing to a small number of offensive weapons and probably less than desired as the defense struggles to stop opposing drives and get the offense reps.
Johnson still has some upside but is nowhere near the back who once occupied a lounging spot in the preseason top ten rankings.
The best you can do is draft him for depth and hope he can put in a performance for a few games like he did week 3 vs Atlanta (121yds, 1TD), week 4 vs Denver (198yds, 2TDs) or week 16 vs Miami (108yds, 1TD).
But good luck figuring out when to start him. Thanks, but I think I’ll pass, regardless of perceived value – even in the fifth or sixth rounds.