Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns
The switch to running backs coach Freddie Kitchens as Browns’ offensive coordinator clearly agreed with Johnson, as he had a team-high nine catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns (on a team-high nine targets) against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. One carry for eight yards isn’t particularly exciting, but Johnson’s increased usage is a promising sign.
Johnson had offered some value in PPR leagues earlier in the season, with four catches in three of the previous five games, but with Todd Haley running the show he never had more than six touches in a game all season before Sunday.
Entering Week 9, the Atlanta Falcons had allowed the most receptions to running backs this season (62) and they allowed six more to Washington Redskins’ running backs on Sunday. So Johnson is sure to find opportunities again, in an even more favorable matchup than he just had in Week 9.
After a Week 11 bye Johnson gets another good matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, with a couple decent matchups against the Houston Texans (Week 13) and the Denver Broncos (Week 15) before the Bengals again in Week 16.
Over the rest of the fantasy regular season and into the fantasy playoffs, Johnson is lined up to be a high-level producer in PPR leagues. Even in standard leagues, there’s some value in adding him based on yardage output.
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