With the NFL regular season coming up in September, fantasy football rankings have already begun and an Arizona Cardinal could be a big reason why fantasy owners win their league this year.
SI.com writer Micheal Beller created a list of the top ten fantasy running backs in 2016, and he has David Johnson as the no. 5 back in the the NFL.
Chances are if you grabbed Johnson off waivers last year, you won your league. Or at least came very close. A bit player for Arizona’s first 11 games, Johnson was one of the best fantasy weapons over the last five weeks of the season, running for 442 yards, catching 17 passes for 216 yards and hitting pay dirt five times. He enters this season as the unquestioned starter, and it’s easy to see why that should be a great spot. The Cardinals offense figures to be among the best in the league, with Carson Palmer, Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and an impressive line surrounding Johnson. Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington are still in Arizona, and both will have roles in the offense. Johnson’s appeal this season is strong and easy to see, but given the company, he does carry some risk at his ADP.
Even with Chris Johnson and Ellington in the backfield last year, David Johnson ran for 581 yards and eight touchdowns. Chris Johnson had more rushing attempts and yards, with 814, but had less success finding pay dirt, with only three touchdowns. Ellington also added three touchdowns and 289 yards for the Cardinals.
David Johnson’s pass-catching abilities helped move the chains and spread out the defense last season. He caught 36 passes for 457 yards and four touchdowns. Ellington had 15 receptions for 148 yards, while Chris Johnson reeled in six passes for 58 yards and neither scored a touchdown.
With 36 receptions and four touchdowns, David Johnson was fourth on the team in receiving, only behind Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and Michael Floyd.