NFL.com: Arizona Cardinals’ rookie RB David Johnson a potential fantasy football stud

Jul 5, 2015, 1:39 PM | Updated: 1:48 pm
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With the NBA draft behind us, NBA free agency reaching its conclusion and the Major League Baseball schedule stretching out before us like the Red Waste from now until September, the dog days of summer are officially here.

However, this is no time to tarry if you’re a depraved fantasy football participant.

Sure, there’s two months to go before any legitimate football is played on Sundays, but this is the time where fantasy football championships are won! At least that’s what you tell yourself after spending multiple hours maniacally pouring over depth charts, searching for the deepest of fantasy sleepers in your skivvies.

Lucky for you, we’ve taken some of the work (and the shame) out of the equation.

In examining the Arizona Cardinals, it appears as if one player, in particular, has captured the attention of the fantasy football analysts at NFL.com. That player is rookie running back and third-round pick of the Cardinals, David Johnson.

Standing 6-foot-1 and 224 pounds, Johnson not only has the size and athletic ability, but he also has the opportunity. Last year’s starter Andre Ellington is anything but entrenched as the Cardinals’ lead back.

Labeling him as one of this year’s top “deep sleepers,” NFL.com NFL Media writer Alex Gelhar had this to say about Johnson’s prospects this season.

When the Cardinals tried to make Andre Ellington a feature back last year, the results were disastrous. Ellington’s yards-per-carry and yards-per-reception numbers fell sharply, and he missed much of the season with injury. Enter Johnson, whose talents should mesh perfectly with the Arizona offense. Despite being a bigger back, Johnson isn’t as powerful as one would expect, but he has great hands out of the backfield and good straight-line burst. He should be able to make a fantasy impact between the tackles and in the passing game.

Meanwhile, NFL Network reporter James Koh said this about Johnson, who he believes is one of this year’s top “bargains.”

Don’t let the generic name fool you, this dude’s game is anything but nondescript. Out of the mighty Missouri Valley Conference, the Northern Iowa product is a physical beast. Standing at 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, Johnson posted stupid combine numbers. A 4.50-second 40-yard dash, 41.5-inch vertical, 10-foot broad jump and 25 reps on the bench. Our resident draft expert, Mike Mayock, loves him. But more importantly, the Arizona Cardinals love him, spending a third-round pick to bring him to their squad.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, the Cardinals already have Andre Ellington, dummy! To which I would reply, Jeremy Hill. Remember when Cincinnati already had an emerging star in Gio Bernard and then surprisingly took Hill in the second round? Hill emerged as the workhorse back and the Bengals ended up with an awesome two-back rotation. I see a similar situation developing in the desert. Not only does Johnson have all of the physical characteristics of a stud early-down back, he is a proven and capable receiver as well. I think Johnson will eventually find himself being drafted in Round 10 or later, but given his size, speed, strength and hands, Johnson has first, yes, FIRST-round potential.

Cardinals wide receiver John Brown was also tabbed as Gelhar’s second-best fantasy “breakout” candidate, while Michael Fabiano called the fleet-footed wideout his seventh-best fantasy “deep sleeper.” Koh called wide receiver Michael Floyd his third-best “breakout” candidate.

Ellington made an appearance in these rankings as well, but in a not so flattering manner, as Gelhar ranked Ellington as his ninth-worst bust heading into the upcoming fantasy season.

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NFL.com: Arizona Cardinals’ rookie RB David Johnson a potential fantasy football stud