RB David Johnson - Arizona Cardinals

6-1, 224Born: 12-16-1991College: Northern IowaDrafted: Round 3, pick 2015

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Week 14: vs Pittsburgh Steelers

All RB vs PIT

FBG says: Tough matchup. David Johnson is by all accounts healthy, but he appears to have settled into a change-up role in the Cardinals offense. It makes sense, as Johnson simply hasn't been a very efficient runner since his rookie year of 2015. Over 43 games since, he's averaged a modest 3.9 yards per carry and 59 a game. And in the meantime, Kenyan Drake has laid claim to the lead role, taking on 51 snaps last week to Johnson's 15. (They shared the field twice.) Perhaps Johnson will pull that closer to even as he heals more, but Drake has been the more dynamic producer. Neither boasts a very strong fantasy floor - especially considering the sorry state of the Cardinals line - but the weekly leader always carries a high ceiling. At the moment, that's clearly Drake, whose speed and quickness project nicely against the Steelers run defense. The Pittsburgh run defense has made for one of the league's stingiest matchups. They're giving up just 3.8 yards per carry, fifth-best in football, and only 5 touchdowns on the ground (second-fewest). This isn't a flawless unit, though, with long-standing problems against quick, speedy backs. It's been a clear pattern for several years, and it's been on full display here in 2019. They're stout in the trenches, where Cameron Heyward and Javon Hargreaves lead a deep, powerful group of space-eaters. And Heyward is a special player, capable of blowing up runs at the point of attack on his own. But at linebacker, the Steelers still badly lack disciplined talent. Rookie Devin Bush is blazing fast, but frequently washed out of position, and veteran Mark Barron remains one of football's weakest run defenders. Unfortunately for the Steelers, the Arizona ground game is built exclusively on speedy runners. But even so, this unit boasts such a strong advantage along the line that that may not matter. They have their liabilities, but have shut down more imposing run games than this one.

Recent Stats and Projections

10 at TB 30 5 2 0 1 1.0 8 0 1 0
11 at SF 9 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
13 vs LAR 15 4 15 0 2 2.0 9 0 0 2.4
14 vs PIT PROJ-Dodds * 5 * * 1.9 * * * *
14 vs PIT PROJ-Tremblay * 4 * * 1.5 * * * *
14 vs PIT PROJ-Bloom * 3 * * 2.0 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs RB 1, RB 12, RB 24, RB 36

Percentile ranks

David Johnson's percentile rank in each category, among RB with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2019 Week 13 vs LAR (4 / 15 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)

Johnson played behind Kenyan Drake yet again and struggled - along with the rest of the offense - against the Rams. Johnson had two non-descript receivers, one as a split out receiver, buried in the second half of the blowout loss.

2019 Week 11 vs SF (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Johnson sparsely played against the 49ers as Kenyan Drake has emerged as the clear starter since his arrival from Miami. Johnson, working through his own injuries, is a shaky bet to see significant work until further notice, seeing only nine snaps and no touches against the 49ers.

2019 Week 10 vs TB (5 / 2 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)

Johnson returned from a two-game absence to a minimal role against Tampa Bay. He started the game but sparsely saw the ball with six touches and looked sluggish compared to his earlier-season self. Amidst his forgettable game was a lost fumble on a reception while in scoring range, stalling a promising drive. While not overly successful himself, newly acquired Kenyan Drake logged 16 touches this week as the clear preferred option despite Johnson returning to active status.

2019 Week 7 vs NYG (1 / 2 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Johnson was stuffed on an early first quarter carry before exiting the game against the Giants, never to return to action. Chase Edmonds ran with the feature role to the tune of 150 total yards and three touchdowns. Johnson's known back injury has prompted Arizona to work out veteran running backs of note in advance of Week 8 as an ominous sign for Johnson's short-term availability considering Arizona's rail-thin running back depth chart.

2019 Week 6 vs ATL (12 / 34 / 1 rush, 8 / 6 / 68 / 1 rec)

Johnson was a question mark on his Week 6 status with a lingering back issue from Week 5, missing the end of the game. However, Johnson was active and atop Arizona's depth chart in snap rotation and touches. Johnson was held in check as a runner with a 15+ yard gain with a strong interior cut as his lone highlight. Johnson did convert a goal line carry for a score after being stuffed on two other occasions earlier in the game and later on a third-and-short conversion. Johnson did his best work as a receiver, being split out regularly and leading the team with eight targets, the fourth time in six games logging at least seven looks in the passing game. Johnson aligned as a split-out receiver regularly with his highlight catch coming on a deep end zone fade, through defensive pass interference, for the mid-fourth quarter touchdown. Johnson emerged from the game without fanfare regarding his back injury entering the week.

2019 Week 5 vs CIN (17 / 91 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 65 / 0 rec)

Johnson missed some of the Bengals game with his back 'locking up', but still saw 20 touches and performing well through a strong snap share. Johnson had his best game on the ground of the season, topping 90 yards and logging three different runs of at least 10 yards. Johnson did not find the end zone but showed a quality run on a successful red zone run as his best opportunity for a score. Through the air is where Johnson had his greatest impact with two chunk plays as a downfield receiver, both showing chemistry with Kyler Murray. The Falcons struggled in Week 1 with Dalvin Cook and David Johnson presents a similar two-way skillset for their Week 6 matchup in Arizona.

2019 Week 4 vs SEA (11 / 40 / 0 rush, 11 / 8 / 99 / 0 rec)

Arizona did not stick with the run game for long against Seattle as they trailed from nearly the outset. Johnson was regularly used as a receiver, including from a split-out alignment, as the leading receiver (yardage and targets) for the team. Johnson had two receptions total 60 yards of his game's tally, one on a breath-taking Kyler Murray play to elude rushers and find Johnson over the middle. Johnson had a 15-yard rush in garbage time to make his pedestrian rushing stat line look even more bleak otherwise. Johnson will look for a better game script against Cincinnati next week.

2019 Week 3 vs CAR (11 / 37 / 0 rush, 9 / 6 / 28 / 1 rec)

Johnson was a second on the team in targets, corralling six receptions to match his Week 1 total and season-high mark. Arizona struggled to stick with the run against Carolina as they fell behind and their offensive line was a weak unit all game. Johnson found the end zone on a perfectly designed (and timed) throwback as Johnson broke a tackle on his way for the red zone score. Johnson did well in short-yardage situations, converting three carries on third or fourth-and one in the game. Johnson had only one chunk run of note, exploiting a huge hole and breaking a tackle for 15 yards, nearly half of his meager rushing total for the game. Johnson nearly added a second touchdown as he was tackled on a red zone carry just before the goal line. Arizona has shown minimal allegiance (or offensive line competency) to stick with the run game for long over the past two weeks as Johnson has 18 carries over the span with Seattle up next.

2019 Week 2 vs BAL (7 / 14 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 rec)

While dominating the market share of the Arizona backfield, Johnson mired through a tough matchup and performance in Baltimore. Johnson missed a chunk of the second quarter with a wrist injury but returned to action. Johnson was stuffed on a screen pass, curiously his lone target of the game and was stifled on the ground outside of a walk-in goal line touchdown late in the second half. Johnson looks to rebound against Carolina next week.

2019 Week 1 vs DET (18 / 82 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 55 / 1 rec)

Johnson was the absolutely workhorse against Detroit, rarely leaving the field for a breather. Johnson's receiving upside was unlocked compared to 2018 as he saw a healthy seven targets and made a highlight touchdown catch down the seam. On the downside, Johnson had a single realistic touchdown opportunity on the ground, running out of bounds at the one-yard-line, logged a drop, and had a chunk run called back by penalty. Solid running lanes were more prevalent than last season with the new Kliff Kingsbury offense and the threat of Kyler Murray alongside Johnson in the backfield. Johnson faces the stingy Baltimore defense in Week 2, which held the hapless Dolphins to 10 carries for 12 yards in Week 1.


Latest News

Cardinals | Kenyan Drake still on top in Arizona (Tue Dec 3, 09:04 PM) - Arizona Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake played 51 offensive snaps to 15 for David Johnson and zero for Chase Edmonds Sunday, Dec. 1, against the Los Angeles Rams.

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14vs Pittsburgh Steelers
15vs Cleveland Browns
16@ Seattle Seahawks
17@ Los Angeles Rams