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RB Kerryon Johnson - Detroit Lions

6-0, 212Born: 6-30-1997College: AuburnDrafted: Round 2, pick

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Photo: Sergio Estrada, US Presswire

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Week 11: vs Carolina Panthers

All RB vs CAR

FBG says: Neutral matchup. Rookie Kerryon Johnson may be the dynamic runner the Lions have coveted, yet not found, for the last half-decade. He showcased that ability over his first 5 games as the starter, averaging an eye-popping 6.67 yards on those 64 attempts. But he's slowed down majorly on the box score, posting just 110 yards over the last 3 games (3.24 per carry). It's worth noting he's faced three stout run defenses over that span, and that the often-trailing Lions haven't been able to give him much of a rhythm on the ground. Johnson probably isn't as eruptive as he looked during his breakout, but he's almost certainly better than this. It helps his cause that 31-year-old LeGarrette Blount no longer brings anything to the table. Johnson moved forward as the clear face of the Lions ground attack, and while things look dicey for this discombobulated offense, his personal outlook is strong. Johnson is explosive and versatile, and once top guard T.J. Lang returns (possibly this week), he'll again operate behind a somewhat underrated run-blocking line. For the most part, the Panthers' run defense has failed to carry over from its strong 2017. They've tightened up a bit after a shaky start, with long-tenured linebacker Thomas Davis back from suspension. Last Thursday, James Conner became the first runner to reach 50 ground yards in this matchup since Week 6. Still, this clearly isn't the same strength that last season's suffocating group was. They've let 6 of 9 opposing lead backs average north of 4.00 yards a carry after only 8 did it all of last year. The linebackers - even Luke Kuechly - are missing more tackles than usual, and often finding themselves swallowed up inside on tricky runs. Conner found a lot of easy yardage last week, continuing a trend for solid runners with good lines. This unit isn't necessarily weak, but it's not much to fear in fantasy matchups.

Recent Stats and Projections

7 at MIA 38 19 158 0 3 2 21 0 0 17.9
8 vs SEA 48 8 22 0 8 6 69 0 0 9.1
9 at MIN 39 12 37 0 5 3 7 0 0 4.4
10 at CHI 55 14 51 1 6 6 38 1 1 19.9
11 vs CAR PROJ-Dodds * 14 * * 4 * * * *
11 vs CAR PROJ-Tremblay * 14 * * 3 * * * *
11 vs CAR PROJ-Bloom * 14 * * 4 * * * *

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

Percentile ranks

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

Recent Game Summaries

2018 Week 10 vs CHI (14 / 51 / 1 rush, 6 / 6 / 38 / 1 rec)

Kerryon Johnson had a strong game in a loss to Chicago. Johnson has continued to emerge as a centerpiece of the offense and Sunday was no different. He was involved early in the game running as the lead back in the offense throughout the game. Johnson lost goal line carries to LeGarrette Blount earlier in the season but was able to convert his own attempt at the goal line after Blount failed twice. Despite Theo Riddick's return to the offense, Johnson has maintained a role in the passing game, which combined with Riddick's use in the slot, has worked to fill Golden Tate's absence. Johnson's role in the passing game is more than just a check down option, as he was lined up outside and used in wide receiver alignments at different points throughout the game. While Johnson benefitted from check down usage on the final drive in garbage time, he did catch a touchdown pass on a well blocked screen in the second half. Johnson did lose a fumble while trying to gain extra yards at the end of a run but did not miss any time on the next series. Johnson faces Carolina at home next week.

2018 Week 9 vs MIN (12 / 37 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 7 / 0 rec)

After strong performances in recent weeks, Kerryon Johnson had a down game about a Minnesota defense that wreaked havoc at the line of scrimmage. Detroit tried to get the running game established early, but frequent pressure and 10 sacks put Detroit in bad down and distance throughout the game. Johnson was again featured as the lead back but had limited success outside of one drive in the third quarter. Theo Riddick returned to the lineup which knocked Johnson out of the third down role in the offense, but he still managed 5 targets, including a red zone wheel route and a throw along the sideline of the end zone he dropped while attempting a toe tap. Riddick was used more in the formation and in the slot, so Johnson could continue to see targets in as the offense looks to replace the missing production of recently traded Golden Tate. Johnson faces another tough matchup next week at Chicago.

2018 Week 8 vs SEA (8 / 22 / 0 rush, 8 / 6 / 69 / 0 rec)

Kerryon Johnson saw only 14 touches after a season high 21 last week against Miami. Johnson continued his recent trend of starting the game ahead of LeGarrette Blount and had early success on first downs. However, Detroit possessed the ball little in the first half and trailed by two or more scores for all of the second half. That combination limited Johnson's rushing opportunity and forced Detroit into a pass heavy game plan. Johnson benefitted from Theo Riddick's continued absence, handing Riddick's normal work as the third down and hurry up back in the passing game. Johnson is a good pass catcher and the receptions in space allow him to get one on one with defenders where his physicality is a major asset. For the second straight week he whitewashed a defender with a stiff arm. Johnson's receiving game usage should provide an uptick in value when Riddick misses games.

2018 Week 7 vs MIA (19 / 158 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)

Kerryon Johnson took apart the Miami Dolphins defense repeatedly on Sunday. He started off the game early with a chunk gain and repeatedly reeled off big gains. Johnson whitewashed Kiko Alonso with a stiff arm and left Alonso helmetless at two different times. Johnson ran with burst, agility, and physicality while also benefitting from a great game from the Detroit offensive line. He still is sharing time with LeGarrette Blount who is getting goal line work, but Johnson is operating at the clear lead back. His touchdown upside may be capped by Blount, but he is a dynamic three down back.

2018 Week 5 vs GB (12 / 70 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 15 / 0 rec)

Kerryon Johnson saw the first action of the Detroit running backs for the second consecutive week. Johnson continues to operate in a time share with LeGarrette Blount but is clearly the better talent. Johnson was able to get to the edge for multiple chunk gains and is explosive with a finisher's mentality at the end of runs. He also shows good elusiveness forcing defenders to miss. Johnson is behind Blount in the pecking for short yardage and goal line work, as Blount was able to pound in two short touchdowns, but Johnson adds explosiveness and receiving ability Blount does not. The backfield looks like a committee for the foreseeable future, but Johnson has difference making ability any week Blount misses with injury. Johnson did leave the game late and was receiving attention from the training staff when the game was all but over. He did not return and his injury status is important to monitor during the week.

2018 Week 4 vs DAL (9 / 55 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)

Kerryon Johnson saw the first carry of the game for an explosive 32-yard run. Johnson ran as the clear starter through the first drive before later sharing time with LeGarrette Blount. Johnson is the more explosive and versatile of the two, and Detroit's usage of the two has shown a steady progression toward Johnson. Johnson's touchdown run was a good power run where he broke a tackle and ran through another at the goal line.

2018 Week 3 vs NE (16 / 101 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)

Kerryon Johnson became the first Detroit Lions running back to rush for over 100 yards in a game since Reggie Bush in 2013. Johnson was explosive and versatile in the game. Johnson also showed well in pass protection. Johnson can be a three down bell cow but continues to be in a timeshare with LeGarrette Blount.

2018 Week 2 vs SF (8 / 43 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 23 / 0 rec)

Kerryon Johnson worked in a time share with LeGarrette Blount as early as the first drive of the game. Johnson was a clear backup as recently as week three of the preseason, so the change to full blown committee is a positive and quick progression. Johnson added more in the passing game and his work on the perimeter is beyond what Blount can add to the offense. Johnson's workload is capped by the receiving work of Theo Riddick but can continue to expand over the course of the season.

2018 Week 1 vs NYJ (5 / 17 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 20 / 0 rec)

With Ameer Abdullah inactive, Kerryon Johnson was the clear second back behind LeGarrette Blount. Johnson did not get large volume in a game that got out of hand early but looked good in limited carries. He was able to get to the edge and offer more versatility than Blount in the running game. Johnson was also used in the receiving game, where he made a good one-handed catch on a ball behind him. With Blount leaving the game with an injury, Johnson could be in line for a larger role in coming weeks.


Latest News

Lions | Kerryon Johnson has big afternoon (Sun Nov 11, 05:21 PM) - Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson rushed 14 times for a game-high 51 yards and a touchdown in Week 10 against the Chicago Bears and he added six receptions for 38 yards and a touchdown on six targets, although he did lose a fumble in the game.

Our View: Johnson wasn't that effective with the ball in his hands, but he did finish two drives and come through if he was trusted despite the current state of the offense. He'll face a tough matchup against the Panthers next week but will be hard to bench after this one.
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Lions | Kerryon Johnson active for Week 10 (Sun Nov 11, 11:46 AM) - Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (ankle) is active for Week 10's game against the Chicago Bears.

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Lions | Kerryon Johnson likely to play Sunday (Sun Nov 11, 09:04 AM) - Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (ankle) is expected to play in Week 10's game against the Chicago Bears, according to a source.

Our View: Johnson still has a low ceiling and floor in a limited Lions offense without Golden Tate against a tough Bears defense on the road.
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Lions | Week 10 injury report for Detroit (Fri Nov 9, 04:34 PM) - Detroit Lions OG T.J. Lang (neck) and CB Darius Slay (knee) did not participate in practice all week and have been ruled out for Week 10 against the Chicago Bears. LB Eli Harold (shoulder) was limited in practice for a third straight day Friday, Nov. 9, and is listed as doubtful. DE Ziggy Ansah (shoulder), RB Kerryon Johnson (ankle), LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (neck) and TE Luke Willson (shoulder) were also limited in practice Friday and are listed as questionable. RB LeGarrette Blount (knee) was upgraded to full practice Friday and has been removed from the injury report.

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Lions | Kerryon Johnson listed as limited (Thu Nov 8, 04:12 PM) - Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 8.

Our View: The Lions are giving Johnson as much rest as possible during the week. He should be able to play against the Bears and they should use him more for multiple reasons. He's only gotten more than 12 carries twice in a game this year and both times he rushed for over 100 yards. Being committed to the run could also help protect QB Matthew Stafford who was sacked 10 times last week.
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