RB David Johnson - Arizona Cardinals

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

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Week 15: vs Cleveland Browns

All RB vs CLE

FBG says: Good matchup. The Cardinals' backfield has been one of the more perplexing situations in the NFL this season, as David Johnson opened the season with sky-high expectations for his first season in Kliff Kingsbury's offense. The Cardinals' offense has run the ball sparingly this season, tallying the 25th-most rushing attempts of any team in the league, but their efficiency has been strong when they do establish the ground game. In recent weeks, Kenyan Drake has emerged as the team's number-one running back, leading the team's running backs in snaps and carries almost every week since he was acquired from Miami. At this point in the season, David Johnson is an afterthought, and Chase Edmonds' health is too uncertain to plug him into the lineup over Drake. While the presence of these two backs prevents Drake from absorbing a bell-cow role in the Cardinals' offense, he remains the most valuable running back in Arizona's backfield down the stretch this season, even if this role does not accompany significant volume. On the season, Cleveland's run defense grades as a below-average unit that has both faced high volume and allowed significant yardage totals on the ground. Leading up to last weekend, the unit was showing signs of improvement, holding four straight starting running backs to under 65 rushing yards. However, last weekend, Joe Mixon gashed this unit for 146 yards and 1 touchdown on 23 carries, reminding everyone what the true identity of this unit is. A soft schedule in recent weeks gave the illusion that Cleveland's run defense had made significant strides as a unit, but their poor performance against the Bengals has seemingly undone much of that work. The team's leading run-stoppers include defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, who has been a top-end interior lineman at most of his destinations throughout his career. Additionally, T.J. Carrie continues to be one of the league's strongest run-supporting cornerbacks. Overall, Arizona's low-volume and high-efficiency rushing attack may post an impressive yard-per-carry at the end of the day on Sunday. However, it is unlikely that the Cardinals provide any running back with the requisite volume to make for a top-tier fantasy option this weekend. In total, this grades as a neutral matchup, as Arizona's low-volume rushing attack should offset their expected advantage on the ground.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDFumLPts
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 22 3 19 0 2 2.0 34 1 0 11.3
15 vs CLE PROJ-Dodds * 5 * * 2.1 * * * *
15 vs CLE PROJ-Tremblay * 4 * * 1.5 * * * *
15 vs CLE 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 14 vs PIT (3 / 19 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 34 / 1 rec)

Johnson played a clear secondary role to Kenyan Drake against the Steelers, but signs of life were present for the veteran back as he showed better movement than recent weeks. Johnson did not see the field until the mid-second quarter but had three highlight runs showing patience to the edge and on another occasion breaking a tackle and turning a loss into a positive play. Johnson was the highlight player of Arizona's struggling passing game this week as well with a split-out chunk touchdown on one of Kyler Murray's best passes of the game. The Browns suspect run defense is up next if Johnson can continue his positive momentum.

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.

More

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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Arizona Cardinals Team Links

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Footballguys Articles

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Schedule

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