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RB Duke Johnson - Cleveland Browns

5-9, 207Born: 9-23-1993College: MiamiDrafted: Round 3, pick 2015

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Photo: Ken Blaze, US Presswire

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News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Oct 15): Johnson was back in the box score in a meaningful way in Week 6 as Baker Mayfield found him in the passing game and he showed burst in the running game. The Browns need to find a way to use him more, but in the meantime, he'll be decent depth heading into a quartet of matchups that should be pass heavy.

Week 7: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

All RB vs TB

FBG says: Tough matchup. The Browns struggled in all facets of the game last week. Carlos Hyde struggled mightily as there was very little room for him to work as the Chargers defense was comfortable going one-on-one with receivers and loading the box against the Browns. Hyde still dominated the carries in the backfield as he had 14 carries but did not have a run longer than 9 yards and just averaged 2.4 yards per carry. While you should not expect Hyde and the rushing offense to be this bad every week, Hyde as a runner does not strike fear in opposing defenses as he is going to take what the defense gives you and has just one run longer than 20 yards this season which was a 22 yarder. Nick Chubb continues to be the running back who has more big-play potential but has yet to consistently see the field as he once again just had three carries last week. The Buccaneers showed once again last week that their strength on defense is against the run as they are allowing the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game this season and have not allowed a running back to go for more than 61 yards. Last week, they held Tevin Coleman to just 35 yards rushing and Tampa has held number one backs to just 35 yards per game. The run defense strength is a combination of the defensive front by Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David, but also has everything to do with how the Buccaneers are against the pass that teams just do not try to run the ball against them.

Recent Stats and Projections

3 vs NYJ 29 2 9 0 2 2 24 0 0 2.3
4 at OAK 29 2 11 0 6 4 45 0 0 5.6
5 vs BAL 41 5 35 0 1 1 7 0 0 4.2
6 vs LAC 35 2 36 0 5 4 73 0 0 10.9
7 at TB PROJ-Dodds * 5 * * 4 * * * *
7 at TB PROJ-Tremblay * 9 * * 3 * * * *
7 at TB PROJ-Bloom * 6 * * 4 * * * *

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

Percentile ranks

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

Recent Game Summaries

2018 Week 6 vs LAC (2 / 36 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 73 / 0 rec)

Johnson turned in his best game of the season, partially due to a pass-happy game script that was forced when the Browns got down several scores in the second half. Johnson finished as the team's leading rusher on just two carries and topped 100 all-purpose yards for the first time all season. In the first quarter, he ripped off a 32-yard catch-and-run. He was wide open in the flat after the Chargers called a safety blitz and was able to turn the short pass into a big gain. He picked up 25 yards on two receptions with the Browns in their hurry-up offense at the end of the second quarter. In the fourth quarter, Johnson picked up a 16-yard pass and also saw a goal line attempt. Baker Mayfield attempted a short shovel pass at the goal line but Johnson dropped the pass. Johnson looked explosive in the game and was hard to bring down at times. His usage was encouraging in this contest but it could have been a result of poor game script for the Browns.

2018 Week 5 vs BAL (5 / 35 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)

Johnson saw another week of sparse usage. He finished with just six touches in the game with three of his carries coming consecutively on the game-winning drive in overtime. His first touch didn't come until the beginning of the second quarter on a 3rd-and-long play. His only catch came on a dump off in the second quarter. He didn't contribute much in the way of overall stats but Johnson's three carries on the game-winning drive were huge for his team. The Browns were at Baltimore's 43 yard line with overtime winding down and Johnson ripped off gains of 15, five, and four yards to get his team down to the Baltimore 19 for a manageable field goal attempt. Johnson is a much better player in real life than it appears he will be for fantasy this season in Todd Haley's offense.

2018 Week 4 vs OAK (2 / 11 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 45 / 0 rec)

Johnson saw just six touches in Week 4, although his 56 yards from scrimmage goes down as a season high. That tells fantasy owners all they need to know as Johnson isn't getting as much work as he did in past seasons. He did manage to convert two two-point conversions in the game, both rushing. He got off to a fast start, reeling in a 19-yard pass in the first quarter on a perfectly placed throw that Baker Mayfield floated into his hands down the left sideline. Johnson did commit a rough drop on a ball that hit him in the chest during the fourth quarter. He saw a deep target from Baker Mayfield in overtime, although the pass was underthrown and batted down by the defender. Johnson's spotty usage makes him a hard to trust going forward.

2018 Week 3 vs NYJ (2 / 9 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 24 / 0 rec)

Despite the Browns stating earlier in the week that they had to get Johnson more touches, he wound up with just two carries and two receptions in Week 3. He was on the field early in the game, but he didn't wind up seeing his first touch until the second offensive series in the second quarter. He ripped off an eight-yard gain on that run. In the fourth quarter, Johnson made a big 15-yard reception on 3rd-and-5. He wound up fumbling on the play while fighting for extra yards, but fortunately for him, Rashard Higgins recovered. Johnson is one of Cleveland's most explosive playmakers but he remains an afterthought in the team's offense. Hopefully the insertion of Baker Mayfield into the starting lineup will get him going.

2018 Week 2 vs NO (3 / 3 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 7 / 0 rec)

Johnson went underused for the second consecutive game, as the Browns elected to give just five touches to their electric play-maker. That being said, Johnson got the 'start' as he was on the field for the first offensive play. He was involved early, lining up out wide before coming around for a sweep play. He wound up gaining just two yards on the play. Johnson did have a shot at a bigger game as he drew an end zone target from Tyrod Taylor in the third quarter. It was a good pass but Johnson had no chance at making the catch as a Saints defender pulled him down, drawing a defensive pass interference penalty which put the Browns as the Saints' one-yard line. Johnson was lined up in the slot on that play. The Browns have been moving him around when he's on the field but the ball just isn't coming his way often. He will be hard to trust in fantasy until he starts to see more usage.

2018 Week 1 vs PIT (5 / 17 / 0 rush, 6 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)

Johnson finished third on the team in targets, with six, but was only able to turn one of those looks into a reception. He was one of the biggest casualties of Tyrod Taylor's inaccuracy with the football. He had one target thrown too far outside to his right and another later which short-hopped him. Johnson remains entrenched as the team's passing-down back and should bounce back if more accurate throws start coming his way.


Latest News

Browns | Duke Johnson to see larger role (Fri Oct 19, 05:39 PM) - Cleveland Browns RB Duke Johnson will see a larger role following the trade of RB Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Johnson is expected to return to his role of 2017, when he topped 1,000 yards rushing and receiving while leading the team in touchdowns.

link to story   

Browns | Duke Johnson plays well in Week 6 (Sun Oct 14, 04:56 PM) - Cleveland Browns RB Duke Johnson caught four passes for 73 yards against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 6. He also rushed for 36 yards on two carries during the game.

Our View: Johnson has a pulse now in fantasy leagues as Baker Mayfield did a good job finding him in the passing game, even when it wasn't by design. He's still just depth including in PPR leagues.
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Browns | Duke Johnson feels he can do more (Thu Oct 11, 09:01 PM) - Cleveland Browns RB Duke Johnson said his lack of playing time this season has been frustrating, and he believes he can help the Browns win if given more opportunities.

link to story   

Browns | Duke Johnson totals six touches (Sun Oct 7, 05:44 PM) - Cleveland Browns RB Duke Johnson rushed five times for 35 yards in Week 5 against the Baltimore Ravens and he added one grab for seven yards.

Our View: Johnson's value is dead, even in PPR leagues. The Browns have enough viable targets to make him a role player with a very limited weekly ceiling despite signing a big extension this summer.
link to story   

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7@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8@ Pittsburgh Steelers
9vs Kansas City Chiefs
10vs Atlanta Falcons
11--- BYE WEEK ---
12@ Cincinnati Bengals
13@ Houston Texans
14vs Carolina Panthers
15@ Denver Broncos
16vs Cincinnati Bengals
17@ Baltimore Ravens