The start of the 2018 NFL season hasn’t exactly gone as planned for the Arizona Cardinals and specifically star running back David Johnson. Through seven games, the 26-year-old is averaging just 3.2 yards per carry, part of which can be attributed to the team’s struggling offense. But entering Week 8, there’s a big change which could impact Johnson’s outlook.
The Cardinals opted to name former NFL quarterback Byron Leftwich their new offensive coordinator ahead of Week 8, parting ways with Mike McCoy in the process. And one of the first things coach Steve Wilks said about the decision related to his hope that Leftwich could help Johnson find the success he had previously, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk.
“With Byron being here before and being a part of that and understanding the success [Johnson] has had in the past, hopefully we can tap into that,” Wilks said.
It’s a big deal, especially for fantasy football owners. Johnson hasn’t been able to do much during Arizona’s 1-6 start to the year, but the time Leftwich spent with former coach Bruce Arians could go a long way towards flipping the script.
Let’s take a look at Johnson’s Week 8 fantasy outlook and whether or not this may be the prime opportunity for him to turn the corner and return to his dominant ways. The Cardinals draw a matchup with the San Francisco 49ers and on paper, that bodes well for talented running back.
David Johnson’s Week 8 Fantasy Football Outlook
The 49ers have been a beatable opponent for opposing running backs, both on the ground and through the air. On the season, they’ve given up 601 rushing yards, 45 receptions, 334 receiving yards, and 10 total touchdowns, per ESPN. If there was ever a spot for Johnson to right the ship, this may be it.
And for good measure, Johnson has scored seven total touchdowns in five games against the 49ers in his career, courtesy of StatMuse. Based on the workload (14 or more touches in every game this season), and the obvious focus on finding creative ways to get him the ball, the fantasy outlook of the Cardinals running back is bright. Now, it’s just a matter of putting it all together on the field.
Johnson is a clear-cut starter in all fantasy leagues moving forward, and Week 8 against the 49ers is no different. He’s locked in as a starter in all 10-team leagues or larger.