The Kerryon Johnson bandwagon is picking up steam and fantasy football players are jumping on board at a rapid rate. We’ve seen the Detroit Lions running back burst onto the scene in recent weeks, excelling when given extended work. He’s played a big role in the team’s back-to-back victories and should be busy on Sunday.
After Johnson’s huge Week 7 performance in which he tallied season highs in rushing attempts (19) and yards (158), he now draws a matchup against the Seattle Seahawks at home. The rookie out of Auburn has carved out a solid role and has plenty of upside, but there has been concern this season about Lions coach Matt Patricia holding back his workload.
So, let’s look into Johnson’s spot this week for fantasy football players and break down whether he’s a start or sit against the Seahawks.
Key Stats and Kerryon Johnson’s Fantasy Outlook
I’ll break down the matchup along with a few numbers which jump out about Johnson and the Lions. All information on fantasy points and statistics for defense vs. position are from ESPN.
- Seattle Seahawks vs. running backs in 2018: 129 attempts, 531 rushing yards, 33 receptions, 257 receiving yards, six total touchdowns (No. 15 fewest fantasy points per game)
- Johnson played his most offensive snaps in a single game of the season in Week 7 (59 percent), per Football Outsiders
- Johnson has averaged 5.8 yards per carry or better in each of the past five games and has at least 10 touches in each of those games
- He also has at least 12 carries in three of the last four games
Johnson’s workload is finally starting to get there, and it seems Patricia can no longer avoid giving the 21-year-old the touches he deserves. Whether he was just bringing him along slowly or trying to preserve his snaps, the Lions back has officially turned a corner.
Should You Start or Sit Kerryon Johnson?
While the matchup against the Seahawks is no walk in the park, it could certainly be worse. I don’t expect to see Johnson’s workload or impressive play to slow down this week either. On the season, Seattle has given up the No. 9 most rushing yards per game with 120.7.
The only way Johnson’s fantasy outlook takes a hit this week is if the Lions fall behind early and are playing catch up most of the game, and I can’t envision that happening. This game should stay close and the rookie’s upside is high once again. I’d recommend starting him in all formats and leagues with 12 teams or more, and he’s a fine option in 10-teamers depending on your roster.