The Tennessee Titans are shifting into a pass-first offense in 2012, which would lead many to lower running back Chris Johnson on their fantasy football rankings. But even CJ2K says that he believes he can have a huge bounce back season in 2012, especially considering just how poorly he played at times last year.
Apparently, Johnson is not the only one in Tennessee who feels as if we could be seeing CJ2K part 2 this season.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported on Friday’s Inside Training Camp Live that Johnson appears to have rediscovered past elite form so far in camp. Granted, this is just training camp. It is very difficult to get a read from camp, especially in such a short time. But with that being said, Rapoport says that Johnson could be in for a huge season.
That is something to which many fantasy football owners are paying attention.
“I’ve been stunned,” said Rapoport from Titans camp. “He looks like the Chris Johnson of old. … He’s fast, he’s in shape. Looks like he’s primed for a big year.”
The team has said that Johnson has come to camp extremely motivated to return to the form that earned him the moniker of CJ2K, for his 2,000 yard season. Last year, he was more like CJ1K. After paying him a contract worth more than $55 million, Johnson showed up late due to his unresolved contract status and rushed for just 1,047 yards in a full season for the Titans.
But with the talk surrounding Johnson, even the running back himself has said that ”If they throw the ball well, it can help me because it will back some of those guys out of the box. I feel like that’s not a bad thing for me. I feel like it’s a good thing.”
But should fantasy owners buy into the hype?
Yes, Johnson will have a full training camp this season. Yes, the Titans plan on throwing the ball more and more effectively to open up more holes for Johnson. But Tennessee could be without top wide receiver Kenny Britt due to injuries and possible suspensions. Matt Hasselbeck is getting up there, and Jake Locker is still awaiting his turn. Tennessee was also ranked 31st in the league in rushing last year.
It is extremely optimistic of everyone involved to believe that Johnson is fully back to the form that helped him rush for 2,006 yards in 2009. His numbers have declined in each of the past two season. And although Johnson has gone on record stating he wants to be the first NFL running back in league history to ever rush for 2,000 yards twice in his career, fantasy owners should be at least a little leery of drafting CJ2K too soon solely based on his name and his past.
Buyer be wary.