David Johnson
David Johnson
28-Year-Old Running BackRB
Houston Texans
2020 Fantasy Outlook
It could be hard to separate Johnson's own potential at this stage of his career from the entirely baffling trade that brought him to Houston, but there are reasons to think he will bounce back - at least to some extent - with his new team. Through the first six weeks of 2019 he provided solid production for the Cardinals, amassing 613 scrimmage yards and five touchdowns, but an ankle injury took him out of the starting lineup, and he never got a real chance to reclaim the job as coach Kliff Kingsbury found other backs he liked better. Johnson can still provide decent speed in the open field and strong receiving skills, but he finished 44th in broken-tackle rate in 2018 and would've been 30th last season if he had taken enough carries to qualify. Fortunately, Houston's offensive line could be in position to give him the support he needs as the young core drafted last year prepares to take a step forward. Johnson will not make Houston fans forget All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, for whom he was traded, and it is not clear how much he will share the workload with Duke Johnson (another back with impressive receiving skills), but David might have something left in the tank, and coach Bill O'Brien has every incentive to let him show it. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#50.77
ADP
$Signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Cardinals in September of 2018. Traded to the Texans in March of 2019.
Excited for clean slate
RBHouston Texans
April 21, 2020
Johnson expressed confidence in his durability and anticipation for a new beginning with the Texans, Sarah Barshop of EPSN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The narrative about Johnson's decline since 2016 is out there after the 28-year-old running back has dealt with injuries and a suspect supporting cast in recent seasons.The one full season he played, 2018, was for the league's lowest-ranked offense, 32nd in rushing and passing. "Just going back to my rookie year of doing everything that I can to make sure that my body is healthy and starting a clean slate for sure with a new team," said Johnson. He enters the offseason as the top back, ahead of incumbent back Duke Johnson, and talks like he has a chip on his shoulder. Having a dynamic quarterback like Deshaun Watson could also boost Johnson's value.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do David Johnson's 2019 advanced stats compare to other running backs?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Broken Tackle %
    The number of broken tackles divided by rush attempts.
  • Positive Run %
    The percentage of run plays where he was able to gain positive yardage.
  • % Yds After Contact
    The percentage of his rushing yards that came after contact.
  • Avg Yds After Contact
    The average rushing yards he gains after contact.
  • Rushing TD %
    Rushing touchdowns divided by rushing attempts. In other words, how often is he scoring when running the ball.
  • Touches Per Game
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) he is averaging per game
  • % Snaps w/Touch
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) divided by offensive snaps played.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
Broken Tackle %
6.4%
 
Positive Run %
81.9%
 
% Yds After Contact
53.9%
 
Avg Yds After Contact
2.0
 
Rushing TD %
2.1%
 
Touches Per Game
10.0
 
% Snaps w/Touch
29.2%
 
Air Yards Per Game
12.8
 
Air Yards Per Snap
0.38
 
% Team Air Yards
4.4%
 
% Team Targets
9.0%
 
Avg Depth of Target
3.6 Yds
 
Catch Rate
76.6%
 
Drop Rate
2.1%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
6.4
 
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2019
2018
2017
2016
2019 NFL Game Log
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2018 NFL Game Log
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2017 NFL Game Log
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2016 NFL Game Log
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Houston TexansTexans 2019 RB Snap Distribution See more data like this
% of Team Snaps

618
0
603
0
36
0
19
0
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where David Johnson lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2019 David Johnson Split Stats
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Measurables Review
How do David Johnson's measurables compare to other running backs?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
Height
6' 1"
 
Weight
224 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.50 sec
 
Shuttle Time
4.27 sec
 
Cone Drill
6.82 sec
 
Vertical Jump
41.5 in
 
Broad Jump
127 in
 
Bench Press
25 reps
 
Hand Length
9.63 in
 
Arm Length
31.25 in
 
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring David Johnson
Job Battles: A Swift Downfall for Kerryon?
7 days ago
Mario Puig analyzes job battles in Detroit, Washington and Philadelphia. Can Kerryon Johnson hold off rookie D'Andre Swift for the Lions' starting RB job?
ADP Analysis: Diontae Up, Deebo Down
12 days ago
ADP trends from the past couple months show increased enthusiasm for second-year wideouts, including Diontae Johnson, Marquise Brown and Terry McLaurin.
2020 NFL Team Previews: Houston Texans
45 days ago
The trade of DeAndre Hopkins headlines the offseason personnel shuffling engineered by Bill O’Brien, but the Texans’ fate is largely in the hands of QB Deshaun Watson.
2020 NFL Team Previews: Arizona Cardinals
47 days ago
Out with the old, in with the new. That's the name of the game in Arizona, whose offense exchanges David Johnson for DeAndre Hopkins. Things are looking up for Kyler Murray and Company.
2020 NFL Breakout Watch: The Bounce-Back Crew
55 days ago
Jerry Donabedian believes injuries from 2019 have caused some star players to become undervalued for 2020, highlighting T.Y. Hilton and Adam Thielen as two of the best bargains relative to ADP.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
Johnson was healthy in 2018, but the same can't be said for the offense around him. Josh Rosen's introduction to the NFL was brutal, and the offensive line was made up of revolving doors --- 11 players took at least 100 snaps at guard or tackle. Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald were the only players defenses had to worry about much of the year, so it's no surprise the running back's production suffered in that environment, with his 3.6 YPC a career low. Even with the train wreck around him, Johnson compiled 1,386 scrimmage yards and 10 TDs on 308 touches, displaying his usual speed on the rare occasions when he had room to run. Now he gets to play for coach Kliff Kingsbury, whose offense should spread out the field for both Johnson and No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray. While the offensive line still looks subpar, Murray's speed can help keep defenses honest if Kingsbury installs rollouts, run-pass options and read-options. There's also hope the offense can establish a vertical presence to shift attention from Johnson, as Christian Kirk showed promise before his season-ending foot injury and is now joined by rookie wideouts Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler. The setup for Johnson might not be ideal, but it's at least a step forward from last year, and backup Chase Edmonds doesn't pose much of a threat to the workload.
Coming off his breakout 2016, expectations were sky high for Johnson last year, which made it all the more devastating when his campaign lasted all of 11 carries before a dislocated left wrist landed him on injured reserve. Healthy once again, the 26-year-old will be the focal point of the Arizona offense regardless of whether Sam Bradford or Josh Rosen is under center. Johnson's speed and elusiveness are both elite, and he also has the size and explosiveness to blow through arm tackles and gain yards after contact, along with outstanding receiving skills that make him a genuine three-down threat. New coach Steve Wilks is more defensive-minded than Bruce Arians, but with former Chargers boss Mike McCoy coming in as offensive coordinator, the Cardinals should still be in good hands. McCoy maximized the talents of another prolific pass-catching back, Danny Woodhead, during his time in San Diego. While it will be tough to repeat the 20 touchdowns Johnson scored in 2016 - he needed 58 red-zone carries and 14 red-zone targets to get there - another season with more than 2,000 scrimmage yards is possible given his likely workload. The biggest question for Johnson in 2018 will be health-related - not just for him, but for a veteran Cardinals offensive line that lost both its starters on the left side to injury last year and remade its right side in free agency this offseason. Johnson is entering a contract season and skipped mandatory minicamp while angling for an extension, but he ultimately decided to show up for the start of training camp in late July.
After a dominant finish to his rookie campaign, big things were expected from Johnson in 2016, but it's doubtful even his most enthusiastic boosters foresaw what was coming. The 25-year-old seized the Cardinals' starting job by the throat and never let go, recording at least 100 yards from scrimmage in an NFL-record 15 straight games before finally being held in check by a limited snap count in a meaningless Week 17 contest against the Rams. Along the way he scored 20 TDs, piled up 2,118 combined yards and received 72 red-zone touches, leading the league in all three categories and establishing himself as one of the few true every-down backs left in the modern game. Johnson's 6-1, 224-pound frame allows him to run with some power, but it's his elusiveness and speed in the open field that set him apart as a home run threat, and his 34 runs of 10 yards or more tied him for fifth in the NFL. Bruce Arians' offense also took full advantage of Johnson's pass-catching skills, and his 54.9 receiving yards per game led all NFL backs. That 2016 performance may not even represent his ceiling, though. With Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald both in the twilight of their careers, the Arizona attack may end up relying even more heavily on its young stud RB in the coming years, which is a scary thought for opposition defenses.
After a splashy combine and a third-round selection in the spring draft, Johnson's rookie year stumbled from the gate. A balky hamstring held him down in August, and two ball-security issues from Johnson in Week 4 (one fumble, one dropped touchdown pass) sparked a stunning Rams victory in Arizona. Johnson resided in the Bruce Arians doghouse for the next seven games, limited to 30 inconsequential touches, but when the Cardinals needed the rookie for the stretch run, everything exploded. Johnson racked up 599 total yards and five TDs over the next four weeks, averaging 5.3 yards a carry and securing 14 of 20 targets. His signature performance came in front of a national TV audience — a 187-yard, three-touchdown trampling at Philadelphia. Arians confirmed in spring Johnson will be the team's No. 1 back entering camp, with veterans Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington clearly in the background. Johnson is the rare combination of a home-run hitter and a grinder—someone who can score from anywhere on the field, but also a physical back who finishes runs. He's capable of being an electric receiver. The Cardinals finished the season with a stinker, but they had one of the NFL's best offenses. This is a team you want to invest in, and you need to consider Johnson at any point of the first round.
One of the stars of this year's combine, Johnson parlayed impressive performances in almost every drill into a third-round selection by the Cardinals. While his 6-foot-1, 224-pound frame gives him the appearance of a power back, his skill set is more varied than your typical short-yardage specialist, and his pass-catching skills could eventually make him a three-down back. His career at Northern Iowa didn't always rise to the level of his workouts, however, and despite his size he didn't break too many tackles or hit holes with as much authority as expected. At the outset of training camp, Johnson sustained a Grade 2 hamstring strain, delaying his first practice to Aug. 17. The development precipitated the signing of veteran Chris Johnson, which could push the rookie down the depth chart and out of consideration for many touches to start the regular season. Acting in David Johnson's favor is Andre Ellington's injury history, but interested owners will have to weigh both sides of the equation before selecting him.
More Fantasy News
Passes physical
RBHouston Texans
April 15, 2020
Johnson passed his physical Wednesday, making his trade to the Texans official, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
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Swapped for DeAndre Hopkins
RBHouston Texans
March 16, 2020
The Cardinals traded Johnson, a 2020 second-round pick and a 2021 fourth-round selection for DeAndre Hopkins and a 2020 fourth-round pick, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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Shipped to Houston
RBHouston Texans
March 16, 2020
The Cardinals traded Johnson to the Texans on Monday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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Won't be cut
RBArizona Cardinals
February 14, 2020
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said Johnson won't be released this offseason, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports. "Cutting him is not an option," Keim said. "You can't just have one back."
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Interesting offseason ahead
RBArizona Cardinals
December 30, 2019
Johnson compiled 94 carries for 345 yards and two touchdowns and hauled in 36 of 47 passes for 370 yards and four more TDs in 13 games this season.
ANALYSIS
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