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2011 Fantasy Football Analysis: The Titans Chris Johnson Dilemma

This is a weekly free therapy session I provide for not only myself, but for all football fans. If you’re looking for politically correct, mainstream, polite, NFL content, you’ve come to the wrong place. In fact, on any given week you should be prepared to either agree with me or be offended, belittled, shocked, and insulted.

You can expect to find anger, sarcasm, foul language (I will do my best to refrain), and whatever the hell else I’m feeling come 1 am CST Tuesday mornings this NFL season. So, lie down on your couch and grab your tissue because your NFL Week 9 session has begun…….

I don’t pretend to be a Fantasy Football “expert”, I’m an NFL Scout. More often than not however the worlds of fantasy and reality collide and my comments and observations provide significant value to the Fantasy Football community. With regards to the Fantasy Football flopping Chris Johnson, my observations have been dead on since BEFORE the season started and those of you who listened to me rather than the pundits would have been guided out of harms way.

In the offseason I took every chance I could get to plead on NFL RedZone Report for the Tennessee Titans to not sign Chris Johnson long term. The Titans chose to dedicate a ton of money to the man formerly known as CJ2K, which prompted me to write Why the Tennessee Titans Shouldn’t Have Paid Chris Johnson: CJ53,000K back on September 1st.  My views on it then and now haven’t changed much, yet with each NFL week’s passing I still receive numerous emails where I’m told how it’s ridiculous to not consider CJ.53K as an elite running back in 2011.

Every week Johnson has struggled this year there has been someone there to make excuses for him. My problem has to do with people falling in love with “names” and not trusting their eyes. It’s easy to see on game film that Johnson doesn’t run with the same intensity. He lacks burst on every single touch. The Titans have also implemented more zone running and he just doesn’t get it. At first everyone was saying that he was rusty. Then a quarter of the season went by and he threw his linemen under the bus. Now we are at the halfway point and every show I turn on is saying that it’s time to bench Chris Johnson in your Fantasy Football league and that the Titans should go with Javon Ringer… DOH! Really? I’ve been talking about this on the radio and in print for months while listening to people tell me that I lost my mind.

CJ2K is worth CJ53,000K to himself and CJNothin' to Fantasy Football owners

This past week was my breaking point. Every single individual that I talked to, saw on TV, and listen to on the radio said not to bench Johnson because he faced a poor Indianapolis Colts run defense. To that I said, “so what”? He doesn’t play with any heart and he doesn’t run with any purpose, what does it matter what defense he was going to face, he’s not the CJ2K anymore that people are thinking about him as. 14 rushing attempts and 34-yards later, now these same “experts” that said to hold on to him are holding a fire sale waking up early Monday morning to tell everyone how bad he is and to get rid of him. What good does that do now? Who’s going to want him? How does stating something after the fact make you an ”expert”? That makes you a news anchor. I could tell you the winning lottery numbers at 10:01 pm but it’s not going to do you any good then.

I’m tired of the millions of news anchors claiming to give advice after the fact and then pretending to know all along. I’m not trying to publically embarrass anyone, and this isn’t a personal attack on any one individual so I’ll leave names out of this, but I heard a guy Monday morning saying that hopefully you have gotten rid of CJ2K from your fantasy team. The same guy was saying on Friday to not panic and over react to his slow start. He said that Johnson would have a breakout game and everyone who traded him would look silly. Also, he took the time to mock the thought of benching Chris Johnson for the Titans for “little known” Javon Ringer. “Are you really going to bench CJ2K for someone that nobody is ever heard about?” I’m pretty sure those were his exact words. That leads us to the major problem.

People are more consumed with “names” than talent. If you didn’t know who either Chris Johnson or Javon Ringer was and you just went by what you saw on the field, you would have started Ringer as your Tennessee Titans running back from day one. He seeing the holes better, he’d running with a quicker burst and he’s hungrier. In my Week 8 NFL Game Previews piece this week, I stated “CJ.5K will probably have less rushing yards than Javon Ringer in this game.” Take a look at the stats. I’ll note that Ringer also performed better in the receiving game. The week before, Ringer was the catalyst in the Titans finally scoring against the Texans, yet they stuck with CJ as the starter. This is nothing more than money dictating playing time and it very well may cost Tennessee in the long run.

Tennessee is a much better team with Javon Ringer in the offense and CJ53,000K counting his money on the sideline. Peyton Manning is out and the Colts are 0-8. The Jaguars are a one-dimensional offense and stand at 2-6. This could be the Titans year to win the AFC South but if they stick by who gets paid, they will lose their chance at a division title. I’m sure the Houston Texans prefer that Johnson remain the primary ball carrier for the remainder of this year. If Mike Munchak decides that, Gary Kubiak should send him a Christmas card of the Texans’ team photo with big ass smiles and holding up the AFC South 2011 Championship banner.

Jayson Braddock is an NFL Scout / NFL Writer & On-Air Personality. Jayson is also a football insider for the Dylan Gwinn show on 790 AM in Houston, TX - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or You can also catch Jayson on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew every Thursday at 10:30am ET. You may email Jayson directly @ or follow him on Twitter @JaysonBraddock


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