Chris Johnson was a guy I always bought into. To tell you how much of a believer I was, I took him No. 3 overall in his rookie year in my league. It was ludicrous at the time, but that league was one that had keepers; and I just had an inkling that I would need to go ahead and pay a premium now to avoid losing out on him later.
Fast forward to the end of his sophomore year in the NFL, when he rushed for 2,006 yards and led many teams to fantasy titles by himself.
His third year in the league was productive, albeit disappointing coming off of a historic campaign. Then, as we all know, last year he cratered and become a punch line. I was able to get a decent package for him, including an aging Frank Gore and A.J. Green (to be fair I had to toss in Greg Jennings), but this past week’s performance reminded me of vintage CJ2K. If you have the opportunity to trade for Johnson in any of your leagues, I’d highly suggest doing it. He has averaged 112.8 yards per game over his last four contests, and if he keeps the good vibes rolling he can be a difference maker come championship time.
LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB, ARI. On 24 touches, he was able to put up 149 yards and a touchdown against the Vikings. Beanie Wells is a distant memory in the desert, and though William Powell will poach some carries, Stephens-Howling is the back to own. The 49ers will be a tough test, but they have had trouble against the run in recent weeks and Stephens-Howling has shown the ability to break open big plays.
Rashad Jennings, RB, JAX. Maurice Jones-Drew is facing a lengthy absence with a foot injury. If that is the case, he could miss the remainder of the season. That swings the door open for Jennings, who was a trendy pick before the year given MJD’s holdout. Hopefully if you’re an MJD owner, you remembered to nab the handcuff.
Ryan Broyles, WR, DET. Broyles seems to finally be getting up to speed after his ACL tear. He proved to be a target of Matt Stafford in the red zone as he caught the touchdown was targeted on one of the interceptions. His upside is limited with Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew and Titus Young also on the field, but in deeper leagues he’s worth a stash.
Jeremy Kerley, WR, NYJ. I want no part of the Jets’ passing game, but it’s tough to ignore what Kerley has done. He has proved to be the apple of Mark Sanchez’s eye in recent weeks. In his past three games he has 238 yards on 15 receptions. As long as Sanchez is behind center Kerley should have fantasy value, but of course all bets are off once Tim Tebow inevitably takes over.
Scott Rodgers is a graduate of Alvernia University and a staff writer at the Aiken Standard.