UPDATE: Matthew Stafford is expected to be ruled out for Week 10. Really don’t start Ty Johnson or J.D. McKissic.
While it is a shame a stud like Kerryon Johnson fell down to injury if we’re honest, he had disappointed more than a bit up to his final game. So with their lead back out of the equation, the Lions turned to... Tra Carson? Yes. Everybody expected Ty Johnson to take the reins, but that wasn’t the case with Carson rushing 12 times in Week 8 to Johnson’s seven carries and J.D. McKissic’s single attempt. It was all a mirage, though, as Carson got injured and ultimately released earlier this week.
Ty Johnson had operated as the no. 2 RB on the Lions all season long until Kerryon’s injury. Once he was trusted in a leading role (Week 7), he logged 57 yards from scrimmage on 14 touches. Then, in weeks 8 and 9, he combined for 54 yards on 20 touches and a rather bland fantasy score of 5.7 points on average.
McKissic, though the third option in the running back pecking order until Kerryon’s injury, is having the more productive season. His game-to-game numbers aren’t better than Ty’s, and his averages are mostly bumped up by his Week 9 performance (72 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown for 16.2 fantasy points). His profile is very similar to that of Ty Johnson, and neither of them looks like a game-changer, much less in a pass-heavy offense feature QB Matthew Stafford.
Fantasy football analysis, Detroit Lions RBs Ty Johnson, JD McKissic
Not only are both Johnson and McKissic middling players, but they’re also stuck in a timeshare that doesn’t benefit either of them. Sure, Carson is no longer on the team, and that means one fewer player to feed touches, but that doesn’t make things much better.
The Bears might help both running backs cases for a good weekend, as Chicago is allowing the eighth-most fantasy points per game to the position—though most of them have come via scoring (8TDs), as they have surrendered only the ninth-fewest rushing yards. The fact that Chicago ranks worse at stopping receiving tailbacks than pure rushers bodes well for McKissic, but overall the situation in Detroit and the talent of both players says that Johnson is the guy to go with.
In any case, I’m passing on both Johnson and McKissic this weekend and down the road. Detroit doesn’t rely on its backfield, they don’t have a high ceiling, and their upside is practically non-existent. Look for better options in other places.
Ty Johnson: Sit
J.D. McKissic: Sit