David Johnson started the season strong but has hit a wall as he deals with multiple injuries over the last month. Last week he was cleared to play against Tampa Bay but saw five rushing attempts for two yards and caught his one target for eight yards. Drake ended up rushing ten times for 35 yards and catching 6-of-7 targets for six yards. The numbers for Drake weren’t anything to write home about, but he also saw 16 touches to Johnson’s six and out-snapped him 45 to 30.
Coach Kliff Kingsbury said that Johnson was “obviously” slowed by his injuries against Tampa Bay, so he gave more work to Drake down the stretch. Now Johnson isn’t even listed on the injury report this week. I don’t see any reason to trust Kingsbury with his injury updates, and Johnson did not look good last week, and Chase Edmonds has yet to practice.
Fantasy football analysis: Arizona Cardinals RBs David Johnson, Kenyan Drake
The 49ers will be without their best coverage linebacker with Kwon Alexander going on I.R. They’ve also given up 4.9 yards per carry over the last five weeks, including a big game to Drake on Thursday Night Football two weeks ago. Johnson was out for that game, and Drake rushed 15 times for 110 yards and a touchdown while catching all four of his targets for 52 yards.
The 49ers rank first in DVOA against the pass but 17th against the run. They’ve still put up good overall numbers against running backs, but it is their weakness on a top-notch defense. The trouble for fantasy footballers is trying to read the tea leaves regarding Johnson’s injury status and workload. I’d rather not play Johnson until we know he’s truly back. We also know that Drake is healthy and will get work, and maybe a lot of work if Johnson is limited.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation