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What to do with Duke Johnson on Thursday Night Football

Duke Johnson continues to play well in limited work but needs more touches to be fantasy relevant. Will he get them this week?

Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson warms up before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Duke Johnson has been great this season. He has 60 carries for 327 yards (5.5 yards per carry) and a touchdown while also catching 24 passes for 232 yards and two more touchdowns for 9.6 yards per reception. Those are outstanding stats, but when broken down on a per game basis, he averages 56 yards and .3 touchdowns per game.

The only games he’s topped ten fantasy points are his three touchdown games. Those three games have come over the last five games, but the touchdowns aren’t due to increased usage. His touches from last week going back to Week 1 are as follows, 8, 12, 7, 9, 7, 10, 8, 4, 6, 13.

Fantasy football analysis: Houston Texans RB Duke Johnson

This week he faces a Colts team that allows the sixth-most receptions to running backs per game. Before last week against the Ravens, Johnson had seen his best stretch of targets, as he’d had five in three straight and caught 11, including one touchdown. Last week’s usage was odd in the blowout, as he should have seen more work with the deficit but ended up with just two targets.

When these teams met in Week 7, Johnson ran the ball seven times for 34 yards and caught 2-of-5 targets for 22 yards. Those 7.6 PPR points weren’t what his fantasy backers wanted, especially in a game where his team trailed. There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to his usage, so it is difficult to project when he’ll put up useful fantasy points. The trouble is, he’s been so good with the ball, that he will likely do something worthwhile if they get it into his hands.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start Johnson in PPR leagues as an RB4.