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What to do with Duke Johnson Jr. in Week 14 fantasy football

Texans running back Duke Johnson will likely start against the Bears with David Johnson on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Running back David Johnson #31 of the Houston Texans runs with the ball in the second half of their game at Nissan Stadium on October 18, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee.  Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The Houston Texans chug along on their way to another lost season with only a fraction of their top skill-position players still available. The absence of the team’s leading wide receivers has drawn the most attention, but the backfield too has lost players in recent weeks. With David Johnson on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Duke Johnson will again take the reins as the Texans’ lead back this Sunday when they take on the Chicago Bears.

Fantasy Football analysis: Texans RBs Duke Johnson Jr.

The Texans list Duke Johnson on the injury report with an non-COVID illness, though he practiced in full on Friday and appears ready to start this weekend. Johnson doesn’t provide much excitement for fantasy managers, but he can still put together a decent game against the right opponent as he demonstrated during a Thanksgiving Day win over the Detroit Lions (37 rushing yards, three catches for 43 yards and a touchdown).

The Bears have largely defended the run well, but they have struggled to keep running backs out of the end zone in recent weeks (three touchdowns since the start of Week 12). Johnson, who also figures into the Texans’ passing game, could threaten Chicago in multiple ways.

Still, Johnson could still end up with a meager workload despite starting. The Texans’ current coaching staff just doesn’t prioritize him in the way fired head coach Bill O’Brien did in past years.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Only start Johnson as an emergency FLEX in PPR leagues.