TEMPE, Ariz. -- Maybe the least surprising thing to come out of last week’s ESPN Fantasy Football Summit has to do with a certain Arizona Cardinals running back.
David Johnson was ranked as the No. 1 running back by ESPN in a point-per-reception scoring format.
Surprised? Not sure how you can be.
Johnson was the best receiving running back in the NFL last season, finishing with 879 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 80 receptions. He was a dynamic weapon for coach Bruce Arians, who used him at seven different receiving positions throughout the season, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Johnson came within 121 yards of becoming the third running back in NFL history to record 1,000 receiving and 1,000 rushing yards in the same season. Had Johnson not suffered a sprained MCL in the first quarter of Arizona’s Week 17 win in Los Angeles, he likely would’ve gotten there. Johnson also recorded more than 100 all-purpose yards in his first 15 games of the season, an NFL record.
These rankings were developed by a group of more than two dozen men and women, including fantasy writers and editors, NFL writers, researchers and other members of ESPN's football operation. They relied on metrics, film study, fantasy strategy, intel gathered from team sources and more to devise the rankings.
Johnson’s status as the No. 1 running back shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, especially with Arians saying he wants to get Johnson 30 touches a game next season.
This should also be a good predictor for Johnson being named the top overall fantasy football player when the rankings are released soon.