Now that Chris Johnson has signed, he should start to shoot back up fantasy draft boards. While he is no longer the risk he was during the holdout, his status is still far from certain. He has obviously missed out on a lot of football between the lockout and his holdout. He will likely take at least a few weeks to shake out the cobwebs. He is also coming off a bit of a down year. I suspect this was a bit of a hangover from his ridiculous 2009. Accordingly, I do think he can outperform last year’s 1364 yd., 11 TD performance. On the plus side, it should be easier for a running back to come in and find his rhythm. Unlike a WR, Johnson does not need to master intricate route running and perfect timing with his quarterback. Johnson should also hit his stride in the middle and later parts of the fantasy season, precisely when you need him most.
Given all of that, I believe Johnson should fall at about the 4th pick in fantasy drafts. Adrian Peterson should certainly go ahead of him. Arian Foster, probably should as well, though Foster’s Hamstring could be more of a long-term problem than Johnson’s holdout. At this point, I would also take Ray Rice ahead of Johnson, since he should be ready to go from day one.