After a disastrous 2011 season that featured a holdout and the worst production of his four-year career with just 1,047 rushing yards and four touchdowns, it is hard to find a running back with more polarizing fantasy prospects than the Titans Chris Johnson. Although Johnson agreed on contract terms with Tennessee in time to start on opening day, he showed up out of shape and was not the explosive player that he was during the first three years in the league when he ran for 4,598 yards and 34 touchdowns. Although some of his troubles could be laid at the feet of the teamís offensive line, Johnson looked disinterested and appeared to run tentatively, often times failing to hit the hole hard and turn up field. Removing three solid performances against three of the worst run defenses in the league (Carolina, Tampa Bay and Buffalo), Johnson managed just 574 rushing yards and 9.7 FPts/G in his other 13 contests. The question is can Johnson bounce back in 2012? He has little competition for touches and the supporting cast at the skill positions has been upgraded so defenses will not be able to focus on shutting him down as much as they have in the past. Along the offensive line, Steve Hutchinson was signed to shore up the left guard position but troubles remain at center. While some may view Johnson as a boom/bust pick, he is unlikely to perform worse than he did last season and he has tremendous upside. Expect him to produce at a rate somewhere between what he did in 2010 and 2011, good enough to be taken as a low-end RB1.
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