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How early should L. Johnson be taken in the draft next year?

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Postby PapaPark » Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:51 am

The Great Gambini wrote:I'm drooling over the thoughts of this guy alone in the KC backfield for 16 games...and my jaw's dropping at the thoughts of having him on my team.
If you watched today's game, you have to be feeling the same way.


No doubt. I could literally count on him for 25+ points a game. It was crazy.
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Postby The Lung » Mon Jan 02, 2006 11:55 am

From George Winkler at Sportingnews.com:

It already has been a bad 2006 for the Chiefs' Priest Holmes. Seattle's Shaun Alexander hung around long enough today to eclipse Holmes' touchdown record, scoring his 28th of the season in historic Lambeau Field. Meanwhile, in Kansas City, the Chiefs were ushering out the Dick Vermeil era by pounding the playoff-bound Bengals 37-3 behind Larry Johnson, who rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns.

Neck and spine injuries that limited Holmes to eight games this season are said to be career threatening, but no more so than Johnson's performance down the stretch. Johnson, whom Vermeil once said needed to take off the diapers, reeled off nine straight 100-yard games after replacing Holmes and has firmly grasped Kansas City's lead role. A decision on Holmes' future could come soon, and we have no doubt that Johnson will be further cemented as the Chiefs' No. 1 backfield option.

But where Johnson ranks among the elite fantasy backs is something that will be debated from now until August. Johnson's second-half stats were so gaudy (1,351 yards, 19 touchdowns) some fantasy experts are elevating him past Alexander and LaDainian Tomlinson in their rankings for 2006.

I won't go as far as putting Johnson No. 1, because I think the reigning touchdown king, who also happens to own the rushing title, deserves his rightful throne at the top. Plus, if Alexander stays in Seattle he'll be surrounded by a better supporting cast than Johnson, including that great left side of the Seahawks' offensive line. Don't forget Alexander would get to romp through the lousy NFC West again too.

But if I had the luxury of the No. 2 draft pick next season, I'd have some serious thinking to do between Johnson and LaDainian Tomlinson. Tomlinson has been a high-quality fantasy back longer than Johnson has and is a good receiver out of the backfield. But Johnson proved to be a better pass-catcher than expected and is younger.

What's going to stick in fantasy owners' minds most is the way both backs finished the season. While Johnson closed strong, Tomlinson sputtered -- albeit because he was playing with cracked ribs. A strong finisher is someone I want to have on my fantasy squad. What about you? Will it be Johnson or LT? No rush on answering that question. We have the rest of the year to argue about it.
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Postby Kensat30 » Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:04 pm

Assuming all the top RBs stay in their current situations and nothing changes between now and the 2006 season, yeah anyways...

I would drop Larry Johnson down below LT/SA/Edge now that he has lost Vermeil. I'm a firm believer in Vermeil being the secret sauce in the KC RB factory. Vermeil breeds stud fantasy RBs and he's done it his entire career. Some of his magic may linger for a season, but without the sauce, the spaghetti just ain't as good.
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Postby onnestabe » Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:44 pm

Kensat30 wrote:Assuming all the top RBs stay in their current situations and nothing changes between now and the 2006 season, yeah anyways...

I would drop Larry Johnson down below LT/SA/Edge now that he has lost Vermeil. I'm a firm believer in Vermeil being the secret sauce in the KC RB factory. Vermeil breeds stud fantasy RBs and he's done it his entire career. Some of his magic may linger for a season, but without the sauce, the spaghetti just ain't as good.


Seems to me that he would be fine if Al Saunders or Herm Edwards gets the nod. Saunders, as the KC Offensive Coordinator, obviously knows how to utilize LJ. Edwards is from the same coaching lineage as Schottenheimer and Cowher, so he understands the importance of a good running game.

The only thing I would worry about with LJ next year if one of those two become head coach is the personnel around him - does Priest come back to steal carries, and does Roaf retire?
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Postby xted30 » Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:58 pm

onnestabe wrote:The only thing I would worry about with LJ next year if one of those two become head coach is the personnel around him - does Priest come back to steal carries, and does Roaf retire?


I have to agree with Priest maybe lingering. But Roaf missed some games this year, and LJ still put up monster numbers. And, surely, everyone in KC is smart enough to see the difference between an angry up and comer and an oft-injured, almost retired veteran?
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Postby onnestabe » Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:10 pm

xted30 wrote:
onnestabe wrote:The only thing I would worry about with LJ next year if one of those two become head coach is the personnel around him - does Priest come back to steal carries, and does Roaf retire?


I have to agree with Priest maybe lingering. But Roaf missed some games this year, and LJ still put up monster numbers. And, surely, everyone in KC is smart enough to see the difference between an angry up and comer and an oft-injured, almost retired veteran?


I am not entirely sure of the timeline, but I was under the impression that Roaf missed time early in the season, but came back for the second half around the time that Priest went down, so it's hard to tell how LJ would run without Roaf blocking for him.
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Postby Sixxgunn » Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:55 pm

I'm thinking, given the opportunity, draft LJ, then take some poor chump to the cleaners and rob him blind in a trade before the season starts. You know who the guy is...the one who thinks he is a draft god for grabbing him last year, and now has a huge man crush on him. All he will remember is the outstanding finish he had and can't imagine life without him...or playing against him.
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Postby biju » Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:47 pm

Sixxgunn wrote:I'm thinking, given the opportunity, draft LJ, then take some poor chump to the cleaners and rob him blind in a trade before the season starts. You know who the guy is...the one who thinks he is a draft god for grabbing him last year, and now has a huge man crush on him. All he will remember is the outstanding finish he had and can't imagine life without him...or playing against him.


Smart. This is particularly the case with folks who won their championship game solely because of him. ;-D
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