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Larry Johnson Overrated?

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Larry Johnson Overrated?

Postby LoveBoatCaptain » Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:51 pm

In Lousiana's latest RB rankings, he has Larry Johnson as the best fatnasy RB in football. I love Larry Johnson, I think he's an amazing talent, but let's take a look at the stats.

1) His offensive line is a year older. I know, people are going to say one year won't make a difference, but that WHOLE line is older and a year makes a far bigger difference when you're 35 than when you're 25. Don't overlook age.

2) Priest Holmes has yet to retire. If Priest Holmes doesn't retire, he will play a factor into the running game. If nothing else, he should snipe touchdowns, which are gold to fantasy football and Holmes' greatest forte.

3) The Chiefs no longer have the Vermeil, the NFL's run-version of Mike Martz. Along with Vermeil went Kansas City's prolific OC. This doesn't mean LJ won't do anything without him, but nobody knows. To assume that he'll still be the best without him is a mistake.

4) The biggest mistake with ranking LJ #1 is.... you're drafting him ahead of LaDanian Tomlinson! Tomlinson is better receiving back, will be in a more run-heavy offense with the Chargers breaking in Rivers. Ranking anyone ahead of Tomlinson is a travesty.

So, is LJ really the best RB? I've got him ranked #4 behind Tomlinson, Alexander, and Portis. Who's making a bigger mistake: me ranking him 4th, or Louisiana ranking him first?
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Postby Crimedogg32 » Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:53 pm

id have to say definatly you ranking him 4th. Honestly I havent really seen anyone rank him lower than 3rd and id say almost half rank him first.
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Postby JStein » Sun Jun 18, 2006 1:07 pm

Dick Vermeil used the run A LOT in the redzone - that, in turn, helped the run game. He moved the ball with the pass game, which meant yardage for Trent Green and his receivers. Herm Edwards is not Dick Vermeil in the offensive mindset/personality he brings to the Chiefs, but remember that Curtis Martin has had a successful few seasons under him.
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Postby Free Bagel » Sun Jun 18, 2006 1:08 pm

I was huge on LJ heading into last season, and was one of the few who not only had the Priest/LJ combo ranked ahead of LT headed into the year, but also took it at #1 overall ahead of LT in my money league draft.

That said, I appear to not be as high on LJ this year as most. I think people are underrating the effect that losing Vermeil/Saunders (and to an extent Richardson) will have on LJ. If I was put on the spot right now, I would probably take LT ahead of him at this point.
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Re: Larry Johnson Overrated?

Postby smackthefirst » Sun Jun 18, 2006 1:10 pm

LoveBoatCaptain wrote:In Lousiana's latest RB rankings, he has Larry Johnson as the best fatnasy RB in football. I love Larry Johnson, I think he's an amazing talent, but let's take a look at the stats.

1) His offensive line is a year older. I know, people are going to say one year won't make a difference, but that WHOLE line is older and a year makes a far bigger difference when you're 35 than when you're 25. Don't overlook age.

2) Priest Holmes has yet to retire. If Priest Holmes doesn't retire, he will play a factor into the running game. If nothing else, he should snipe touchdowns, which are gold to fantasy football and Holmes' greatest forte.

3) The Chiefs no longer have the Vermeil, the NFL's run-version of Mike Martz. Along with Vermeil went Kansas City's prolific OC. This doesn't mean LJ won't do anything without him, but nobody knows. To assume that he'll still be the best without him is a mistake.

4) The biggest mistake with ranking LJ #1 is.... you're drafting him ahead of LaDanian Tomlinson! Tomlinson is better receiving back, will be in a more run-heavy offense with the Chargers breaking in Rivers. Ranking anyone ahead of Tomlinson is a travesty.

So, is LJ really the best RB? I've got him ranked #4 behind Tomlinson, Alexander, and Portis. Who's making a bigger mistake: me ranking him 4th, or Louisiana ranking him first?


You ranking him fourth is the bigger mistake. I agree LJ and LT are very close and I too give the edge to LT in that match up. But as for some of you arguments, they don't hold too much water.

1) Yes the line is aging but so has every other RB's. Plus you won't see LJ go from a 5.2 YPC to anything less than 4.0.

2) Holmes may continue to be a factor, and that is why I put LJ at 2 as opposed to 1. But Priest was there last year, albeit injured, and LJ performed. And Edwards has said LJ is the starter all along.

3) Vermeil may have been the a run oriented coach, but look at Edwards. It's not as if CMartin was non-existant in NY with Edwrads at the helm.

4) I agree with you here. I put LT at the first spot ahead of LJ for two main reasons. SD starting Rivers will move the emphasis to LT and give him more carries and LT has proven he can continue to be the top RB while LJ has at best a partial season under his belt.
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Postby Dexter II » Sun Jun 18, 2006 1:13 pm

You raise some valid concerns, but overall I think ranking him #4 is too low. 1-3 seems right depending on how you rank LT, SA, and LJ, but I would not put Portis ahead of LJ.

1. Yes, the o-line is older but should still be very solid this year at least. If Turley can play at the level he did before taking time off that would be big.

2. The concern over Holmes is valid. But if he does return it may actually help keep LJ fresh for the whole year.

3. Vermeil/Saunders leaving also is a good point. But let's not forget that Curtis Martin led the NFL is rushing two years ago under Edwards and with a similar (I believe, maybe not) level of overall talent on the offense.

4. Agreed LT is a better receiver so in PPR leagues his value certainly increases. But he also has an inexperienced QB to work with.

Net/Net #1 for LJ is open for debate, but #4 is too low.
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Postby cordscords » Sun Jun 18, 2006 2:07 pm

Also LJ started getting all the workload starting on week 9. He had fresh legs, and the defense was already starting to feel the effects of the season.
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Postby Popcynical » Sun Jun 18, 2006 2:10 pm

I have LJ at #2 behind LT mainly because LJ hasn't started a full season.
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Postby maddog60 » Sun Jun 18, 2006 2:19 pm

You make some excellent points, but his potential makes him the defacto #2 at the least. Personally I'll take him #1 overall in a redraft, but his situation makes LT the #1 in keeper and redrafts.

First off, situation is pretty much the most important aspect for fantasy players. Ask any denver RB in the past 10 years, I'm sure they can explain why. Look at what happened to teams with 1 good WR and no other real receiving threats: Carolina and S Moss for example. Its no coincidence that both those guys finished top 10, and both were boom/bust each week. That being said, let's consider LJ's situation:

1) Age as was mentioned is a huge factor. Some people may not realize the extent to which however. LJ's supporting cast averages 30.8 years of age, and that's after they just got substantially younger a FB (which isn't exactly a good thing considering how great Richardson was at blocking) and RT. LT's supporting cast averages 28.4, and he still has his excellent blocking FB.

2) QB situation. Yes, some people will say they worry about LT with Rivers, but we've all seen what LT did with a weak QB situation before. 100 receptions. Green is 36, he won't be playing long, and we have no idea what will happen to LJ if he doesnt have a Pro Bowler QB threatening defenses.

3) People act like Edwards will be the same kind of coach Vermeil was. They point to Curtis Martin under Edwards as proof he's a heavy run coach. But Edwards wasn't c_mart's coach his whole career, and Martin is only 6th or 7th all time in rushing yards?!? We're talking about one of the greatest running talents in the history of the game, a lock for the hall of fame. Of course he ran the ball well, he would've put up stellar rushing numbers under Mike Martz. The fact is that losing Saunders/Vermeil is hurt this offense alot. Maybe they can survive for a year with veterans that know the system so well, but in another year when Green, Kennison, Roaf, and Shields are all likely to be gone, or day-to-day throughout the season, they won't have the coaching staff to teach such an amazing rushing attack to their new starters.
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Postby smackthefirst » Sun Jun 18, 2006 2:49 pm

maddog60 wrote:You make some excellent points, but his potential makes him the defacto #2 at the least. Personally I'll take him #1 overall in a redraft, but his situation makes LT the #1 in keeper and redrafts.

First off, situation is pretty much the most important aspect for fantasy players. Ask any denver RB in the past 10 years, I'm sure they can explain why. Look at what happened to teams with 1 good WR and no other real receiving threats: Carolina and S Moss for example. Its no coincidence that both those guys finished top 10, and both were boom/bust each week. That being said, let's consider LJ's situation:

1) Age as was mentioned is a huge factor. Some people may not realize the extent to which however. LJ's supporting cast averages 30.8 years of age, and that's after they just got substantially younger a FB (which isn't exactly a good thing considering how great Richardson was at blocking) and RT. LT's supporting cast averages 28.4, and he still has his excellent blocking FB.

2) QB situation. Yes, some people will say they worry about LT with Rivers, but we've all seen what LT did with a weak QB situation before. 100 receptions. Green is 36, he won't be playing long, and we have no idea what will happen to LJ if he doesnt have a Pro Bowler QB threatening defenses.

3) People act like Edwards will be the same kind of coach Vermeil was. They point to Curtis Martin under Edwards as proof he's a heavy run coach. But Edwards wasn't c_mart's coach his whole career, and Martin is only 6th or 7th all time in rushing yards?!? We're talking about one of the greatest running talents in the history of the game, a lock for the hall of fame. Of course he ran the ball well, he would've put up stellar rushing numbers under Mike Martz. The fact is that losing Saunders/Vermeil is hurt this offense alot. Maybe they can survive for a year with veterans that know the system so well, but in another year when Green, Kennison, Roaf, and Shields are all likely to be gone, or day-to-day throughout the season, they won't have the coaching staff to teach such an amazing rushing attack to their new starters.


Excellent points.

1) Completely forgot to mention to loss of Richardson, which I think will be a bigger detreiment than most are realizing. I also think Richardson is one of the main reasons CTaylor will be a nice pick later.

2) Completely agreed from the long term point of view. This thinking is actually why LT is the clear number 1 in keepers/dynatsies for me. LJ is actually battling the backs below him moreso than LT in my mind in keepers.

3) Again agreed from the keeper view point but not as much. I think Edwards is a smart enough coach to realize that he "shouldn't fix it if it's not broken" and KC will stay pretty much the same this year. On a longer term, I think Green is likely to go and even with a less experience line, Edwards will opt to run with an inexpereinced line as opposed to throw with an experienced QB. But the loss of Saunders could cause the running game in general to have decline.
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