Arizona Cardinals' David Johnson (C) breaks away for a twenty-five yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Cardinals-Washington Redskins game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, December 4, 2016. The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 31-23. Photo by Art Foxall/UPI | License Photo
March 29 (UPI) -- In case you needed another reason to take Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson with the first pick in your 2017 fantasy football draft, here it is.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told ESPN's Josh Weinfuss Wednesday that he wants to get the star running back 30 touches per game in 2017. That's right, the player who already led the NFL with 2,118 yards from scrimmage last season is in for more work.
Johnson, 25, had 293 carries and 80 receptions last season, good for 373 touches in 2016. That means Johnson would be in for an additional 6.6 touches per game next season. Johnson averaged 7.6 yards per touch during his first All-Pro campaign. That means if Johnson saw the additional touches, we could see another 50 yards per game. An additional 50 yards per game would put Johnson's weekly average up to 182 yards per contest. Last season he also scored 20 touchdowns per those 23.3 touches per game. He averaged a score every 18.6 touches. If you used that ratio to compensate for 480 touches next season, his touchdown total would increase to 25 scores.
The electric playmaker suffered a season-ending MCL sprain last season in a Week 17 game against the Los Angeles Rams. He has since said he is back to "full throttle," even posting several videos on social media to display his workouts.
In total, if Johnson stays healthy and produces at his 2016 rate, his stat line would be an absurd: 480 touches, 2,912 yards from scrimmage, and 25 touchdowns. The 2,912 total yards would smash Chris Johnson's record of 2,509 yards from 2009.