Chris Johnson, A Candidate For Release After 2012: Fantasy Implications

Sep 16, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) walks off the field after the Titans were beat by the San Diego Chargers 38-10 at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Chris Johnson may be a candidate for release after the season if he doesn't start to show improvement. We break down the fantasy implications.

Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson has been one of the most disappointing players in the NFL since the start of the 2011 season. After holding out for a bigger contract and then getting it, Johnson rushed for 1,047 yards on a career-low 4.0 yards per carry. Tennessee had the option to cut him loose after that but decided to give him another chance and so far, it looks like he did not deserve it. Johnson has rushed for 21 yards on 19 carries and the Titans are last in the NFL in rushing. As Pro Football Talk points out though, the Titans could release Johnson after the Super Bowl and save $9 million of his $10 million salary for 2013. Johnson has blamed his struggled on the offensive line, but no matter whose fault it is, it seems unlikely that the team would want to pay him to be a premier back if he can't perform like one.

Fantasy Analysis: One thing important to note with his struggles is that the Titans have the look of a team that could win 3 or 4 games this season and that means that they aren't likely to run a lot. With the Titans focused on the development of Jake Locker, they could continue to move forward with the idea that Johnson will be gone after the year and go with anybody else next year. For Johnson, he could still have value and he showed last year that he could still have a huge game now and then, but he might really benefit from a change of scenery.

For more on the Titans, check out Music City Miracles. For more fantasy info, check out the SB Nation Fantasy War Room 4-8:30 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday. And check out SB Nation's own Fantasy Football game, Pick 6!

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