Fantasy Football Definition of "L.J."

LJ is the nickname of the Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson. In the massive world of fantasy football, some players earn special nicknames -- think of TJ Houshmanzadeh, who benefits from an unfortunate name and an unbelievable amount of talent. If only Houshmazoo were an average player, his name may not have been such a big deal. Though Larry Johnson's name isn't that unusual, he has been such a hot topic over the past few years in FF, that his nickname emerged naturally.

Unfortunately for old LJ, his stock is rapidly falling. In this year's fantasy football drafts, his average draft position places him in the 3rd or 4th round, not a stunning place for a RB to find himself. Remember, though, the old adage about late picks in FF. Leagues are won and lost due to backup players, and for years, LJ was about as solid a backup (or even a starter) as you could find.

Why was LJ a solid pickup? Many fantasy football analysts suggest it is because of the play calling style of Herm Edwards (who was fired after the 2008 season). Edwards often gave the ball to LJ in difficult spots (3rd and long) instead of relying on the old QB to earn the necessary real estate. Now that LJ is being coached in a different way, he's not picking up those trash gains that would otherwise earn your fantasy squad quality points.

In fact, this season LJ is the kind of RB that fantasy football owners wish they hadn't drafted. In the first three games of the 2009 season, LJ hasn't scored a TD and has only earned 136 yards rushing. His rushing average is a dismal 2.5 on an average of about 18 carries per game. He simply isn't a good addition to anyone's roster . . . yet.

It is difficult to believe that this is the same player who once ran for over 1700 yards two seasons in a row. A generous projection for the 2009 season suggests he may run for 800 yards or so and score under 10 TDs.

Is LJ done in fantasy football terms?

Many analysts say yes.

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