Freddie 'The Chef' Kitchens Rescued Duke Johnson From Fantasy Hell - Roto Street Journal
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Freddie ‘The Chef’ Kitchens Rescued Duke Johnson From Fantasy Hell

If you looked up Duke Johnson in the dictionary, it is likely the only place you would find him would be a picture of him looking dejected next to the phrase “coached by morons.” Johnson, the sneaky RB15 for the 2017 fantasy season due almost solely to his pass catching ability out of the backfield, has been underutilized to the point of it being criminal until this week in 2018. 

Through the first 8 games of 2018, Johnson had TOTALED 20 receptions (and no touchdowns)—for a paltry 203 yards.  Just for context, Johnson caught 74 balls last year.  “But wait!”  A naïve, uninformed person might shout after a couple of drinks.  “Maybe he’s been making up for it on the rushing end of things!” And you would point out that through those 8 games Duke had rushed for something like 107 yards (with zero scores). His production has been, for lack of a better word, terrible.

So why the optimism on Duke all of a sudden?  Well, I’m not sure you have been paying attention or not, but the worst head coach in the history of football got fired a week ago and so did his nemesis/offensive coordinator.  Enter Freddie Kitchens as the new OC.

I’m sure your next questions are, “Who the hell is that and is he going to be better than the last guys?”  And the answers to those questions (in order) are “who cares?” and, “of course.” Freddie Kitchens defied logic in Week 9 by using his excellent pass catching back as a pass catching back instead of a glorified lawn ornament, and the results spoke for themselves.

Duke Johnson caught 9 balls for 78 yards and 2 touchdowns last week against the Chiefs. It is not a coincidence that this standout performance came as soon as the old regime got the boot.  This is a horse you want to ride the rest of the way if you can get a seat on that saddle.

The Browns are desperately looking for answers.  Baker Mayfield needs a reliable security blanket.  Duke Johnson is a proven commodity.  The usage Johnson got on Sunday figures to continue the rest of the way, and especially in a PPR league that equals a legit starter the rest of the way.

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