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Special Waivers Report: RB D'Ernest Johnson, CLE

October 6, 2020

Preview/Rough Draft of my CLE-DAL report, but I wanted to share for waivers/bidders tonight...


 -- Alright, we gotta start with the Browns RB situation…

Nick Chubb is done for about 6 weeks or so.

As soon as Chubb went down, D’Ernest Johnson (13-95-0) entered the game and made a real nice run…and then another…and then another…and suddenly it went from cute to – is D’Ernest Johnson the RB on the Browns roster?

Who is D’Ernest Johnson?

For a scouting visual = If I took D’Ernest and put him in a #41 jersey with the name ‘Kamara’ on the back…you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference that I made the switch. He’s has a similar playstyle and athleticism/talent.

He played college ball at South Florida, where he was stuck behind Marlon Mack most of his career. He was an all-purpose back his entire career…16 rushing TDs, 12 receiving TDs, 1 punt return TD, threw for 2 TDs on three career passes.

He played Arena League in 2018 and was really good, but...it was Arena League.

I saw him working in the 2019 preseason and thought he looked/worked like Alvin Kamara, and was talented and showing it all preseason…but I knew he was buried in Cleveland, so not big deal for fantasy.

Chubb went down and Johnson came in to take touches and was fantastic here. I think they planned to rotate Johnson and Dontrell Hilliard (5-19-0, 1-2-0/1) some, but Johnson was so good they just stuck with him.

Here’s the thing…Kareem Hunt (11-71-2, 0-0-0/0) took his last carry with 3+ minutes left in the 3rd-quarter. Johnson took it the rest of the way…even as things went from blowout to tight, it was Johnson not Hunt.

When OBJ came in to run that end-around miracle…Hunt was in. Other than that, it was Johnson all 4th-quarter with some Hilliard.

What happens Week 5?

I’d guess this will be a 60/40 split with Hunt…maybe 65/35. Johnson is no joke. Johnson could work well enough to be 50/50, to let Hunt heal more from his injury/not get worn-out. I’m excited by this, but nervous that they have at IND, at PIT the next two weeks. Also numerous because I know how UDFAs get treated 99% of the time…not well, no matter how good they do. Also, Dontrell Hilliard is pretty good too. 

I’m buying it more than I’m selling it. 

Special Note:

FAAB bidding, etc? I don’t think anyone is really buying Johnson as anything special. Intrigued that he got good touches in the Dallas game and put up numbers, but everyone assumes Hunt with this Johnson kid getting a handful of touches. 

My guess is FAAB bidding will be all over the place, but I’m seeing mostly 15-25% in more experienced/savvy leagues especially with deeper rosters. The Hunt owner might fear Hunt’s nagging groin issue. 

In more casual leagues...I see 5-20% FAAB spends going in. 

Damien Harris or D’Ernest Johnson? It’s a close call. Johnson has to fight Hunt for touches. Harris has to fight White and Rex.


About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>