Duke Johnson has finally been traded after requesting to be moved earlier this season. The Browns traded the running back to the Texans on Thursday for a fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft. It can becomes a third round pick if Johnson plays in ten games.
The Texans had a need for a running back after cutting D’Onta Foreman and Johnson can fill the void. Two years ago, Johnson caught 74 passes and scored seven total touchdowns. Johnson was involved in the offense as much last year. He had 40 carries for 201 yards and 47 catches for 429 yards with three touchdowns last season.
Johnson has missed all of training camp outside of the first two days due to a hamstring injury. The Texans didn’t throw to the running backs often last season, but acquiring Johnson should mean they will use him. It’s a good landing spot for Johnson since Lamar Miller isn’t great.
The trade puts Johnson into the RB3 conversation in PPR formats. He has been one of the more explosive running backs in the league. I wouldn’t be surprised if Johnson makes this a split. The Texans coaching staff clearly believes in Miller since they haven’t done much to upgrade the position. Miller caught 25 passes on 35 targets in 14 games last season. The value for Miller is volume based. It’s possible Miller sees less touches, especially in the passing game to keep him healthy. He’s not a target in Fantasy drafts unless he falls too far. The addition of Johnson also helps quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Nick Chubb is still a RB1. The Browns running back has slipped in some drafts since some are worried about the return of Kareem Hunt after his eight-game suspension. Chubb can catch the football and while he might not see the targets of some other running backs in the same tier, he’s going to get a lot of carries in a surging offense. He could also be on the field more on third downs and he’s a fine pick in round two.
Replacing Johnson to begin the season is Dontrell Hilliard. He will be the backup to Chubb until Hunt returns and can be drafted in the later rounds of deeper PPR formats.