In Week 14, Tyron Johnson announced his arrival on the fantasy football landscape and could be set to be a big factor for the Los Angeles Chargers again in Week 15. With the Chargers potentially missing Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, can Tyron Johnson be a fantasy asset in Week 15?
Tyron Johnson has made splash plays for the Chargers
Opportunities have been limited for Johnson this season. In nine games, he has seen just 138 snaps, 16 targets, and three carries. However, when he has had opportunities, he has taken advantage.
On those 16 targets, Johnson has 12 receptions for 276 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson is averaging 23 yards per reception and a touchdown on 12.5 percent of his targets. Included in those numbers are four receptions of over 50 yards each.
Tyron Johnson’s fantasy impact has been sporadic
In his first game, Johnson made an immediate fantasy impact. Despite seeing just one target, he pulled in a 53-yard touchdown, giving him 12.3 fantasy points. In the following four weeks, Johnson could only muster 7.7 fantasy points.
However, things have picked up in the last four games. In Week 11, Johnson scored 6.4 fantasy points against the Jets. He then posted 8.3 fantasy points against the Bills in the first game of the season in which he saw more than one target. He managed just 1.1 fantasy points in Week 13 before breaking out against the Falcons in Week 14.
Facing the mediocre Falcons secondary, Johnson capitalized on the opportunity afforded to him. Johnson pulled in six of his seven targets for 55 yards and a touchdown. In total, he finished the week with 17.5 fantasy points.
Johnson is finally making good on his potential out of high school
In the 2015 recruiting class, Johnson was one of the stars. 24/7sports ranked Johnson as the 28th best player in the class, the fifth-best wide receiver, and the best player coming out of Lousiana. Johnson signed with LSU but would play just one game for his local college.
Following his freshman season, Johnson transferred from LSU to Oklahoma State. In two years with Oklahoma State, he posted 71 receptions, 1138 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns.
However, that promise from high school never materialized, and Johnson went undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Tyron Johnson bounced around the NFL in 2019 before getting his chance with the Chargers
After signing as an undrafted free agent for the Houston Texans in April, Johnson was waived at the end of August. He then spent time with the Buffalo Bills, the Carolina Panthers, and a second stint with the Texans. In December, he signed with the Chargers as a practice squad player.
Johnson was waived by the Chargers in September but signed back onto the practice squad. He remained there until Week 4 when he was elevated to the active roster against Tampa Bay. Despite initially being reverted to the practice squad, he was promoted to the active roster on October 9.
Is Tyron Johnson a player to start for fantasy in Week 15?
Entering Week 15, there is uncertainty surrounding the receiving options for the Chargers. Mike Williams is not expected to play tonight, while Keenan Allen is likely to be limited if he is active.
One concern around the Chargers’ depth chart entering season was the lack of depth at wide receiver. After Williams and Allen, the roster’s remaining receivers are Jalen Guyton, K.J. Hill, Joe Reed, and Johnson.
The only other pass catchers with over 50 targets this season are Hunter Henry and Austin Ekeler. Combined, Allen and Williams account for 17.7 targets per game for the Chargers. The majority of those targets are now available. Henry and Ekeler likely see a bump, but it is unlikely they will absorb all 17.7. Following Johnson’s performance in Week 14, he could be set to pick up a solid share of those targets.
The Raiders present an intriguing Week 15 matchup for Tyron Johnson
Facing the Raiders is a mixed bag for the Chargers pass catchers this week. The Raiders’ defense has been a mediocre unit, allowing 6.8 net passing yards per attempt. However, when we look at the performance of wide receivers, that has not translated into consistent fantasy success.
According to Pro Football Network’s Defense Points Allowed Consistency Score, the Raiders rank 21st against the receiver position in PPR. However, in terms of average points allowed to the position, they have allowed the 12th-highest.
Five receivers have posted 100 yards games against the Raiders defense, and they have allowed 15 touchdowns to the position (tied for sixth-most). The reason receivers have not been more consistent is that the Raiders are bad at defending the run. They have allowed 21 rushing touchdowns, compared to 22 passing, while allowing 4.7 yards per carry.
Tyron Johnson should benefit from the struggles the Raiders have had with their pass rush. With 15 sacks, they are the joint-second worst team behind the Titans. However, they do rank in the middle of the pack in terms of pressures, hurries, and knockdowns, meaning Justin Herbert cannot just stand in the pocket. Johnson will need to be available on the mid-level routes to have sustained success, but there is also the potential for the young receiver to make plays deep if Herbert finds time to hold the ball.
In the last three games, Jalen Guyton and Tyron Johnson have competed to be the number three WR in this offense. Against the Raiders on Thursday night, both should have the opportunity to make plays for fantasy football teams.
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