Player Points - Chris Johnson
By Chase Stuart
July 7th, 2010

Chris Johnson's 2009 season was historic on a lot of levels. He set the single-season record for yards from scrimmage and became just the sixth player to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. Johnson was the most valuable fantasy player on the planet in 2009, and the difference between him and the next best RB was significant. In fact, the difference between Johnson and the #2 RB was larger than it has been in most seasons since the merger:

Year
RB1Pts
RB1
RB2Pts
RB2
Diff
1995
396
Emmitt Smith
286
Barry Sanders
109
2006
457
LaDainian Tomlinson
374
Steven Jackson
83
2001
382
Marshall Faulk
308
Priest Holmes
74
1977
322
Walter Payton
255
Lydell Mitchell
66
2002
408
Priest Holmes
347
Ricky Williams
61
2009
372
Chris Johnson
312
Adrian Peterson
60
1983
367
Eric Dickerson
313
William Andrews
54
1994
340
Emmitt Smith
287
Barry Sanders
53
1993
279
Emmitt Smith
230
Thurman Thomas
48
1998
373
Terrell Davis
326
Jamal Anderson
47
2000
415
Marshall Faulk
370
Edgerrin James
46
1973
282
O.J. Simpson
239
Floyd Little
43
1992
348
Emmitt Smith
312
Thurman Thomas
36
1978
279
Walter Payton
243
Tony Dorsett
36
1975
376
O.J. Simpson
345
Chuck Foreman
32
1976
284
Chuck Foreman
254
Lydell Mitchell
30
1989
318
Dalton Hilliard
293
Thurman Thomas
25
1980
314
Billy Sims
289
Earl Campbell
24
1982
215
Marcus Allen
191
Wendell Tyler
24
1981
316
William Andrews
293
Billy Sims
23
1997
336
Barry Sanders
315
Terrell Davis
22
2005
371
Shaun Alexander
352
Larry Johnson
20
1974
272
Otis Armstrong
253
Chuck Foreman
19
1970
247
Ron A. Johnson
228
MacArthur Lane
19
1971
215
Steve Owens
197
Leroy Kelly
17
2008
295
DeAngelo Williams
279
Michael Turner
16
2003
410
Priest Holmes
395
LaDainian Tomlinson
15
1984
349
James Wilder
335
Marcus Allen
15
1972
270
Ron A. Johnson
257
Larry Brown
13
1987
239
Herschel Walker
227
Charles White
12
1999
358
Marshall Faulk
347
Edgerrin James
11
2007
339
LaDainian Tomlinson
327
Brian Westbrook
11
1988
312
Eric Dickerson
302
Roger Craig
10
2004
326
Tiki Barber
318
Shaun Alexander
8
1985
350
Marcus Allen
343
Roger Craig
7
1990
292
Barry Sanders
285
Thurman Thomas
7
1986
287
Eric Dickerson
281
Curt Warner
7
1979
312
Walter Payton
305
Wilbert Montgomery
6
1996
297
Terry Allen
293
Terrell Davis
4
1991
308
Barry Sanders
307
Thurman Thomas
1

As special as Johnson's season was, it would have been even more impressive if it wasn't for Ray Rice. Johnson finished second to Rice in receiving yards among running backs; no player has ever led all RBs in both rushing and receiving yards in the same season. LaDainian Tomlinson (in 2007, not his scorched-earth 2006 campaign) is the only other RB to lead one category and rank in the top two in the other. Below are all 13 RBs to rank in the top three among running backs in both rushing and receiving yards in a single season:

Running Back
Year
Team
RushYds
RecYds
RushRk
RecRk
Chris Johnson
2009
TEN
2006
503
1
2
LaDainian Tomlinson
2007
SDG
1474
475
1
2
Brian Westbrook
2007
PHI
1333
771
3
1
Tiki Barber
2005
NYG
1860
530
2
3
LaDainian Tomlinson
2003
SDG
1645
725
3
1
Priest Holmes
2002
KAN
1615
672
3
2
Thurman Thomas
1992
BUF
1487
626
3
3
Thurman Thomas
1991
BUF
1407
631
3
1
James Wilder
1984
TAM
1544
685
3
2
William Andrews
1983
ATL
1567
609
2
2
Lydell Mitchell
1975
BAL
1193
544
3
2
Larry Brown
1972
WAS
1216
473
2
3
Ron Johnson
1970
NYG
1027
487
2
2

Johnson averaged 5.60 YPC last year, joining only Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders and O.J. Simpson as RBs since the merger to record 300 carries and average as many yards per rush. If you came here expecting to hear hoping for something that amounted to more than "Chris Johnson is really good", I'm sorry.

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to stuart@footballguys.com.