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Andy Behrens

Larry Johnson, former fantasy luminary, is looking for work

Andy Behrens
Roto Arcade

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If you're relatively new to fantasy football, then Larry Johnson(notes) is an uncomplicated character. LJ's release from the Chiefs is a non-event. All the recent anecdotal evidence suggests that he's a complete tool; all the recent statistical evidence suggests that he could be finished as a productive NFL back. Johnson is not a player who requires serious analysis.

But if you're not new to fantasy football – let's say, hypothetically, that you owned LJ in a highly incentivized dynasty league from 2004 to '06 – then his release still feels like news. The guy scored 51 touchdowns over 38 games before crashing. It was a profitable ride.

The Texans and Redskins are both reportedly kicking Johnson's high-mileage tires, so don't think this is the last LJ headline you'll encounter. Gary Kubiak says "We're going to do our homework" on Johnson. Jim Zorn acknowledged that his team has "had internal discussions." Other teams are likely to investigate, too – and they're looking at game tape, not personnel files. In the NFL, solid character is almost a distraction.

The immediate fantasy fallout for KC is fairly well known; we've been through the drill before. You can expect Jamaal Charles(notes) and Kolby Smith(notes) to form a low-yield committee in LJ's absence. The Chiefs don't yet have a rushing TD this season, although the Week 10 trip to Oakland may fix that shortcoming. Both Charles and Smith belong on rosters in deeper, competitive leagues.

But let's not focus on them today. Instead, let's gather in comments to celebrate LJ, a first ballot fantasy Hall of Famer if ever there was one. And still an absolute tool.

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