I've just skimmed through the thread, but I haven't seen this point brought up.
Rudi Johnson had 361 carries last season. That is a ridiculously high amount. History has been almost UNIVERSALLY unkind to RBs coming off of a 350 carry season in year n+1 (unless your name is Eric Dickerson). The injury rates and the decline in play are UNREAL, and again, almost universal. Terrell Davis and Jamal Anderson both suffered career ending injuries after a 350+ carry season. Ricky Williams dropped from 1800 yards to 1300 yards (and saw his ypc drop a full yard) after his 350+ carry season. Jamal Lewis saw his ypg drop almost 50 yards last season, and saw his ypc drop half a yard, coming off of a 350+ carry season. Basically, RBs do NOT fare well the year after getting that high of a workload.
This presents two problems to Rudi Johnson, both arising from the fact that he's already a pretty low ypc RB (4.0 last season). Problem #1 is that, if his ypc drops any, he's going to need an even GREATER workload this season to produce any numbers (sort of like Ricky Williams, who actually had more carries when he ran for 1300 than he did when he ran for 1800). The greater workload drastically increases his risk of injury. Problem #2 is that, since his ypc is already so low, and since his backup RB is so talented and fresh, any drop in his ypc might be enough to warrent Perry at least getting a look.
As such, I think that Chris Perry is a HUGE upside RB this season, and definitely worth a late round flier. If he stays Johnson's backup, I don't think he has much value, but I think he's the 2nd most likely backup to see his starter go down by midseason.
For the record, the 1st most likely backup to see his starter go down is Derrick Blaylock. Not only is Curtis Martin 32 (which doesn't worry me too much), he got more carries than even Johnson last season, with a total of 371. That is NOT a good sign. I don't like gambling on injuries, but this 350+ carries trend has proven accurate so many times, that I simply refuse to bet against it. I don't own Johnson or Martin in a single one of my leagues. I'm also leery of Corey Dillon, who had 345 carries in 15 games, although I do own him in one league (I'm extremely deep at RB, and I'll try to move him after 3-4 weeks when his value is high).
Hmmmm interesting ???How accurate has this stat been over the last 5 years ??
I may drop Travis Henry for Perry - knowing this new info
I'm planning on posting sometime with the complete data set, but here's what happened to every 350+ carry back since 2000.2000-
Year N: 16 games, 355 carries, 1341 yards, 8 TDs
Year N+1: 11 games, 225, 1072, 4 TDs
Year N: 16 games, 387/1709/13
Year N+1: 6 games, 151/662/3
Year N: 16 games, 403/1509/14
Year N+1: 16 games, 315/939/5
Year N: 16 games, 356/1432/5
Year N+1: 12 games, 207/820/7
Year N: 16 games, 372/1683/14
Year N+1: 16 games, 313/1648/13
Year N: 16 games, 383/1853/16
Year N+1: 16 games, 392/1372/9
Year N: 16 games, 351/1641/8
Year N+1: 14 games, 269/1074/9
Year N: 16 games, 355/1883/15
Year N+1: 15 games, 259/1163/7
Year N: 16 games, 387/2066/14
Year N+1: 12 games, 235/1006/7
Year N: 16 games, 392/1372/9
Year N+1: 0 games, 0/0/0 (retired)
Year N: 16 games, 353/1696/16
Year N+1: ???
Year N: 16 games, 361/1454/12
Year N+1: ???
Year N: 16 games, 371/1697/12
Year N+1: ???
Of the 10 instances since 2000, only once has a player held his value after a 350+ carry season (Tomlinson 2002). It's certainly not IMPOSSIBLE for a 350+ carry back to finish next season among the league's top 10, but I think there's enough data here that I don't have any qualms about avoiding them altogether.