As the 2019 fantasy football season nears, it's time to examine players who could make or break your fantasy team. Here's a look at Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry and his fantasy outlook for the season ahead.
New offensive coordinator Arthur Smith said of Henry in March, per ESPN: “Derrick will be a big part of the offense. He has a rare skill set. We are taking another step hopefully with him.” Henry entered last season without reaching 14 carries in consecutive NFL games. He finally strung together four lead-runner weeks to close the year, racking up 585 yards and seven TDs on 87 attempts. Expect Dion Lewis to play complement to that guy in 2019.
Size: 6'3", 247
Bye Week: 11
Is this now Derrick Henry’s backfield?
Yes. In Weeks 14-17 last season, Henry rushed for 585 yards and seven TDs — highlighted by an outrageous 238-yard, four-TD performance (including a 99-yarder) on “Thursday Night Football” against the rival Jaguars. But a lack of consistency week to week is a major red flag. In Henry’s first 12 games of 2018, he rushed for just 474 yards and five TDs. As a result, only 18 percent of Yahoo fantasy owners started Henry for his 47.8-point (default scoring) effort on TNF. In 2017, two garbage-time carries accounted for 147 of his 744 yards and two of his five TDs. Henry averaged just 3.43 yards per carry on his other 174 attempts. It’s been more famine than feast for Henry’s fantasy owners. One encouraging sign, however, is his year-over-year improvement. He saw a 60 percent increase in carries (110 to 176) and 52 percent increase in rushing yards (490 to 744) from Year 1 to Year 2, then a 22 percent increase in carries (176 to 215) and 42 percent increase in rushing yards (744 to 1,059) from Year 2 to Year 3. A similar bump in Year 4 would put the hulking 6'3", 247-pound Henry among the league leaders in both carries and rushing yards. It’s certainly possible, but buyer beware.
We can’t expect a full season like Henry’s final quarter of 2018. But consistent work should make him at least a solid fantasy RB2.
Season Projections for 2019
269 carries, 1,210 yards, 10 rushing TDs; 15 receptions, 113 yards, 0 receiving TDs