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RB Derrick Henry | Tennessee Titans | 2nd Year
2016 Stats: 110 carries for 490 yards, 5 TDs, 13 receptions for 137 yards
After signing DeMarco Murray in free agency last year, the Tennessee Titans doubled-down on the running back position by using a second-round pick (No. 45 overall) on 2015 Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. Murray finished third in the league in rushing with 1,287 yards, so there wasn’t much room for Henry to make an impact as a rookie.
Murray has more than 290 carries in two of the last three campaigns, with just one missed game in that span. He is 29 years old though, and I don’t need to elaborate on that being near the age running backs fall off. Over the last five games of last season, Henry had four of his five rushing touchdowns and averaged a 5.0 yards per carry. In Week 8 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, there was room for both Murray (21 carries for 123 yards and one touchdown) and Henry (97 total yards and a rushing touchdown) to be productive.
Back in March, Titans head coach Mike Mularkey maintained that Murray will be the team’s workhorse again this season. But he did slow down late last season, with less than 50 rushing yards in three of the last five games, as Henry’s role grew a bit and he was effective. A closer workload split should be coming in 2017, after Murray had close to 73 percent of the carries the two backs combined for in 2016 (293 of 403). Simply put, Henry deserves more work.
He has some standalone value in 12-team standard leagues, but Henry’s breakout potential is strictly tied to Murray’s health. If Murray misses time, Henry climbs the depth chart into a workhorse role and becomes a RB1. Otherwise Henry is simply a high-end handcuff, with game flow and touchdown-dependent weekly value.