2. Derrick Henry (TEN)
Full disclosure, Derrick Henry was on this list for me last year along with his Titans teammate DeMarco Murray, but this year it’s all about Henry for me.
When he touched the ball last year, good things happened for Tennessee. With a starting job in the NFL, I believe he would be drafted in the first round of fantasy drafts in 2017. That’s the player I think you will eventually get this year and at a much cheaper draft price.
DeMarco Murray set the NFL on fire last season and really overshadowed Henry. Even with Murray getting the bulk of the carries, Henry showed the Titans that he is their future. With just over 100 carries, he rushed for nearly 500 yards and five touchdowns. This preseason has only shown more of what Henry can do. He squared off against fellow running back of the future, Christian McCaffrey, and looked incredible.
The Titans would be crazy to remove Murray as the top back right now, but fantasy owners of Henry may be rewarded with a big payoff for just a little patients. Murray has only played a full NFL season twice in six seasons. Also, Murray’s only other 1,500-plus yard season was followed up by a dud in 2015. If Murray gives Henry even a sliver of a chance at the starting job, he is taking it and running with it.
Draft Henry in your league. The Titans are playing for the future with QB Marcus Mariota and Derrick Henry. Even if Murray stays healthy all year, this will be more of a split backfield. Someone with the skill of Henry is going to produce when given 200 carries.
At the very least, the Titans could have two backs who run for close to 1,000 yards in 2017, and late in fantasy drafts, that type of production is hard to find.