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2019 Dynasty Price Check - Derrick Henry


When it comes to dynasty football leagues, you know there is no offseason. Without the in-season worries of setting lineups and waiver wire claims, dynasty league enthusiasts can focus their efforts on making trades to improve their teams and preparing for rookie drafts. Offseason narratives can be difficult to navigate, but we are here to help!

Today's column will take a look at Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry. We will start off with an overview of the veteran and then take a look at analyzing his value in dynasty leagues. Then, to finish it off, we will propose some possible trades involving Henry to give you some ideas for either buying or selling him.

For all discussions regarding Derrick Henry's dynasty value, let's assume you are playing in a 12-team, one-quarterback dynasty league with 0.5 PPR scoring. As always, player values can shift quickly in dynasty leagues so be sure to stay on top of the NFL news cycle when proposing trades.

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Overview

Derrick Henry
Team: Tennessee Titans
College: Alabama
Height/Weight: 6'3", 247 pounds
2014 NFL Draft: Round 2, Pick 45 overall

The Titans obtained this second-round pick as part of the blockbuster trade the Los Angeles Rams made to trade up for quarterback Jared Goff. Henry combined in the backfield with DeMarco Murray, who had come off a tough time with the Philadelphia Eagles and was acquired to run the Titans backfield.

Having a player who two seasons earlier had set the Dallas Cowboys' single-season rushing record on his way to winning the NFL Offensive Player of The Year award meant Henry was likely to struggle to see a lot of snaps. Henry finished his rookie season with 110 carries for 490 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games (including two starts), Henry also caught 13 passes for 137 yards.

Henry was able to build upon his rookie season, again splitting carries with Murray in the backfield. Henry had some blockbuster plays in his sophomore season, including a 75-yard rushing touchdown later in the fourth quarter in a matchup against the Houston Texans. Henry finished the regular season with 744 rushing yards from 176 carries and five touchdowns, as well as catching 11 passes for 136 yards and a single touchdown. However, it was the playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs that stuck in the minds of fantasy owners. Henry finished the wild-card matchup with the best performance of his career up to that point, rushing for 156 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries and catching two passes for 35 yards. While he wasn't able to catch that same magic in the Titans' next matchup, he certainly had raised his hand to lead the backfield for 2018.

Murray was released by the Titans in March and Henry saw his value sky-rocket. That was immediately derailed when the Titans signed Dion Lewis, but Henry was still able to have a strong season as the bruising running back finished the season with the highest statistics of his career, finishing the season with over 1,000 rushing yards for the first time. Henry ended up finishing the season with 1,059 yards off of 215 attempts and 12 rushing touchdowns- also catching 15 passes of 99 yards.  Henry also tied an NFL record for the longest rushing play - an incredible 99-yard run.

 

Dynasty Value

Henry has been able to showcase his ability in his young career as a player who can certainly take a heavy workload. One issue that will stain his fantasy value is that he hasn't been involved in the passing game, and so if the Titans aren't able to stay in a game, his usage could be limited. However, it should be noted that the Titans were more effective towards the end of the season when they entrusted Henry with more touches.

If he had shown himself to be a factor in the passing game or didn't have the highly effective Lewis in the backfield, then his ADP on Fantasy Football Calculator would likely be higher than a mid-sixth round pick. That is a steep fall-off for a player that was being taken in the third round in the years preceding that. As such, he should be able to be picked up for a mid to late first round pick.

 

Possible Trades

From a draft pick perspective, if selling Henry, I would initially be looking for a first and early second round pick and would likely have to pay a similar price if I were to buy him.

Here at Rotoballer, we currently have Henry ranked as the RB18 in dynasty leagues, which puts him in Tier 3 at his position. If I was looking at trying to acquire a wide receiver, I'd likely look to add him with another player or draft pick to try and move up a tier or a player that is a more borderline Tier 2 receiver.

Targets that I expect I would be able to trade for straight-up or very little to add are players like Kenny Golladay, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp. Adding a little bit more, I would hope to jump up and be able to snag a player like Keenan Allen or Mike Evans.

 

Conclusion

This time next year, it will be clear to see if the 2018 blueprint for Henry was able to be effective in 2019. For now, I would target Henry if I was in a position where I was happy with my wide receivers, and just needed something slightly better at running back- as he will get the opportunity to run the backfield.

If I was happy with my running back depth, I would consider moving him for a wide receiver but it would need to be one that was able to give me some level of production that I could rely on.

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