Halfway through the 2021 season, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry led the league in carries, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns. Henry was on track to break the NFL’s regular-season rushing record before suffering a Jones fracture in Week 8 that would sideline him for the remainder of the regular season. Henry returned for the Titans’ Divisional Round game against the Cincinnati Bengals, where they would fall 19-16.
Looking ahead to 2022, Henry will hope to stay healthy and once again finish with double-digit games played. Tennesse’s offense leans on Henry’s performance in the backfield, and as long as he’s healthy the Titans are considered threats in the AFC. The statement rings true for Henry’s fantasy potential as well: When healthy, he’s arguably the best running back in fantasy football.
2021 season statistics & fantasy finish
Rushing: Henry had 219 carries for 937 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. He averaged 154 rushing yards per game and 4.3 rushing yards per attempt.
Receiving: He caught 18 passes on 20 targets for 154 receiving yards without a receiving touchdown. Henry averaged 19.3 receiving yards per game and 8.6 yards per reception.
Fantasy: Henry finished 22nd among all running backs in PPR scoring with 193.3 total points. He ranked 14th among running backs in standard scoring with 175.3 total points scored.
Titans offseason moves
The most notable changes to the Titans have occurred within their receiving corps. Tennessee released Julio Jones back in March and then subsequently traded a 2023 sixth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams for Robert Woods. Not long after, the Titans agreed to terms with tight end Austin Hooper. However, the most significant move occurred on night one of the 2022 NFL Draft as the Titans traded A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 18th overall pick. Tennessee used the 18th pick to draft Treylon Burks out of Arkansas.
2022 best-case scenario
Last season was the lone year in which Henry did not appear in either 15 or 16 games, and the best-case scenario is that he’s due for another high-volume season. He’s proven to be durable and if that remains true in 2022, he should be in for another big fantasy season given the Titans' offense literally runs through him.
2022 worst-case scenario
Either another significant injury or a lack of chemistry with Tennesse’s newest weapons can damper Henry’s expectations. An injury speaks for itself and it would sideline him long-term. But if Ryan Tannehill fails to build a rapport with Woods, Hooper, or rookie Reynolds then it makes it much easier for defenses to stack the box against Henry. Opposing defenses may not stop him, but they can hope to contain him which limits his fantasy potential.
Last season was the anomaly in what has otherwise been a healthy career for Henry. I think he gets back to finishing with double-digit starts and it results in another highly productive season for the Titans’ star. Tannehill’s chemistry with his newest weapons will determine the floor of Henry’s fantasy season. At best I say he finishes as a top-five running back, with the worst expectation being hovering around the top 10-15 range.