The King Will Be Dethroned In 2020

I was admittedly low on him entering the year. I saw him as more of an RB2 due to lack of volume in the passing game. He stayed true to that with only 18 catches on the year, but he more than made up for it with a league high in attempts (303), rushing yards (1,540) and rushing touchdowns, (16) Good for the PPR RB5. I did some WAY TOO EARLY RB rankings about a week ago and people were telling me my RB5 ranking of Henry was too low. I was actually surprised. I thought I was actually a bit high on him. After diving into it a bit more, I guarantee he will drop down even further. Here’s why:

Henry is only the 4th RB out of 100 to finish top 10 with less than 20 receptions in the last 10 years.

Looking at the past 10 rush leaders, their next season saw their rush yards per game drop by around 27 yards per game or roughly 432 yards over a 16-game season. The number of games played also dropped by about 3 games per season, due to injury. None repeated as the rushing leader the next year.

When looking at the touchdown leaders over the past 10 seasons, (there have been 14 with ties) the TD rate dropped by around 17.5 attempts. The per game rate for TDs decreased by about 0.4. .
So, when looking at Derrick Henry’s 2019 season and using the above averages, his stat line of 1,540 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns would drop to around 1,108 rushing yards and 8-10 touchdowns, depending on which touchdown metric you use. Touchdowns per attempts vs touchdowns per game. I’ll use the higher number in this case. I also kept his game total at 15 considering it’s more than likely he will miss at least one game next year.

Adding those stats to his 2019 receiving stats you end up with around 230 ppr fantasy points, which would have been the RB12 this year. Over the past 10 seasons it averages out to around RB10.

In closing, I was obviously too low on Henry in 2019. He is a rare talent who is able to make up for the lack of receiving ability. But I can’t ignore what history has shown when it comes to previous rushing and touchdown leaders as well as backs who don’t catch passes. Henry will not be Top 5 in 2020!

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