2/20/22, 8:52 PM
The Jaguars backfield is expected to have fantasy value in ‘22. A year of growing pains under Trevor Lawrence’s belt, a full off-season without Urban Meyer’s distractions, and a series of high draft picks that could turn into O-line help are potentially the perfect storm for a Travis Etienne breakout. Can you trust him coming off of the Lisfranc injury? Here’s what you should know:
(1) Return to play takes NFL players an average of 10-11 months. That’s great news for Etienne, who tore his Lisfranc in August. Even 11 months to come back makes him a healthy starter well before Week 1.
(2) Post-Lisfranc performance dip. Offensive skill position players seem to have a hard time bouncing back from this injury in the short-term. RBs in the SportsMedAnalytics database see a decline in their productivity. Working in Etienne’s favor are young age and exceptional pre-injury athletic metrics (average ~80th percentile for the categories relevant to Lisfranc). Overall, our injury analytics algorithm tells us to expect nearly the same quality of player as before injury.
(3) James Robinson. He’s still under contract with the Jags, but he’s coming off of an Achilles tear in December. NFL RBs have typically averaged ~1 year to return, but Cam Akers has reset our expectations to be closer to the 6-8 month range. While Robinson will likely be back at or near the start of the season, we anticipate him being ~80% of his pre-injury self. That should mean more opportunity for Etienne, who we already know that the Jaguars want to feature heavily based on his high draft position.
Overall, we like Etienne at his current ranking ~RB20. His dual-threat ability gives him a low-RB2 floor but an RB1 ceiling. What more could you want at that point in a draft? @fantasyfootball.360 and I will be targeting him for sure.
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