Earlier this season, Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry was on a record pace as the most heavily utilized running back in the NFL. Unfortunately, Henry suffered an injury. With rumors persisting that Henry could potentially make it back in Week 18, what’s the latest update for fantasy football managers?
Derrick Henry injury update
Henry injured his foot during a Halloween game against the Indianapolis Colts and has been sidelined ever since. The injury was expected to force him out for the rest of the season. However, the Titans have maintained that they are holding out hope he can return at some point this year. They are now expecting him to practice on Wednesday, signaling that his return is close. The Titans officially designated Henry to return from the IR on Wednesday (January 5).
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported weeks ago that there’s a chance Henry could return in Week 18 if needed. But with the Titans currently sitting in the driver’s seat for the AFC’s No. 1 seed and a Week 18 matchup with the Houston Texans on tap, it feels like it would be a stretch for Tennessee to rush him back this year.
The Titans RB has had an absurdly good start to the season
In the first eight games of the season, Henry was in a league of his own.
He wasn’t the most efficient he’s ever been, as he averaged 4.28 yards per carry. But that’s nothing new for Henry. Typically, the size/speed specimen gets going as the season wears on, punishing defenses late in the season.
His lower-than-normal efficiency didn’t stop the Titans from handing him an absurd workload, however. Henry had 219 rushing attempts for 937 yards and 10 TDs in eight games. Also to the delight of fantasy managers, Henry had 18 catches on 20 targets.
Henry’s start to the season was so prolific that he is still the RB17 on the year, despite being sidelined since Week 8. He’s still tied for the sixth-most rushing touchdowns this year with 10.
Derrick Henry fantasy expectations
If (for some reason) your fantasy league is still playing in Week 18, then this news matters to you. While I would firmly recommend not having your fantasy championship during the last week of the regular season due to teams resting their starters if their fates are already decided, I understand that it can be out of your control if you aren’t the commissioner of your league.
In Week 18, Henry has a chance to return against a Texans team that he has dominated throughout his career. That includes a 250-yard, 2-TD performance to close out the regular season last year.
Here’s the thing, though. By all accounts, it sounds as though the Titans are easing Henry back into practice with their eyes on a playoff return. Tennessee doesn’t seem to be urgently preparing him for a matchup against Houston that they likely believe they can handily win without him.
If Henry does play, then you play him in your fantasy championship. But I would bet he doesn’t suit up until the NFL playoffs.