Outlook: Derrick Henry, my #3 running back heading into 2021, is currently leading the NFL in rushing with 1,679 yards (with Weeks 16-17 still to go). He's tied with Dalvin Cook for first in rushing touchdowns with 15. Dalvin Cook is currently ranked 2nd on the attached rankings graphic, which comes straight from my 2021 Redraft Rankings... but, one can easily argue Cook over Henry or Henry over Cook. In fact, Week 16 finishes will most certainly have a heavy hand in who is the consensus 1.02 heading into early ADP Data gathering.
Coming out of 2020, we need to, as a fantasy world, really take a look at risk factors on a whole new level. Who has the highest chance of busting? What sitautions can be major pitfalls for a player? Situationally, what are the biggest redflags?
Honestly, I'd say that injury is the ONLY issue/concern for Henry heading into 2021. His situation is ideal. He has no timeshare threat whatsoever, and no one is going to vulture this man's touchdowns.
The big question is, at his size, how long can he stay healthy at the tune of 14- to 16-game seasons? He's 6-3/247 pounds, and he does most all of his work in between the tackles, which is a habit that usually shortens careers like clockwork. With 300-pound linemen meeting Henry at every open door, and given the fact that 247-pounds is hitting the ground with each tackle, Henry is going to have a short reign atop the first-round in fantasy football. He has also played five seasons and will be 27 years old on 1/4/21. To put his length of career into perspective, the 2020 NFL season is/was Todd Gurley's 6th. He has major knee issues, but the point is, five years for Henry is a long time.
So, how long does the guy have on top? I'd venture to say 1-2 more elite years is still in the cards. That means that this conversation is irrelevant for 2021, minus the risk of injury that faces any running back at the NFL level.. and quite honestly, it shouldn't scare dynasty drafters off all that much, because if he does last 2 years, that's a long time. Too many fantasy owners draft 3 and 4 years out, and those fantasy owners often play for second place and never have the top team. Dynasty owners should consider a Henry trade, though (trading away) if the price is right, but that goes for any player... selling high on anyone is just smart fantasy football management. But, no one should sell Henry for anything less than he is worth, which is a top 3 overall pick heading into 2021 (and still a top 5 overall pick heading into dynasty start-ups).
In conclusion, Henry is a lock inside my 2021 top 3 overall; In dynasty, I shop him high and see if I can get my hands on two massive risers, or I just hang tight and ride out the monster 1-2 wave known as Derrick Henry.
Comment below with your thoughts!