by Aaron Kagan
At the beginning of his career, Derrick Henry was somewhat of a letdown to fantasy owners. The former Heisman Trophy winner was not living up to that expectation of being a workhorse back. Many people were thinking last season was going to be his breakout season, but were disappointed when the season was started off with Dion Lewis being the starting back in Tennessee.
Once week 13 of 2018 came around, Henry started to show his “true colors” with some incredible production that set NFL records for consecutive games in the oncoming weeks. He ranked second from weeks 13-17 in PPR points behind Christian McCaffrey and ahead of Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Joe Mixon and Alvin Kamara. I think the term may be “recency bias” but this is definitely in many analysts minds heading into this 2019 season.
Many are hoping that with the new offensive coordinator emphasizing their use of Derrick Henry, the true workhorse within him will show. Some analysts refuse to buy into the hype, but with the production he had at the end of last season, it is hard not to.
As I began researching players that I wanted or did not want in my upcoming dynasty startup drafts, one name was on my mind as a total avoidance. The player’s name was Todd Gurley, and it was not totally due to the reported knee issues that he has been having.
As he began this season last year, it started off well enough. He was the number one pick in many drafts, dynasty and re-draft. People were thinking that he was living up to that expectation to begin the season. When the Rams signed CJ Anderson, that was somewhat of a clue that something wasn’t right.
Aside from the production of Anderson and Gurley’s lack of production at the end of the season, the extent of his health issues were unknown. Throughout his career, he has not eclipsed more than 300 carries in a season. This pales in comparison to some Hall of Famers that he was hopefully compared to who had over 400 carries in a season at times. His durability may be a concern, but at just over 1,000 carries in his career, this should not be an issue at this point in time.
When the Rams decided to draft Darrell Henderson in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft, the time for questions to arise was apparent. When looking at players to draft for a dynasty league, the health concerns are always an issue because you are going to have this player for his entire career. For these reasons in combination, I am avoiding drafting Todd Gurley.