If you like contract-year players, Derrick Henry could be a back for you. He closed last year on a tear, running for 585 yards and 7 TDs in his final four games, and he’s entering the final year of his rookie contract.

Henry hasn’t signed an extension yet. That could happened before the season starts (or, in theory, during the season). If he’s upset about not having received an extension yet, he’s not showing it publicly. He’s been at the offseason workouts.

Henry isn’t saying whether he’s been pushing for an extension, or whether the team is talking to him. “It’s football,” Henry said in an article on the team’s website. “I fell in love with it before the money. I love football.”

Tennessee went with a tag-team backfield for most of last season, with Henry and Dion Lewis sharing time. That changed in December, when they elevated Henry into more of a bell-cow role. And that’s how they’re expected to use them in 2019 (with Lewis as more of a third-down back).

Henry should finish among the rushing leaders. In my opinion, he’s very much in the running to lead the league in rushing yards.

Working against Henry is his limited receiving ability. He’s caught only 39 passes in his first 47 games as a pro. I don’t think he’ll catch more than 25 passes, and even that might be overly optimistic.

If a running back doesn’t catch many passes, it’s hard for him to put up franchise-type numbers, particularly in a PPR format. In this century (19 seasons) only 35 running backs have put up top-20 PPR numbers while catching no more than 20 passes. Those backs are listed below. Only 10 of those backs finished with top-10 numbers (and they’re tagged with black dots).

On average, these backs tended to rank about 3 spots higher in standard scoring.

On this chart, you’re looking at catches, receiving yards, rushing yards, total yards and touchdowns. The last two numbers indicate the players rank (in that season) in standard scoring (Std) and PPR.

YearPlayer NoRecRunTotal TDStdPPR
2000Corey Dillon, Cin.181581,4351,59371720
2001• Antowain Smith, N.E.191921,1571,34913910
2003Stephen Davis, Car.141591,4441,60381215
2004• Corey Dillon, N.E.151031,6351,7381378
2004• Rudi Johnson, Cin.15841,4541,53812810
2004Priest Holmes, K.C.191878921,079151218
2005• Shaun Alexander, Sea.15781,8801,9582811
2005Mike Anderson, Den.182121,0141,226131012
2005Willie Parker, Pitt.182181,2021,42051518
2007• Adrian Peterson, Minn.192681,3411,6091335
2007Marshawn Lynch, Buff.181841,1151,29971216
2007LenDale White, Tenn.201141,1101,22471518
2008• Michael Turner, Atl.6411,6991,7401724
2008Brandon Jacobs, NYG6361,0891,125151218
2009• Thomas Jones, Chi.10581,4021,4601469
2009Jonathan Stewart, Car.181391,1331,272111215
2009Cedric Benson, Cin.171111,2511,36261520
2010Michael Turner, Atl.12851,3711,45612914
2010BenJarvus Green-Ellis, N.E.12851,0081,093131519
2011• Michael Turner, Atl.171681,3401,5081168
2011Adrian Peterson, Minn.181399701,10913915
2011Frank Gore, S.F.171141,2111,32581217
2012• Alfred Morris, Wash.11771,6131,6901357
2012Stevan Ridley, N.E.6511,2631,314121115
2012Shonn Greene, NYJ191511,0631,21481519
2013Frank Gore, S.F.161411,1281,26991318
2013Alfred Morris, Wash.9781,2751,35371420
2014Alfred Morris, Wash.171551,0741,22981317
2015Jeremy Hill, Cin.1579794873121420
2016• LeGarrette Blount, N.E.7381,1611,1991879
2018Chris Carson, Sea.201631,1511,31491415
2018Derrick Henry, Ten.15991,0591,158121216
2018Nick Chubb, Cle.201499961,145101517
2018Adrian Peterson, Was.202081,0421,25081619
2018Marlon Mack, Ind.171039081,011101820

—Ian Allan