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Derrick Henry

Running back a prolific scorer

Joined a best-ball league at FFPC, and drew the 12th spot in the slow draft. I thought I might be taking a pair of wide receivers there, but instead I opted for just one (Puka Nacua) and a running back. I went with Derrick Henry.

Picking 12th is tough, because I think whatever 2nd-round pick you make might seem like a bit of a reach. There seem to be about 8-10 truly elite choices, and then some sameness sets in.

Had I not taken Henry, I'd have taken A.J. Brown, and there was a point when I thought I would. But I think the wide receivers I'll be looking at when my next picks finally come up at 3.12 and 4.01 will be a lot closer to Brown in potential than the running backs there will be to Henry. He's 30 years old, but I'm not that concerned. He looked pretty much his usual dominant self a year ago, and he's going to team where Gus Edwards scored 13 touchdowns last year. Henry is a lot better than Edwards; I think 15-plus is reasonable. Should be getting into the end zone almost every week, which is a nice player to have in best-ball. I seriously doubt many of the running backs on the board at 3.12 will be able to say the same.

In his career, Henry has scored 93 touchdowns in 119 games. He's even better if we look at just the last six years, when he's been a full-time starter -- 82 touchdowns in 88 games. (Henry's first two years he was coming off the bench behind DeMarco Murray -- what a backfield tandem the Titans had back then!) If we just looked at Henry has a starter, he'd be behind only LaDainian Tomlinson on the below table. Even still, he's behind only LT and Shaun Alexander in terms of touchdowns per game since 2000.

Table shows all running backs this century to play at least 100 games, sorted by touchdowns (run and receiving) per game. Search tools at used in compiling this table.

LaDainian Tomlinson1701368480.51620.95
Shaun Alexander123945376.91120.91
Derrick Henry119950279.8930.78
Alvin Kamara101582957.7780.77
Ezekiel Elliott120890474.2850.71
Clinton Portis113992387.8800.71
Adrian Peterson1841491881.11260.68
Austin Ekeler103435542.3690.67
Corey Dillon104778274.8680.65
Maurice Jones-Drew126816764.8810.64
Marshawn Lynch1491041369.9940.63
Melvin Gordon112654358.4700.63
Ahman Green118887675.2730.62
Brian Westbrook121633552.4730.60
Brandon Jacobs109509446.7640.59
Edgerrin James1321069381740.56
Jamaal Charles119756363.6650.55
Ricky Williams135912567.6720.53
Tiki Barber110951486.5580.53
LeSean McCoy1701110265.3890.52
Matt Forte146979667.1750.51
Michael Turner134733854.8670.50
DeAngelo Williams142809657700.49
Willis McGahee142847459.7700.49
Chris Johnson130965174.2640.49
Steven Jackson1601143871.5780.49
Mark Ingram156811152750.48
Jamal Lewis1311060781620.47
Ahmad Bradshaw103492847.8480.47
LeGarrette Blount132630647.8580.44
Reggie Bush134549041580.43
Jonathan Stewart134733554.7580.43
Frank Gore2411600066.41000.41
Latavius Murray151655243.4610.40
Kenyan Drake104386637.2420.40
Fred Taylor128974076.1510.40
Warrick Dunn134834762.3530.40

On our board, I think we have Henry as a mid second-round pick. (Higher in standard or TD-only than PPR.) There are players at other positions who might finish with better overall numbers, since he won't be involved in the passing game and the Ravens will work in a second back. But you deal with the draft position you're given. I won't be picking in the middle of the second round, and I like the idea of King Henry leading my running back corps. I'll post other updates to this draft (which is a slow draft with a 2-hour clock) in the next week or two.

--Andy Richardson

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