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Fantasy Impact: Derrick Henry Could Return for Divisional Round

The star running back may return from injury for the Titans' matchup vs. the Bengals.

After a thrilling super wild-card weekend, the AFC No. 1 seed Tennessee Titans will be rested and ready to play some good football on Saturday.   

Coach Vrabel's run-first team led the league in 2021 with an average of 32.4 rushing attempts per game, rushing on 48% of their plays for an average of 141 yards per game. 

They did this despite losing Derrick Henry in Week 8 after exiting with a foot injury that required surgery. He was sidelined for the rest of the regular season. 

But, guess what, folks: He's back.

Henry returned to practice on January 5th and is expected to be activated before Saturday's matchup with Cincinnati. Though D'Onta Foreman has been excellent in his absence, can anyone top the King? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Henry finished the season as the RB16 in half-point PPR leagues, despite playing only eight games.
  • On a per-game basis this year, he led the league in fantasy points for running backs with 24 PPR points per game- more than both Jonathan Taylor and Austin Ekeler.
  • He was on pace for a staggering 1,991-yard season before his injury, and in only eight games, he fell only one catch short of his career-high in catches for a season with 18.   
  • The former Alabama star had a career-high 90% catch rate in 2021. He was also on pace for a career-high 40 targets. 
  • Henry saw a whopping 30 touches per game and averaged 117 yards and more than one touchdown per game.
  • Of the remaining playoff teams, the Cincinnati Bengals have been the most generous to opposing running backs across their last four contests, allowing an average of 5.53 yards per carry and five touchdowns to the running back position. Just last weekend, the Bengals surrendered 127 all-purpose yards to Josh Jacobs.   
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So, should you trust a 28-year-old, 250-pound running back returning from foot surgery? 

You bet.

D'Onta Foreman and Dontrell Hilliard have been doing a fantastic job in this run offense, but Derrick Henry didn't get back in shape this quickly to stand on the sidelines. If the Titans want to have any chance to advance to the Super Bowl, they have to find a way to use their best weapon. The carries will be split, but if anyone could break off a long run and defy the odds, it's Derrick Henry.   

I'm going out now to place my futures bet for 2022 Comeback Player of the Year.

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