As Derrick Henry goes, the Tennessee Titans go. That has been the story of the last two seasons. One year after he won more than a few fantasy football championships with 585 yards and seven touchdowns from Weeks 14-17, Henry led the league in rushing with 1,540 yards in 2019. He also had a career-high 206 receiving yards.
What should fans expect from Henry after racking up 1,746 total yards in 2019? Here's where FanDuel Sportsbook has set the over/under for his yardage total:
FanDuel is projecting about a 13.5% drop in total yardage year over year for Henry. Is that smart or insulting?
Pros for betting OVER; Cons for betting UNDER
Henry is an absolute freak of nature. At 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds, Henry is a bulldozer who gets stronger as the season goes on. That fact has allowed him to punish defenses to the tune of 106.62 yards per game from Week 10 on over the last two seasons. In fact, if you combine his rushing yards output from his final four games of the last two years, he put up 1,134 rushing yards in the equivalent of a half-season. Barring an injury, over bettors will never feel out of this race.
Another point in Henry's favor is the return of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. In nine regular season games with Tannehill under center, Henry averaged 124.9 rushing yards and 11.6 receiving yards per game. In his previous 22 regular season games with Marcus Mariota, Henry averaged 67.0 rushing yards and 9.1 receiving yards per game.
Pros for betting UNDER; Cons for betting OVER
Taking the over on this bet is essentially asking Henry to repeat the career year he just had with an extra year of wear and tear on his body plus potential contract issues (holdout?). He doesn't catch the ball a lot, so it's tough to bank on more than 150 yards in the passing game. That leaves 1,360 rushing yards needed to hit the over. Only three players in the NFL reached that mark in 2019: Nick Chubb, Christian McCaffrey, and Henry. For reference, Bovada has Henry's rushing yards total set at 1,290.5.
Another question is, what will Henry's workload be. He averaged more than 20 carries per game in 2019. Will the Titans continue with that heavy workload, or will they either look to "save" him for late in the season or put the ball in Tannehill's hands more often? Assuming everything else stays constant, Henry would need 267 carries at his sterling 5.1 yards per attempt number from last season to eclipse 1,360 rushing yards.
Too much has to go right for Henry to eclipse 1,509 total yards again. Despite his heavy workload last year, it would be unfair to say he's more of an injury risk than the average running back. However, I expect fewer touches overall. Even if he repeats his career-bests in the passing game and maintains his career 4.8 rushing yards per attempt average over 270 carries, he'd still fall 7.5 yards short of the posted total.
The Play: UNDER 1,509.5 total yards (-112)
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