Who is Derrick Henry's Backup? Titans RB Handcuffs to Know for Fantasy Football
Managers that drafted Derrick Henry in 2022 are well aware of his injury-shortened 2021 campaign. Henry was a monster over the first games of the season before foot surgery cut his year short. That significant injury, combined with extreme usage heading into his age-28 season, has prompted questions about how he'll hold up in 2022.
His workhorse role within the Tennessee Titans' offense not only makes him an attractive fantasy target, but it props up his backups' value as well. Henry missing any games in 2022 would open up a golden opportunity for his handcuffs to see RB1-type volume.
That's why everyone should know the ins and outs of the Titans' RB depth chart for the 2022 season.
Titans Running Back Depth Chart 2022
Following the cutdown to 53-man rosters, Tennessee currently has four running backs in the mix. Henry headlines this unit after being arguably the most dominant rusher in the NFL recently. He led the league in rushing attempts, yards and touchdowns during both the 2019 and 2020 campaigns before a shortened 2021 season.
Henry's primary backup will likely be the incumbent Dontrell Hilliard, at least to start the year. Hilliard drew five starts in place of the injured Henry last season, though veteran D'Onta Foreman ended up leading the ground work, while Hilliard handled pass-catching duties. Foreman's departure clears the way for Hilliard to potentially take over as the primary rusher if Henry sits at any point.
Then there's rookie Hassan Haskins, who could challenge for the RB2 role. He was selected in the fourth round of this year's draft after rushing for 1,300 yards and 20 TDs at Michigan in 2021. He's followed by undrafted rookie Julius Chestnut, who's earned attention after making the 53-man roster.
Who is Derrick Henry's Handcuff?
Derrick Henry's handcuff is Dontrell Hilliard to begin the 2022 season, though Hassan Haskins could emerge as well if the Titans' starter is sidelined. Hilliard has the advantage of familiarity with the system, and D'Onta Foreman walking could be good news for improving his role on the ground. He'll still need to earn his touches after playing second fiddle last season, though.
Hilliard was partially involved in the ground game once Henry was out in 2021. The backup recorded an average of 8.0 carries over the last seven games of the year, which he converted into 50.0 YPG. Giving him a boost in PPR formats was the 3.7 targets and 2.7 receptions per game he logged over this stretch as well.
Foreman more than doubled Hilliard's attempts (117 vs. 56) from Weeks 11-17, though, which shows the latter wasn't the preferred choice to take on most of Henry's ground game role. That limited Hilliard's upside, as he relied mostly on his pass-catching to average a meager 10.4 PPR points over the last seven games.
The Titans' RB situation in 2022 holds more potential for Hilliard if he's the guy after Henry. Foreman is gone, while Haskins and Chestnut are inexperienced. There's a chance both Haskins and Chestnut get a piece of Henry's carries should he be sidelined, but Hilliard should have first crack in the early going. Hilliard's pass-catching abilities also give him a solid floor on their own, especially for a Titans offense devoid of premium receiving talent.
That makes Hilliard the obvious handcuff choice for anyone anticipating a Henry absence. The possibility his work on the ground takes off with lesser competition means he could be a week- or even league-winning bench stash should he find himself in a starting role.
Haskins is worth keeping tabs on as well for anyone in deeper leagues. He was a productive rusher at Michigan, and if that translates to the pros, he could take over Foreman's run-oriented role while Henry was out in 2021.
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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.