3 Veteran Running Backs the Titans Could Sign as Insurance for Derrick Henry

Jason Schandl
Running backs the Titans could sign as an insurance policy if Derrick Henry gets hurt.
Running backs the Titans could sign as an insurance policy if Derrick Henry gets hurt. / Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images
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Derrick Henry has been an absolute monster for the Tennessee Titans, racking up 3,833 yards on 804 carries through four seasons. He even led the NFL in carries (303), rushing yards (1,540) and rushing touchdowns (16) in 2019. And considering the team used the franchise tag on Henry, it looks like they're expecting him to shoulder a huge workload again in 2020.

Running back is one of the most high-risk position for injuries however, especially when you're asking someone (even a monster like Henry) to carry the ball 300-plus times. And as it stands right now, if Henry gets hurt the Titans' backfield would be a mess, with no clear backup behind him now that Dion Lewis is gone.

That's why the Titans should target these free agent running backs as an insurance policy in case Henry gets hurt.

1. Lamar Miller

Lamar Miller is coming off a torn ACL injury.
Lamar Miller is coming off a torn ACL injury. / Steven Ryan/Getty Images

There's obviously some risk in signing Lamar Miller, as he's coming off a serious knee injury, but having him back up Derrick Henry can give him some additional time to get healthy and up to speed. Miller topped 1,100 yards from scrimmage in each of his last five seasons before the injury, so if he's healthy then he'll be more than capable of handling lead back duties in the event of a serious injury to Henry.

2. Jonathan Williams

Jonathan Williams had two 100-yard games for the Colts in 2019.
Jonathan Williams had two 100-yard games for the Colts in 2019. / Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Williams has bounced around the league to start his NFL career, playing for three teams in three years. He finally got his first start thanks to some injuries in the Indianapolis Colts' backfield last year though, and he showed some impressive flashes. In that start he ran the ball 26 times for 104 yards, which gave him back-to-back 100-yard games after he hit 116 on 13 carries the previous week. At just 26-years-old, there's also some potential long-term value in signing Williams as more than a one-year move.

3. Wendell Smallwood

Wendall Smallwood only had 22 carries for Washington in 2019.
Wendall Smallwood only had 22 carries for Washington in 2019. / Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Another younger option, the 26-year-old Wendell Smallwood hasn't had a chance to be a lead back at the NFL level, but he did handle 264 touches in his final collegiate season in 2015, so there's some reason to believe he could handle a big workload if needed. He wasn't efficient in 2019, but that can be excused while playing in the highly inefficient Washington Redskins offense. His biggest NFL workload came in 2018, with 87 carries and 35 targets, and that year he set career-best marks in both yards per carry (4.2) and yards per target (6.6).


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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. 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 his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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