Travis Etienne Fantasy Outlook Includes RB1 Upside in 2021

Max Staley
Travis Etienne fantasy outlook includes sky-high upside with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Travis Etienne fantasy outlook includes sky-high upside with the Jacksonville Jaguars. / James Gilbert/Getty Images

Travis Etienne was one of the most explosive athletes available in the 2021 NFL Draft. Now reunited with his college quarterback Trevor Lawrence on the Jacksonville Jaguars, Etienne has sky-high potential this season.

But there's one significant hurdle for him to clear – James Robinson.

The presence of Robinson, who tallied over 1,400 yards from scrimmage as a rookie last year, makes it very difficult to assess Etienne's fantasy football value. There's no doubting his talent, but concerns around his role could hurt him all year long.

Travis Etienne Fantasy Outlook 2021

Etienne currently carries an average draft position (ADP) of RB35, per FantasyPros, making him an RB3 or FLEX option. Assuming he stays around that spot, the 22-year-old is an absolute steal.

The rookie is likely to begin the year as Jacksonville's primary receiving back. And it's a role Etienne should excel in. By all accounts, Etienne has been torching Jaguars' linebackers in training camp, with some beat writers even calling him "uncoverable."

That should come as no surprise to anyone who watched him play at Clemson. Etienne racked up 85 receptions for 1,020 yards and 6 touchdowns over his last two collegiate seasons. His 588 receiving yards in 2020 were tops in the country among all RBs.

With Etienne working as the Jaguars top receiving back, he should have FLEX appeal in PPR formats right away. But his season-long upside is completely tied to his rushing usage.

James Robinson Fantasy

The thing is, we just don't know how that will shake out. Robinson was a beast last year, handling 240 carries for 1,070 yards across 14 appearances. There's potential for Etienne to surpass Robinson as Jacksonville's leading rusher, but he should be able to contribute in PPR leagues even if he's only seeing a handful of carries a game.

The clearest path for Etienne to be a fantasy superstar as a rookie is following the blueprint laid out by Alvin Kamara in 2017. Kamara only handled 120 carries that year, but the 100 targets and 81 receptions helped him finish the year as fantasy's RB3 in PPR leagues. The ground-and-pound Mark Ingram finished as RB6 (230 carries), so there's room for both Jags RBs to shine if all breaks right.

Of course, Etienne may not be quite the player that Kamara is. And the 2021 Jaguars' offense certainly isn't the 2017 Saints' offense, so that's obviously an optimistic comparison.

Travis Etienne ADP

At his current ADP, Etienne is a steal. He should be a weekly FLEX option in PPR leagues right away, and the potential for him to increase his rushing usage as the season progresses gives him massive upside. Plus, if Robinson goes down, Etienne would be a legitimate RB1.

You may have to be patient, but Etienne is one of the best FLEX/RB3 options to target in PPR leagues this year. The rookie checks in at RB23 in our 2021 fantasy football rankings – well ahead of his RB35 ADP.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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.