2022 Fantasy Upside
Prior to his Week 8 injury last season, Derrick Henry was logging nearly 30 touches per game, over 117 rushing yards per game, and had already scored 10 touchdowns on the ground. He had also caught 18 balls, a nondescript amount on paper but well ahead of his normal pace. In short, Henry was on pace for a league-winning season before breaking his foot midway through the year. Henry should be fully healthy for training camp later this month, and accordingly he should immediately retake control of the Titans' backfield and offense as a whole. The Titans have never wavered from making Henry the centerpiece of the offense, as is evident by his 27.5 touch average over his last 16 games. Henry may never pop in the passing game like some other backs and the Titans offense has lost some of its weaponry around him, but drafting him comes with a certain amount of security in that he will in all likelihood finish among the league leaders in carries, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns barring serious injury. That workload alone locks him into RB1 status in fantasy, and if the Titans continue to use him in the passing game as they were last season, the sky is the limit for Henry, who has become a perennial candidate to lead all RBs in fantasy scoring whenever healthy.
2022 Fantasy Downside
Henry's fantasy concerns largely relate to the environment around him. The Titans lost A.J. Brown and (as of this writing) Julio Jones from the passing game this offseason, meaning Ryan Tannehill will be operating with Robert Woods and rookie Treylon Burks out wide. Defenses will be able to key in on Henry and the running game at a greater frequency this season without as many downfield threats in the Tennessee passing game. Another concern is Henry's usage in the passing game. While Henry logged 18 receptions in just eight games last season, banking on that to continue this year is relying on a very small sample size as Henry's career-high for receptions in a season remains just 19, back in 2020. Finally, Henry's huge workload will always bring injury concerns despite his history of durability. Henry's fractured foot should be fully healed by now, but we have seen similar injuries give players nagging issues throughout the years.
2022 Bottom Line
Henry projects as a strong RB1 in fantasy yet again in 2022. He comes with one of the safest volume projections in all of fantasy and carries massive upside in the rushing touchdown category as someone who dominates goal line carries. Whether Henry can get back to elite RB1 status will depend on his involvement in the passing game and the overall efficiency of the Titans offense. Henry is a surefire first round pick in fantasy even if he's not in contention for #1 overall this year.