Let’s take a look at what to expect from Travis Etienne Jr. as you prepare for the 2023 fantasy football season.
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Dynasty Fantasy Football Advice: Travis Etienne Jr. (2023)
Travis Etienne Jr. 2022 Production
|JAC||Travis Etienne Jr.||220||1,125||5.1||62||5||35||45||316||9.0||3||17||187.6||11.0||24th|
Travis Etienne Jr. was a standout college football running back for the Clemson Tigers from 2017 to 2020 and was selected by the Jaguars in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft – 25th overall. During his final season in college, he led the country in receiving yards and ranked second in receptions among running backs. Etienne also racked up the most rushing attempts of 20-plus yards (40) from 2018 to 2019 while only carrying the ball 20-plus times once since 2018.
However, his rookie season was cut short by a preseason Lisfranc injury. Some NFL personnel reported that Etienne could have come back towards the end of the year had the Jaguars been in playoff contention instead of being the league’s laughing stock.
Nevertheless, ETN finally made his NFL debut in 2022, first splitting time with former Jaguars running back James Robinson. However, the split backfield usage wouldn’t last as the Jags moved on from Robinson halfway through the season. That gave Etienne the opportunity to completely take over the Jacksonville backfield.
The team’s new RB1 proved himself to be a great fantasy asset during the 2022 season, averaging 15 fantasy points per game from Weeks 7-17 (RB8 in points per game) and finishing tied for 5th in carries inside the 10-yard line (23) despite only scoring four touchdowns on those carries. ETN ended the year with 1,291 rushing yards averaging 5.1 yards per carry in 19 games played as PFF’s 19th-highest graded rusher. He finished fourth in total forced missed tackles, trailing only Josh Jacobs, Nick Chubb, and Derrick Henry. All that was despite Etienne suffering a foot injury that knocked him out of a Week 12 contest versus the Baltimore Ravens.
Additionally, Etienne’s potential as a receiver remains tantalizing. While he had a limited role in the passing game in 2022, he was the primary route runner among the Jaguars’ running backs, and his 22% target rate per route in three of his last four games played is a strong indication of his receiving upside. The possibility of injury to one of the team’s top receivers, such as Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, or Evan Engram, could result in an even greater receiving role for Etienne next season.
In 2023, with the backfield his to lose and the Jaguars’ offense on the rise, Etienne is poised for a breakout year with increased touchdown production. Though JaMycal Hasty, D’Ernest Johnson, Snoop Conner, and 2023 third-rounder Tank Bigsby are all behind him on the depth chart, it remains to be seen how much of a threat any will pose to Etienne’s workload. Etienne’s rushing style – 4th in rushing yards over expectation in 2022 – suggests he can mitigate any limited workload concerns with efficiency.
General Outlook for 2023 and Rest of Career
Etienne’s potential as a dual-threat running back and his status as the clear lead back on an ascending offense make him an enticing option for fantasy managers in 2023. He has the upside to finish as a top-10 RB and is worth targeting in the early rounds of fantasy drafts. His RB12 best ball ADP is way too low.
He also possesses the exact running back profile that should be highly coveted in dynasty formats and therefore he needs to be a highly sought-after asset at just 24 years old.
I (Andrew Erickson) selected Etienne in a start-up industry dynasty league as the RB17 off the board last offseason. He is listed as the RB7 in FantasyPros Dynasty Trade Value Chart as of the most recent update. Etienne is my RB8 in my dynasty rankings.
I’d be an aggressive buyer on Etienne with those concerned about a potentially limited workload after the team drafted Bigsby. I wasn’t high on Bigsby as a prospect, so I am not overly worried about him carving out a massive role. Besides, I believe dynasty managers are massively overlooking how great Etienne was last season. Too many are just harping on his “meh” receiving usage when he still finished second in YAC/reception and sixth in yards per reception.
The only other RBs to post 1,100 rushing yards averaging at least 5.0 yards per carry at age 23 or younger include Saquon Barkley, Ray Rice, Frank Gore, Darren McFadden, Johnathan Taylor, Clinton Portis, and Barry Sanders. Great company to be a part of.
If we connect the dots further linking Etienne to Taylor, we come across this great nugget. Former 2021 Colts senior offensive assistant, Press Taylor, is the Jaguars’ current offensive coordinator.
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