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Will the Titans RB return from IR and be a Week 18 fantasy hero?


Remember that one time Derrick Henry was on track to be the first-ever back-to-back 2,000-yard rusher and was dominating fantasy football from every angle? So do I. It was a fun time to have him on your rosters. Although it feels like years ago, it’s only been six weeks since the NFL and fantasy football managers lost the rushing king. Is it possible that fantasy managers could see Henry’s return from injury this season?

Derrick Henry injury update

Henry injured his foot during a Halloween game against the Indianapolis Colts and has been sidelined since. The injury was expected to force him out for the rest of the season. Yet, the Titans have held out hope he can return at some point this year. Most recently, reports indicate that Henry is preparing to return for the NFL playoffs, with the Titans currently sitting as the No. 2 seed in the AFC.

NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport has reported that there’s a chance Henry could return in Week 18, if necessary. Thus, if the Titans’ Week 18 matchup against the Houston Texans will have something on the line for Tennessee in regards to playoff scenarios, then it’s very well possible we see Henry’s return.

Henry was leading the NFL in all rushing stats

In the first eight games of the season, Henry was in a league of his own. He wasn’t the most efficient he’s ever been, averaging 4.28 yards per carry, but that’s not new for Henry. Typically, the size/speed specimen gets going as the season wears on, punishing defenses late in the season.

His lower-than-normal efficiency didn’t stop the Titans from handing him an absurd workload, however.

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Henry had 219 rushing attempts for 937 yards and 10 TDs in eight games. Also, to the delight of fantasy managers, Henry had 18 catches on 20 targets so far this season as well.

If you would like some perspective on just how crazy his workload was to start this year, here’s a number for you — it’s been six weeks since Henry was on a football field, and he still has the fourth-most rushing attempts in the NFL this year! Additionally, he’s still fourth in rushing yards and rushing TDs.

Henry fantasy expectations

If (for some reason) your fantasy league is still playing in Week 18, there’s reason for this news to matter to you. First, I firmly recommend you not have your league championship during the last week of the regular season due to teams resting their starters if their fates are already decided. However, I understand that it can be out of your control if you aren’t the commissioner of your league.

In Week 18, Henry has a chance to return against a Texans team that he has dominated throughout his career, including a 250-rushing-yard, 2-TD performance to close out the regular season last year.

History has a chance of repeating itself.

If he comes back for Week 18, Henry would be in line to run roughshod over the Texans like he is apt to do. The Texans have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to running backs this year, and they’ve given up 602 rushing yards over the last four weeks. For those of you with a Week 18 championship, there’s a chance that Henry could return and be a league-winner.



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