Fantasy Football: Derrick Henry, Indianapolis Colts a dream free agency fit

Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images
Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images /

Derrick Henry is a free agent in 2020 and his fit with the Indianapolis Colts should he sign there would be a dream for fantasy football owners.

25-year old running back Derrick Henry is set to enter this offseason as an unrestricted free agent. Coming off a 2019 season with the Tennesee Titans where Henry finished first in rushing attempts, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and yards after contact, it’s clear why he stands steadfast in resetting the running back market, which he said during Super Bowl weekend, and why fantasy football owners anxiously await his next move.

In his sit-down with Rich Eisen, Henry agreed, “Zeke’s number is the floor”. “Zeke’s number” is one that reset the running back market last September when the Dallas Cowboys signed Ezekiel Elliott to a six-year, $90 million extension with $50 million guaranteed.

The Titans could franchise tag Henry for roughly $12.4 million in 2020 but they would have to face potential threats of a holdout. It’s likely that a team will have to offer him a lucrative deal, be it Tennessee or another franchise.

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The Indianapolis Colts are coming off a mediocre season, holding a 7-9 record and ranking 16th and 18th, respectively, in points scored and points against. Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard, one of the most respected GMs in the league, heads into this offseason with around $86 million in cap space to play with, the third-most in the league (per Over The Cap). Simply put, they could afford to pay Henry.

Indianapolis’s running back situation is just about average from a fantasy football perspective. Marlon Mack ranked 19th in standard running back points in 2019 with 147.6. Fellow running back Nyheim Hines scored 68.3 points, Jordan Wilkins scored 47 and Jonathan Williams totaled 35.4. That total altogether comes out around 298.3. Henry sat fourth in standard running back rankings, scoring 237.5 on the year by himself.

The Colts and Titans share some similarities. Not only are they in the AFC South but they are also two of the most run-heavy teams in the league. Indianapolis tallied fifth in rushing attempts per game with 29, and Tennessee sat slightly behind them with 28, per FFToday.

Tennessee and Indianapolis also share two of the league’s best offensive lines. What may put Indianapolis’s line over the edge here is perennial All-Pro Quenton Nelson, an elite run-blocking lineman.

Next. 2020 NFL Free Agency: Early predictions for top 25 players. dark

If he were to land in Indianapolis, Henry would see a similar role in terms of carries and not being asked to do much receiving work. If Tennessee refuses to pay up to keep Henry, Indianapolis’s cap space and running back deficiency makes them a likely — and fantasy football-sensible — destination. The move would surely warrant Henry as a top-five pick in 2020 fantasy drafts.