In this series, we’ll dig into the numbers and examine offseason moves to assess whether some of fantasy football’s top names and most intriguing players are worth their current ADP.
Quick hits on Travis Etienne heading into 2023
- Potentially elite offense with second-year head coach
- Clear-cut number one running back
- No injury in 2022
- Doug Pederson wants him to have 1600-1700 yards
- Pederson does not have good history with running backs
- Very inconsistent 2022 season
- May not have goal-line work
- Not being used as a pass-catching back
Travis Etienne’s 2023 fantasy overview
Travis Etienne is a very interesting player worth considering in fantasy drafts in 2023. Last season was the first year he could play due to his devastating injury the year prior. He rushed for 1125 yards and five touchdowns while adding 316 yards through the air. This was enough to rank 17th among running backs in PPR. This helped the Jaguars win their division and win their wild-card game against the Chargers.
Now, with Trevor Lawrence entering his second season in Pederson’s offense, and the addition of Calvin Ridley, the sky seems to be the limit for the Jaguars offense. If this offense skyrockets, Ettiene has a clear path to being its main rushing option, which in this current fantasy running back climate is extremely valuable.
Furthermore, last season he stayed completely healthy for all 17 games. This is an extremely good sign because he suffered a devastating injury in 2021 where he missed every game during the season. Pederson has also said that he wants Etienne to improve to the point where he is rushing for 1600-1700 yards.
With that said, the main concern oddly enough is with Coach Pederson. During his time with the Eagles, he did not have a single 1000-yard rusher. Even when they had Carson Wentz playing at an MVP level, their leading rusher, LeGarrette Blount, had only 766 rushing yards. In fact, the most rushing yards that any running back has had for the Eagles under Pederson was Miles Sanders in 2020 with 867 yards.
Another concern is the inconsistency Etienne showed last season. He started off his first four games averaging 7.625 PPR points per game. During his next 6 games, he averaged 18.03 PPR points per game. During his next 3 games, he then averaged 3.7 PPR points per game. To follow that up to make this roller coaster of a season even crazier, he averaged 16.63 PPR fantasy points per game only to end his final game scoring 5.4 PPR fantasy points.
He also may not have the goal-line work this season. The Jaguars drafted Tank Bigsby in the third round and he could take over as the goal line back, especially later on this season. Etienne’s pass-catching value may be limited after seeing that he only had 35 catches this past season.
How to Play Travis Etienne in Fantasy Football 2023
Etienne is a perfect high-upside running-back candidate. Being part of a potentially elite offense is extremely encouraging but even more so is when the coach says that he wants Etienne to improve to the point of rushing for over 1600 yards. Even if you assume that Etienne won’t improve to that level, it still means that Pederson wants to use Etienne the same as he has the year before.
I wouldn’t be concerned with Pederson’s history with running backs because, in his time with the Eagles, he clearly hasn’t worked with a back like Etienne. I think this a running back you can draft in the third round who is, barring injury, a very good bet for 1100 rushing yards. That kind of floor is extremely valuable but he still has the upside to finish as a top-5 running back. In the early third round of fantasy drafts, Etienne could end up winning you your league.
Verdict: Get him on your team!