Players Guaranteed to Improve

Travis Etienne

Travis Etienne

Jacksonville Jaguars · RB

After missing his entire rookie season due to a Lisfranc injury, Etienne burst on the scene with a dynamic showing in 2022. I loved him at Clemson, so I wasn’t surprised. But don’t lose sight of the fact that last year was essentially his NFL debut. 2023 is going to be special for this home run hitter.

Despite piling up 1,125 rushing yards at a healthy 5.1 per carry and catching 35 passes, Etienne somehow ended up hitting paydirt just five times. That’s confounding, given his big-play ability. I foresee a big jump to 12-15 touchdowns in 2023, along with 1,300 rushing yards and 50 catches. Trevor Lawrence loves his former Clemson teammate, and the Jaguars’ passing attack is going to flourish this fall. With Calvin Ridley joining the party on the perimeter, Etienne’s going to have room to operate out of the backfield.

Fantasy fiends, this is a public service announcement: DRAFT TRAVIS ETIENNE

I could not agree more and swear he read my message to Zak from a couple of days ago.

On the down side, the Jaguars drafted a guy named “TANK Bigsby” in the 3rd round, and with a name like that, he will probably be competition for Etienne at the goalline. Bringing in Calvin Ridley should also enhance the passing game, leaving fewer touches for Etienne.

Fantasy-wise, he will probably end up about the same as last year, in the RB10-RB15 range for PPR scoring, as a preferred RB2.

ETN played 669 snaps. 334 pass and 229 run. He had 8 games with 10 or fewer carries. He may have more carries even with Tank.

If you watch tape on him you will see his run game dropped off in the second half in spite of big yardage games. He seldom looked good as a receiver. His routes were sloppy and cuts not on the mark. He did not click with Lawrence as in college.

I blame the injury and sitting a year. We shall see

As always.

When I watched Etienne in college, I knew he would one day help win me a fantasy championship, so I was disappointed when I had to wait a year to draft him, after his rookie injury.

Then last year he did that very thing. So I definitely appreciate Etienne’s talent and fantasy value.

But I just don’t know that I see enough room in the team’s plans for him to improve much this year. Still a quality RB, but probably not a league-winner.

I had some time to take a closer look on PFF elite and it confirms the film. ETN had a good run grade of 83 but see s had 7 games in the second half in the 50’s before jumping up in the playoffs.

Receiving was a below average 57. CMC is 92, Ekeler is at 80. I can easily see him getting up to a Swift or Stevenson grade of high 60’s or a bit more.

He sat out a year and was still rehabbing the foot in camp. I do not see it as a reach to say he will be better and more consistent this year. The upscale in his play may or may not result in more touches but will result in more production in what he does get. JMO

"What if I told you there was a player who missed his entire rookie season? After getting drafted by a coach fired 13 games into his first season? He then was out-touched 91 to 72 through the first six games by a player his team would go on to trade midseason. Who then would go on to be RB33 through the season’s final eight weeks? And then his team drafted another running back on Day 2 in the 2023 NFL draft? After his coach said they wanted to use a committee backfield?

Are you buying that player?"

Dynasty Sell Now: Travis Etienne

" Here are the running backs who received the most overvalued votes:

  • Travis Etienne Jr. - 10 votes
  • Ken Walker III - 5 votes
  • J.K. Dobbins - 4 votes"

7 Overvalued Running Backs

I have already bought into Etienne. I believe he will be a top 10 RB this year. To anyone thinking his numbers will go down from 2022, I will be happy to wager that they go up.

Yeah, that’s why I was trying to help.

I understand but I have seen the good and bad projections for him and who was writing them. I’m happy with my own run down since college on him.

As I said above, I was impressed with his potential since college as well, but it’s not like all the arrows are pointing up right now.

Some are, to be sure, and you can convince yourself of whatever you want to convince yourself of–but it’s not only misleading but downright false to say that Etienne’s situation “guarantees” that he will improve.

Let’s just present a balanced case.

I did not write this article, I’m just commenting like you are.

For me the biggest positive is that he did not play up to his talent and did not get the number of touches he should have and was still #15 in scoring of all RBs.

My biggest negative is that this is not the staff who drafted him and may not use him as I believe he should be used.

The only thing I have convinced myself of is his talent level.

FYI, I am not in love with Etienne. I actually tried to trade him 2 weeks ago. The price was high and was turned down.