Titans lose Derrick Henry to foot injury

Andy Behrens and Scott Pianowski examine the fantasy ramifications of Derrick Henry's possibly season-ending injury and the Titan's subsequent signing of Adrian Peterson.

Hear the full conversation on the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript

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SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Today is shrouded by the Derrick Henry news. And this guy was on pace for a legendary season. That's off the table. We-- we need to appraise the wreckage in Tennessee and try to figure out what we're doing here.

ANDY BEHRENS: The early word on the injury is I believe a Jones fracture. He will almost certainly be sidelined for a chunk of time. We can talk about this a little bit. The-- the team is talking six to 10 weeks. Initially, to me, I will-- I will say that six sounded very aggressive.

But I was-- I was messaging sort of backstage with Dr. Sarah Edwards, who has done some work for "Fantasy Football Live" in the past and is sort of a go-to of mine for injury information when in the-- in the rare instances that a fantasy expert doesn't have enough injury information, I turn to actual doctors. And she-- she has worked for-- for multiple collegiate teams. And she was actually saying that the-- the recovery timeline on this injury, just sort of generically across the board for D1 athletes of late, has been, like, 3.6 weeks.

So I-- you know, I'm not saying that definitely, he should be back in a month. I'm just saying that maybe by the end of the regular season is plausible. Now, he's a running back, right? He's not-- he's not just anybody. And he's the busiest running back in the sport. So that's a concern. I'm just trying to give people a little bit of a reason for hope. Certainly want to give Titans fans a reason for hope that-- that even if this extends through the regular season, that-- that perhaps their postseason hopes are not also dashed.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: I don't have anything to add there. I defer to the doctors. It sure seems like Derrick Henry's fantasy season is over. But I guess you have to maybe just-- just hold him for that probationary period until we have more information. There's nobody like Derrick Henry in the league, you know. If you want to compare Derrick Henry to somebody, you have to go back to generations like Earl Campbell or somebody. I think Henry is actually better.

ANDY BEHRENS: Stylistically, you really have to go back to Earl Campbell. There's not very many other comps for him.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Although, I-- that said, I will say that Derrick Henry, who often you would say runs angry, the Titans have already made a move to get somebody who runs angry. Unfortunately, he's not anywhere near the peak of his career like Derrick Henry is.

ANDY BEHRENS: So reports right before we jumped on this podcast, right, are that Adrian Peter-- Adrian Peterson has signed with the-- with the Titans. He pairs presumably with, you know, Jeremy McNichols is a-- is almost a difficult one to talk about because he was way back in the Boise State days, McNichols was a, like, full usage, full workload guy. He's been-- he's been basically the receiving back for the Titans.

And the receiving back for the Titans is not particularly busy, right? It's not-- it's not, like, a high usage position or anything like that. On the season to this point, Derrick Henry has carried the ball 212 more times than Jeremy McNichols, who has seen exactly seven carries.

He's fine. He was a good college player. We had hopes for him once upon a time. And-- and he's been, you know, strictly a rotational guy with Tennessee.

He's presumably going to have to see a bunch of work, at least in these first couple of weeks, because they're-- they're surely not going to throw Adrian Peterson into-- into-- you know, into a, what, 16 carry, 18 carry workload. Peterson, at this stage, really at any stage of his career, profiles more as a-- as an early down runner. He was almost four yards per carry for the Lions when last we saw him. I mean, he's 36.

Super high mileage. But you know, he's-- he's an all-time great. And those guys do tend to age a little bit differently. And he's been-- he's been fine in bursts over the last few years. I think he's still got a little bit of juice. He can get you through a few weeks.

The Titans have nice cushion in the division, of course. But they, you know, are thinking beyond simply a division title, I would think, at this point. Peterson and McNichols, but how do you-- how do you sort those two out? Does it depend on fantasy format for you when you're adding them?

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: You know, Peterson, it was trendy to bash him when he was on the Football Team or when he was on the Lions. And I thought, you know, for a guy at the juncture-- at the stage of Peterson's career, the fact that he could still go out and get 3.6 yards a carry or whatever he was getting and handle 15 touches a game, 20 touches a game, I thought that said-- I thought he played very-- much better at that-- most guys are long since retired in their mid-30s, you know. And Adrian Peterson still had just, like, a speck of value to a real-life NFL team. I-- I thought that was something.

Tennessee is the team that wants to-- think back to their win over Seattle, right? They get down multiple scores and say, OK, now, let's establish the run, you know. They can't play the same way with any other back. There's no replacement that's--

ANDY BEHRENS: Mm-hmm.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: --going to be Derrick Henry. But I could see a scenario in a couple of weeks where Peterson has projectable 12 to 15 touches a week. And that's a currency in fantasy football. There just aren't that many backs--

ANDY BEHRENS: Yep.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: --anymore who touch the ball. The bell cow is just about a vanishing thing. Even the bell cows we like, you know, they seem to get hurt a lot. So if you can get to 10-- I think 10 touches is the magic number for me. If I can get to 10 touches before the game starts, that you already have that in your back pocket, that makes you at least a lower end RB2 or higher and RB3.

ANDY BEHRENS: If you've got Derrick Henry on a roster right now, and-- and this is true for my Derrick Henry teams, we're like-- they're 6-2. Like, I'm sitting just fine. And it is an important reminder that you don't have to enter panic mode. You don't-- you don't have to enter desperation mode when you're-- when you're literally at the top of the standings.

You do-- like, the-- the waiver wire, as-- as you've described it before, it's like-- it's like your lawn, and it just grows back every week. And-- and, you know, there's fresh stuff all the time, right? Like, we-- like, we're going to find something over the next four weeks. If we don't, there's going to be some low level trade that you can make to-- to navigate your way to the playoffs.

But you've still got the edge. Just because you've lost Derrick Henry does not mean that you've-- that you've actually lost leverage in this thing. You're still probably at the top of the standings and well-situated.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: And as ugly-- as ugly as the first round has been this year, you still may-- may end up-- feel like at the end of the year that the two months you got from Henry was worth it.

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