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michaelredd9

Dion Lewis or Derrick Henry?

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Who do you rank higher fantasywise, Dion Lewis or Derrick Henry?

 

http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/6483/dion-lewis

Dion Lewis expects to share carries with Derrick Henry.
"I think they’re going to use both of us. Derrick’s a great back, so I think we can form a good one-two punch." This falls in line with what's expected. Henry has workhorse traits but Lewis looks likely to cut into his pass-down snaps. Despite coaching staff changes and the release of DeMarco Murray, the Titans should remain a two-back offense. Apr 13 - 7:34 PM
Source: SiriusXM NFL
 

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I don't know but they both went from being #1's to #2's IMO. I won't spend a high pick on either. 

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Whoever will be cheaper come draft day.  Since I play in PPR, most likely Lewis.  I had Henry on my team all last year because of his 'upside.'  Well, he rode the pine all year and I was too scared to drop him for fear that the moment I did so, he'd take over from Murray.  That never happened, and the fact that they brought in Dion and paid him what they did, doesn't instill too much more confidence in Henry for me.

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I would choose Dion.  He'll be used a lot more in the pass game.  And I don't see him getting less than 50% of snaps.  I don't see Henry having any fantasy relevance unless Dion gets injured.

 

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They are paying Lewis $5M a year so he is not just depth. But my problem is that he follows the pattern of being a relative nobody for his career and then getting one year as the primary back in NE. He played for six years already with minimal to show for it other than 2017. He was with NE for 3 years and did little for the first two. TEN is his fourth team. If he had not started last year, he'd be the same guy only one that you'd draft deep in the draft to fill out your roster. Not many backs break out in their sixth year. Blount went from 18 TDs to only three last year when he changed teams. The top backs for NE in recent years were Lewis, Blount, Jonas Gray, Stevan Ridley, Green-Ellis, Laurence Maroney, etc. 

 

This also gets complicated with a new coaching staff with Matt LaFleur as the OC whatever that ends up meaning.  Lewis should be the pass-catching back though he's never had more than 38 catches and that playing with the Pats who love to throw to backs. I am still trying to decide on that backfield but historically any back leaving NE is over-valued on a new team. Without exception. 

 

Lewis saw heavy use at the end of last year but the Pats did not want to keep him. New coaches, new scheme on a new team could end up with major FF value since it is harder to know what to expect.  As of now, I would expect that Henry takes the bulk of rushing and that Lewis is more of a third-down back. Hard to guess when LaFleur has never been an NFL offensive coordinator other than last year in LA with the Rams but he did not call the plays there and the Rams just used Gurley with almost no other help.

 

Lewis scares me given his own career from 2011 - 2016. And the history of ex-NE RBs. But I agree that Henry is no slam dunk to become another "Gurley". $5M a year says Lewis is not just a bench player.

 

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Situation to avoid unless they fall. 

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28 minutes ago, DMD said:

They are paying Lewis $5M a year so he is not just depth. But my problem is that he follows the pattern of being a relative nobody for his career and then getting one year as the primary back in NE. He played for six years already with minimal to show for it other than 2017. He was with NE for 3 years and did little for the first two. TEN is his fourth team. If he had not started last year, he'd be the same guy only one that you'd draft deep in the draft to fill out your roster. Not many backs break out in their sixth year. Blount went from 18 TDs to only three last year when he changed teams. The top backs for NE in recent years were Lewis, Blount, Jonas Gray, Stevan Ridley, Green-Ellis, Laurence Maroney, etc. 

 

This also gets complicated with a new coaching staff with Matt LaFleur as the OC whatever that ends up meaning.  Lewis should be the pass-catching back though he's never had more than 38 catches and that playing with the Pats who love to throw to backs. I am still trying to decide on that backfield but historically any back leaving NE is over-valued on a new team. Without exception. 

 

Lewis saw heavy use at the end of last year but the Pats did not want to keep him. New coaches, new scheme on a new team could end up with major FF value since it is harder to know what to expect.  As of now, I would expect that Henry takes the bulk of rushing and that Lewis is more of a third-down back. Hard to guess when LaFleur has never been an NFL offensive coordinator other than last year in LA with the Rams but he did not call the plays there and the Rams just used Gurley with almost no other help.

 

Lewis scares me given his own career from 2011 - 2016. And the history of ex-NE RBs. But I agree that Henry is no slam dunk to become another "Gurley". $5M a year says Lewis is not just a bench player.

 

I don't think anybody is saying that this is going to be Lewis' breakout season.  That was about five years ago, if I recall correctly.  He is what he is... A serviceable RB who excels in the passing game.  I'd be surprised if he ever averages more than 7-10 carries per game (and that might be generous), but it's the 4-6 receptions per game that he's capable of that make him attractive.  

 

My guess.... They split time, Lewis is the more consistent of the two, and Henry has a couple of big games to make the end results look pretty even.  

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Just for reference:

Dion Lewis

Year
Team Car Rush Yards Rush TDs Catch Catch Yards Catch TDs  
2011 PHI 23 102 1 1 -3 0  
2012 PHI 13 69 1 2 24 0  
2013 CLE 0 0 0 0 0 0  
2015 NE 49 234 2 36 388 2  
2016 NE 64 283 0 17 94 0  
2017 NE 180 896 6 32 214 3  
                 
                 
Henry                
Year
Team Car Rush Yards Rush TDs Catch Catch Yards Catch TDs  
2016 TEN 110 490 5 13 137 0  
2017 TEN 176 744 5 11 136 1  

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Posted (edited)

Dion was doing well fantasywise in the 7 games he played in 2015 before he got hurt.  He scored the 5th highest points-per-game for a running back on the season in PPR leagues.  With Derrick Henry as a running mate, Dion maybe won't see more than 10-12 carries per game.  But a player averaging 10 carries and 5 receptions per game can sneakily put up very respectable fantasy numbers.

 

Dion Lewis is better at pass protection and receiving than Derrick Henry.  The NFL is a passing league.  Dion will work harder than Henry and learn the new offense faster.  Henry has had flashes of brilliance along with a lot of mediocrity.  We can drool over his physique and big play ability but a hard-nosed first year coach like Mike Vrabel isn't going to play a somewhat lazy running back because of his potential.  In his quest to bring a winning culture to the Titans, Vrabel might even make an example out of Henry by keeping him on the bench or even trading/cutting him.  Dion Lewis will bring the Patriot Way to the Titans and Vrabel will reward him for it.  Dion having been a Patriot is likely the main reason the Titans signed him.  At worst, I see Dion starting out the season with 50% of snaps.  But more likely, I see him getting 60%-70% of snaps to begin the season.  

 

I'm a fantasy owner who is often drafting my second running back in the 8th round.  I have to choose between running backs with serious flaws at that stage of the draft.  Dion is clearly a hugh injury risk.  He has missed half a season due to injury in 3 of the last 4 years.  I am more worried about Dion's risk of injury than I am worried that he'll lose significant playing time to Henry.

 

Edited by michaelredd9

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8 hours ago, michaelredd9 said:

But a player averaging 10 carries and 5 receptions per game can sneakily put up very respectable fantasy numbers.

 

 

 

There's no way Lewis averages 5 catches a game for the Titans.  Maybe I'm off but that number seems high.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, darin3 said:

 

There's no way Lewis averages 5 catches a game for the Titans.  Maybe I'm off but that number seems high.

 

You're probably right.  Good scrambling quarterbacks don't dump off as much to their running backs as immobile quarterbacks.  But they could still run a fair amount of scripted passes to Dion.  Averaging between 3 and 4 receptions is attainable.  Averaging 10-12 carries with 3-4 receptions still very respectable for a fantasy running back.  And maybe he'll average more than 10-12 carries per game.  They don't need to preserve him for the playoffs or the future.  Though it'll probably just be a matter of time before he gets hurt if he does get a lot of work.

 

Edited by michaelredd9

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17 hours ago, DMD said:

 

 

Just for reference:

Dion Lewis

Year
Team Car Rush Yards Rush TDs Catch Catch Yards Catch TDs  
2011 PHI 23 102 1 1 -3 0  
2012 PHI 13 69 1 2 24 0  
2013 CLE 0 0 0 0 0 0  
2015 NE 49 234 2 36 388 2  
2016 NE 64 283 0 17 94 0  
2017 NE 180 896 6 32 214 3  
                 
                 
Henry                
Year
Team Car Rush Yards Rush TDs Catch Catch Yards Catch TDs  
2016 TEN 110 490 5 13 137 0  
2017 TEN 176 744 5 11 136 1  

Well, clearly, I did not recall correctly.  :lol:   I guess it was 2015 I was thinking of (not five years ago).  Man, it seems like Lewis has been in NE longer than that.  

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2 hours ago, darin3 said:

 

There's no way Lewis averages 5 catches a game for the Titans.  Maybe I'm off but that number seems high.

 

Titans RBs combined for 50 receptions in 2017, about 3 per game.  2016 was better with 64, 4 per game. Both years was mostly Murray. 2015 was Mariota's rookie year,  and again around 64 split by 3 guys (McCluster, Andrews, Sankey).

 

The leading receiver among RBs had about 30-40 in any of those years, so 3 per year is probably a ceiling.

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Whatever patterns there were for RB catches before do not matter now. TEN has an all new offense this year. New HC Mike Vrabel was a defensive guy. Matt LaFleur runs the offense but he's never been a full-fledged OC before so there is nothing really to go on as to expectations. He was a QB coach in Atlanta but that doesn't mean he's looking for another Devonta Freeman. Or maybe he is? Hard to say.

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5 hours ago, DMD said:

Whatever patterns there were for RB catches before do not matter now. TEN has an all new offense this year. New HC Mike Vrabel was a defensive guy. Matt LaFleur runs the offense but he's never been a full-fledged OC before so there is nothing really to go on as to expectations. He was a QB coach in Atlanta but that doesn't mean he's looking for another Devonta Freeman. Or maybe he is? Hard to say.

 

Vrabel is also the most unqualified head coach in the NFL right now.  I think this offense takes a huge step back this year, even though last year wasn't great either.

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3 hours ago, kdko said:

 

Vrabel is also the most unqualified head coach in the NFL right now.  I think this offense takes a huge step back this year, even though last year wasn't great either.

 

At this time last year, Mike Lombardi said this about Doug Pederson, "everybody knows he isn't a head coach" and he "might be less qualified to coach a team than anyone I've ever seen in my 30-plus years in the NFL."  And Mike Martz said this about Sean McVay, "What is he, a couple of months older than Jared? They hired a buddy for Jared. The NFL has nothing to do with being the friend or the buddy of the quarterback. You've got to coach them and work them hard with respect. But buddy? And this guy is a quarterback expert? An offensive expert? Wait a minute while I puke. Right, he's going to be able to teach and handle and guide Jared through tough times because of all of his expertise and knowledge? Right. I'm not going to drink that Kool-Aid."

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1 minute ago, michaelredd9 said:

 

At this time last year, Mike Lombardi said this about Doug Pederson, "everybody knows he isn't a head coach" and he "might be less qualified to coach a team than anyone I've ever seen in my 30-plus years in the NFL."  And Mike Martz said this about Sean McVay, "What is he, a couple of months older than Jared? They hired a buddy for Jared. The NFL has nothing to do with being the friend or the buddy of the quarterback. You've got to coach them and work them hard with respect. But buddy? And this guy is a quarterback expert? An offensive expert? Wait a minute while I puke. Right, he's going to be able to teach and handle and guide Jared through tough times because of all of his expertise and knowledge? Right. I'm not going to drink that Kool-Aid."

 

 

Vrabel ran the worst ranked defense in the entire league his only year as defensive coordinator.  Despite big name injuries, it was never that bad under Crennel.  Then gets a head coach gig because of 'The Patriot Way.'  I implore you to read this article.  It's a great read, and breaks it down well.  

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/titans-hiring-vrabel-team-falling-patriot-lie-article-1.3785914

 

 

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1 hour ago, darin3 said:

There was an excellent counterpoint type of article in USA Today a week or so back about Vrabel.

 

Found it - https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/columnist/bell/2018/04/06/mike-vrabel-tennessee-titans-hire/494987002/

 

I dunno, that article wasn't too convincing for me, as it didn't delve too deep into his actual coaching experience.  A lot of the argument was centered around the fact that there have been other young, inexperienced coaches, who have become successful, and that's really the only comparison between them.  Thing is, he's more inexperienced and has had the least success of all these other comparisons that are being drawn.  

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On Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 3:59 PM, DMD said:

Whatever patterns there were for RB catches before do not matter now. TEN has an all new offense this year. New HC Mike Vrabel was a defensive guy. Matt LaFleur runs the offense but he's never been a full-fledged OC before so there is nothing really to go on as to expectations. He was a QB coach in Atlanta but that doesn't mean he's looking for another Devonta Freeman. Or maybe he is? Hard to say.

 

So the numbers could be even worse, right? I forgot about their coaching change. Guess that makes predictions virtually impossible.

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