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2023 Fantasy Football Player Profile: Travis Etienne has high upside

2M76P2F Jacksonville, Florida, USA. January 7, 2023: Jacksonville Jaguars running back TRAVIS ETIENNE JR. (1) runs with the ball during the Jacksonville Jaguars vs Tennessee Titans NFL game at TIAA Bank Field Stadium in Jacksonville, Fl on January 7, 2023. (Credit Image: © Cory Knowlton/ZUMA Press Wire) Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy Live News

  • Travis Etienne shined as a playmaker: Etienne was constantly making big plays despite poor run blocking in his first full NFL season.
  • The Tank Bigsby addition will hurt his production: Bigsby seems likely to take the short-yardage situations, which could include touchdown opportunities.
  • Ideally, Etienne is a bigger part of the passing game: He seemed like he’s more of a receiving back based on his college film. Fumbles and drops hurt his production last season, but are unlikely to continue.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

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Last updated: 7:15 a.m. Tuesday, August 15

Travis Etienne‘s player outlook

Etienne found a lot of success as a runner in his first full season in the NFL.

  • The former Clemson Tiger was drafted with the 25th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft but tore his Lisfranc ligament in August of that year and missed the entire 2021 season.
  • He began the 2022 season as a backup to James Robinson, playing in roughly 50% of the team's offensive snaps from Week 1-6.
  • Etienne took over as the primary running back for Week 7, and Robinson was traded to the New York Jets before Week 8.
  • Etienne proceeded to run 66 times for 379 yards and four touchdowns from Week 7-9.
  • He suffered another injury in Week 12 and was slow to recover, but he finished the season strong from Weeks 15-17 with 50 carries for 294 yards and a touchdown.
  • He was among the best running backs at making players miss, leading to big gains — 2.3% of his carries resulted in 30 or more yards run, which was the best among running backs last season, while 20% of his receptions gained at least 15 yards, which was second-best among running backs.
  • He finished as a top-10 fantasy running back four times, but his overall fantasy points or fantasy points per game don’t do him justice because he started the season as a backup, and at times played injured.
  • One particular area of weakness was short-yardage situations.
  • When the Jacksonville Jaguars were within three yards of scoring, Etienne ran the ball nine times but only scored twice, when the league average was scoring 47.6% of the time from running back carries.
  • He similarly converted first downs at a below-average rate when there was only one or two yards to go for a first down.
  • Etienne was thought to be more of a receiving back, but he didn’t find as much success in the passing game as we would have thought.
  • His 13.6% targets per route run is below average for a running back.
  • He was tied for the league lead in fumbles after the catch for running backs with two and dropped an above-average 7.7% of his targets.
  • The fumbles and drops had a large impact on his receiving grade last season, but typically aren’t an indication of a future problem.

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