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2021 Fantasy Football Outlook: Darrell Henderson

Darrell Henderson, tasked with replacing Cam Akers as the Rams workhorse, is an intriguing fantasy football option in 2021.
Darrell Henderson Fantasy

Darrell Henderson is entering the third season of his NFL career in a lead role for the Los Angeles Rams. With starting running back Cam Akers tearing his Achilles, Henderson is now the focal point of the Rams rushing attack. There has been speculation as to how big Henderson’s role will be this upcoming season. From a fantasy football perspective, Henderson’s role is an interesting one.

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Darrell Henderson 2021 Fantasy Football Profile

The Good

The best thing for Henderson’s fantasy value this year is that he is the lead back on a team with no real depth behind him. With Todd Gurley dominating fantasy football in 2017 and 2018, it is clear that head coach Sean McVay knows how to maximize running backs’ potential. Coming into this season, Cam Akers was going to have RB1 upside, and Henderson will have that upside if he gets that same workload. This Rams offense under Matthew Stafford is going to be prolific, and that will mean more touchdown opportunities for Henderson. He has less than 200 carries in his career, so he should be able to handle a big workload. At 24 years old heading into this season, Henderson has the ability to break out this season since we haven’t seen him as a lead back yet.

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The Bad

The only real concerns for Henderson this season are injuries and workload. He hasn’t had any major injuries at this point in his career, but he has had minor injuries that have caused him to miss parts of games or play less than one hundred percent. The other concern for Henderson is his small sample size as a starter. In his 2019 season as a rookie, he backed up Todd Gurley. Last season, he mostly split time with Cam Akers and Malcolm Brown until McVay started using a workhorse approach towards the end of the regular season (Akers won the job). Finally, Henderson hasn’t proven to be a capable receiver out of the backfield (20 receptions total in 28 games played) which can be problematic if you play in a PPR league.

The Verdict

All of this boils down to the ultimate question, which is, “Is Darrell Henderson worth drafting in fantasy football?” The answer to that question is yes. Henderson is currently ranked as the 21st best running back on ESPN which is a steal. The Rams have no other running backs with NFL experience on their roster as of right now. That situation could change during the season, especially if Henderson gets hurt. But it is hard to believe that any option on free agency right now is better than Henderson.

Because of their lack of running back depth, it would be in the Rams best interest to give Henderson a big workload this season. His propensity to get banged up is concerning, but not concerning enough to pass on his upside. There aren’t many running backs that you can take that late in drafts with a ceiling as high as Henderson’s. With a weekly top twelve ceiling, he is somebody you should be targeting once the elite running backs are off the board.

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