Houston Texans running back Dameon Pierce has been a league-winner in fantasy football this year, but the rookie’s run of dominance could be coming to a close with Eno Benjamin in town. Benjamin had moments of success with the Arizona Cardinals, so could the former seventh-round pick impact Pierce’s role in the offense?
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Dameon Pierce Fantasy Football Outlook With Eno Benjamin
Dameon Pierce Season To Date
Through the first 10 weeks of the season, Dameon Pierce has been one of the best fantasy football values of the 2022 season. Starting and appearing in all nine games, the rookie has recorded 773 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 165 carries to go along with 22 receptions for 126 yards and an additional score. He’s averaging 4.7 yards per attempt despite playing on a terrible offense with a subpar offensive line, and this impressive play has made him the RB13 thus far in the season.
The traditional numbers imply Dameon Pierce has been good, and the advanced numbers tell a similar story. He currently has the fourth-best PFF grade among running backs while also ranking 14th in juke rate and 17th in yards created per touch. Eno Benjamin has played well in a limited sample this year, but there is no denying that Pierce is the superior running back. He’ll keep the starting job, but will he keep the same massive workload?
Yards after contact and missed tackles forced per carry (PFF, min. 50 carries)
Further up: Good at picking up yards after contact
Further right: Good at forcing missed tackles
Only looking a rush attempts; no receiving usage factors in pic.twitter.com/l781L91JaI
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) November 15, 2022
Will Eno Benjamin Cut Into the Houston Texans Workload?
As shown above, Dameon Pierce has done a phenomenal job this year, and his talent played a large role in his fantasy success. However, volume is the most important factor in fantasy football, and there is no denying that a portion of Pierce’s success is due to the complete lack of talent on the depth chart.
Outside of Pierce, the only other running back of note on Houston’s roster is journeyman Rex Burkhead. Burkhead is a fine pass catcher, but he’s nobody’s idea of a between-the-tackles runner. Outside of those two, no other running back has earned more than one carry.
Put simply, Houston’s atrocious running back room forced Dameon Pierce to receive a Derrick Henry type of workload. Coaches around the league are largely switching over to some form of a committee approach and, unless you have the actual Derrick Henry on your team, this is probably a smart move from a real-life football standpoint. The physical nature of the running back position means that there is always a risk of injury, and you don’t want a player taking more punishment than they can physically handle.
Now that the Texans have another competent runner in Eno Benjamin, it’s safe to the team will not feel forced to give Dameon Pierce so many carries. Instead of his current 73.6% opportunity share, look for Pierce to drop closer to the 60-65% range.
This lack of volume is a bad thing for a player in a bad offense. Some running backs are able to get by on fewer touches, but those players can usually bank on scoring touchdowns on a fairly consistent basis. Unfortunately, Pierce doesn’t have that in his range of outcomes. Houston’s offense is atrocious, and it’s unreasonable to expect the Texans to get to the red zone with any sort of consistency.
Pierce will still have a good amount of volume, but Benjamin’s presence will drop him from a low-end RB1 to a low-end RB2. Eno Benjamin, meanwhile, will be nothing more than a solid handcuff with some flex value if you’re truly desperate.