The Tennessee Titans are expected to be without running back Derrick Henry in Week 16 due to a hamstring injury. Henry has been a pivotal fantasy football player over the past five weeks, and his absence is likely to reverberate in numerous fantasy championship games. If you’re facing him, you’ve lucked out at least a little bit. If he’s on your roster, it’s the kind of rotten luck that can make fantasy football so frustrating.
Traditional fantasy football
If you are short-handed as a result of this injury, there are some options likely still available. You might have some depth on your existing roster, but if you need someone anyway, there are several options that have a better than even chance of being available in your fantasy league. Below are some notable running backs available in more than 50 percent of ESPN leagues.
Dion Lewis, Titans
Henry’s backup is only rostered in 10.2 percent of fantasy leagues. If you haven’t grabbed him yet, you should pounce. He’ll get the start, and without much depth behind him, he should get a pretty big workload. He faces a Saints defense that has given up the 12th most fantasy points to running backs this season.
DeAndre Washington, Raiders
Josh Jacobs is sidelined and Washington will get the start in his place. Jalen Richard will take some of the third down work, but Washington was the guy who got the starter workload when Jacobs sat out Week 14. He faces a Chargers defense that has given up the 11th most fantasy points to running backs.
After spending the past two months on IR, Johnson returns in Week 16. He will give up some snaps to Bo Scarbrough if the latter is active, but Johnson is expected to get a sizable workload, per Ian Rapoport. He faces a tough Broncos defense that has given up the tenth fewest fantasy points, but should be getting near starter volume.
Patrick Laird, Dolphins
Laird is splitting work with Myles Gaskin, but Laird has been the more effective of the two running backs. He faces a Bengals defense that has given up the sixth most fantasy points to running backs.
Boston Scott, Eagles
With Jordan Howard likely sidelined for another week, Scott will be the change-of-pace back to Miles Sanders. Scott is best utilized in PPR leagues.
Alexander Mattison/Mike Boone, Vikings
Dalvin Cook is sitting on Monday Night Football. Both players are available in a majority of leagues, but we don’t know who will start. Mattison is Cook’s normal backup, but is coming off an ankle injury and is listed as questionable. I suspect that if Mattison is active, we see both get a decent amount of work limiting the ceiling of either.
In daily fantasy, Henry’s absence means Dion Lewis is going to be particularly valuable. He’s relatively inexpensive and should get the bulk of the work. A lot of DFS lineups will include him, so you have to decide if you want to use him to guarantee those same points, or if you want to roll the dice elsewhere with a lot of people putting their eggs in the Lewis basket.