The Jacksonville Jaguars will look to improve on a dismal 2021 season with a new head coach in Doug Peterson at the helm. The Jaguars should also get a boost with running back Travis Etienne now healthy after his rookie season ended prematurely due to a Linsfranc injury in his foot. Etienne will get his first taste of NFL action against the Washington Commanders in Week 1.
Fantasy Football analysis: Jaguars RB Travis Etienne
While Etienne’s health should excite fantasy managers, the second-year running back has a few obstacles in his way on Sunday. The obvious of course is his opponent in the Commanders. In 2021, Washington ranked eighth in the NFL in opponent rushing yards surrendered (104.4) and ninth in opponent rushing yards per attempt (4.1). Even without star pass rusher Chase Young in the fold, the Commanders have a notable track record of being formidable against the run.
The added factor working against Etienne’s favor is third-year pro James Robinson. Robinson rushed for 767 yards and eight touchdowns with the Jaguars last season and is reportedly good to go for suiting up in Week 1. Robinson may possibly get a heavy workload against Washington on Sunday, and at the very least will get a respectable number of snaps alongside Etienne.
Start or sit in Week 1?
Fantasy managers need more evidence as to how Pederson and the Jaguars will utilize their backfield. Robinson has the experience advantage over Etienne in Week 1, and the Commanders have proven to be efficient in limiting the run game. Etienne fits the bill as a potential RB2 or a flex option in PPR formats. Until fantasy managers get a sense of what his workload will be on a weekly basis, Etienne should be left on the bench for Sunday’s matchup.