We’ve reached that point in summer that it’s time to kick back and start locking in some football futures. In this article, I’ll be locking in my first season-long player prop. Let’s start with one that jumped out to me right away on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Almost all of my football futures will be posted in article form, but as always follow along on Twitter, as some will just be posted here — @julianedlow.
Rushing & Receiving Yards: Travis Etienne UNDER 1025.5 (+100)
Jacksonville surprised nobody when it selected Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. But the Jags did have a late first-round selection, and did give us a bit of a shocker by going with a RB — a Clemson teammate of Lawrence’s in Etienne.
Etienne suffered a foot injury that cost him his entire rookie season, so this will be the first we see of him in the NFL. While the high draft selection suggests the Jags should give him a chance at a heavy workload, there are a lot of moving parts here.
For starters, Urban Meyer was still the head coach when Etienne was drafted. There’s been a lot of turnover from the time the RB was drafted until he sees his first NFL action. While the team’s depth chart currently lists Etienne as the starter, this could easily be a time-share with James Robinson — who suffered a torn Achilles last season. However, while the expectation may have been that Robinson was going to begin the season on the PUP list, the team has informed us that will not be the case.
Robinson broke out for 240 carries and 1,070 rushing yards in 2020, along with 49 receptions for 344 yards in 14 games. But last season, prior to injury, Meyer seemed unwilling to let Robinson loose. The second-year RB finished with just 767 rushing yards and 222 receiving yards in 14 games once again, but with just 67.5% of the touches.
While Etienne was probably drafted ahead of where he should’ve been, I don’t have much negative to say about the player. His numbers during four seasons at Clemson speak for themselves. But as mentioned, this isn’t a player coming in with fresh legs after just a couple of seasons in college. Etienne carried a heavy workload over four years of college football, and then missed his first full NFL season with a foot injury. Those aren’t good signs at this position.
With a more rational coaching staff in place, and Robinson’s injury timeline ahead of schedule, I’m just not sure we’ll see the volume here for Etienne to post over 1,000 combined yards in his true rookie season. Playing for what figures to be a bad team shouldn’t help, especially if Robinson resumes his pre-Meyer role. Etienne’s chemistry with Lawrence could help some, but at a position like RB, I think we need to factor in for some games missed here. This number is just a tad bit too lofty for me when we combined all the angles.
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