Jul 29, 2007
It seems I’m guilty of creating a lot of “hype” when it comes to Bronco RB Travis Henry. I did not know this until recently. I just assumed the masses were with me given the obvious marriage of talent and system. But, if I’m guilty of “hyping” good players in great situations, I’ll just have to live with that.
Now I have made mistakes in the past by ranking shaky players too high. For example, I believe my high ranking of RB Kevin Jones in 2005 had ripple effects throughout the entire fantasy industry and prompted many sites to rank him a little higher. So basically, if there are really 15,000,000 people playing fantasy football, I screwed about 1,250,000 people that year.
Jones had a lot of issues hurting his cause in 2005. But let’s not forget that he was the 7th best fantasy back in a PPR league and 10th in a typical league through Week Twelve last year, before he got hurt. The problem I have to this day with my Jones call was that he fooled me into thinking he was a better player than he was. In his rookie year, he ran more decisively, with more short-area quickness, and a better burst. He looked like the fastest player on the field. The last two years, he’s looked like the slowest. I don’t know what the heck happened to Jones, and to be perfectly honest I’m kind of surprised he was as productive last year as he was. I suppose he’s yet another reason we should all bow to the genius of Mike Martz.
When it comes to him being in the NFL’s drug program, I am being a little risky with Henry because if he slips up, he’s done for the season. I am assuming, based on the fact that Denver wasted no time signing him, and his clean 2006 season, that the drug issues are behind him. I haven’t heard one underground rumor on him, either, in two years.
I also will not buy into the notion that he’s injury-prone. Yes, he’s had some issues, but many backs do. He’s not the biggest guy in the world, but other than his toe issues and a minor knee problem way back, his problems have been more about bad luck. He’s played hurt plenty of times, too, even playing and playing well on a cracked bone in his leg several years ago. Yes, I’m a little worried about his ability to stay healthy, but I’m also worried about Frank Gore, Shaun Alexander, Laurence Maroney, Clinton Portis, Ronnie Brown, Brian Westbrook, and Cedric Benson staying healthy, among others.
Now here’s the main point: Unlike some other younger backs who disappointed, Henry has proven over and over again that he’s a damn good player. Denver and Mike Shanahan have proven over and over again that they will produce great fantasy backs. Henry is a perfect fit for what they want to do; he’s proven that he’s a workhorse, and that’s what Denver wants. That’s why Denver pounced on him when he became free. Denver has an excellent offensive scheme, and coaching. They have a good line. They have a good defense. I also like the QB a lot, and the offense as a whole. Denver could easily be 12-4 this year.
I’ll never forget what Tatum Bell told me several years ago when I asked him about their tough schedule against the run. “We bring it with the running game against everyone,” he said. And he’s right.
I don’t know where everyone else is ranking him, but if they don’t have him in the top-10 at RB, they need to have their heads examined. I perfectly understand why someone would want to take Brian Westbrook or Willie Parker or Reggie Bush or Rudi Johnson ahead of Henry. After all, there’s only a 1-5 point difference in our projected points for all of those backs for the whole season compared to Henry, and Bush and Westbrook do come out higher in a PPR league if you customize that.
In closing here, if you’re uneasy about Henry, then you probably shouldn’t take him. You should be comfortable with your #1 or #2 pick.
As for me, I’m as sold as I can be on Travis Henry doing very, very well in Denver. And I’m takin’ him.