Over the previous few years, we’ve seen an instant fantasy impact for rookie running backs. Whether it’s Ezekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt, Saquon Barkley or many others, rookie running backs have the ability to step in and immediately contribute.

While this year’s rookie running backs are not being as lauded as heavily as previous drafts, there’s inevitably going to be players that step in and contribute right away. One of those players could be former Memphis running back, Darrell Henderson.

Currently, he’s being talked about as a back-of-the-first-round Dynasty selection. However, there’s a case that he should be the first running back off the board for fantasy purposes.

NFL Scouting Combine Overview
Height/Weight 40 Yard Dash Bench Press Vertical Jump Broad Jump
5'8"/208 Pounds 4.49 Seconds 22 Reps 33.5 Inches 121 Inches

Analyzing the combine results above, Henderson has the size and athletic profile to succeed in the NFL. His 4.49 forty time was good enough for 6th best at the combine among his position group, while his 22 reps on the bench press were good enough to tie for 6th best as well. While Henderson showed that he has great strength and explosiveness through the bench press, broad jump, and vertical jump, his game is not fundamentally built upon those characteristics. His game is predicated upon his speed.

Watching Henderson’s collegiate tape, you’ll constantly see him blowing by defenders after making one or two people miss at the line of scrimmage. He also did this while being the main focus of the opposing defense’s attention and still put up insane numbers.

College Production
Year Rushing Yards Yard Per Carry Average Rushing TDs Receptions/Receiving Yards Receiving TDs
2017 1154 8.9 9 24/226 2
2018 1909 8.9 22 19/295 3

Henderson was able to put up video game-like numbers in his final year at Memphis. As previously mentioned, opposing defenses knew that Henderson was the main threat in that Tigers offense and they still were unable to stop him. But while Henderson was known to be a home-run threat every time he ran the ball, he also contributed nicely in the passing game and demonstrated that he can be relied on in that role as well.

This all culminates in a well-rounded back who can beat opposing defenses in multiple ways and be used on every down in the NFL.

Fantasy Outlook

Henderson has the skillset and tools to step onto the field Day One and dominate for fantasy football. He has the speed to break off the long TD run but also combines that with the power to pick up the tough yards in between the tackles.

With that combination of speed and power, his balance, shiftiness due to his size, and superb vision, Henderson should be in the conversation for a top-5 rookie pick in Dynasty drafts if he lands in the right spot. He has all the traits to succeed no matter what his landing spot is…with that being said though, the Kansas City Chiefs have a need at running back and Henderson would be a perfect fit in that offense. If Henderson does end up taking handoffs from Patrick Mahomes, there’s a good argument for him to be RB1 in this class and worth considering with the 1.01.


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