Rookie Profile: Travis Etienne
In dynasty what kind of RBs are truly more valuable? Is it a five to eight-yard grinder, a passing-down specialist, or an explosive guy with long-run potential? My answer to you would be, why not just draft someone with all of these traits. That player is Travis Etienne. Etienne has the playstyle and build that can allow him to be an elite fantasy producer through his rookie deal and multiple years after that. This article will be breaking down Etienne as a prospect and informing you of how you should handle him during your rookie drafts.
(Photo Credit: Player Profiler)
Travis Etienne is a true home run hitting running back. He has the fastest long speed in the draft and just explodes through the hole once he gets the ball. He also measured in at 5’10” 215 lbs. This gives him a BMI of over thirty which means he hits all the size marks to be used as a true workhorse in the NFL. Lastly, he was heavily involved in the passing game at Clemson and should be able to catch a lot of balls in the NFL. When thinking of team usage I think Etienne comps pretty well to how the Saints use Kamara. They both will score a high percentage of their points in the receiving game. This kind of usage will also make it more likely for him to stay productive longer and make it past his rookie deal. As opposed to a guy that cannot catch as well.
Now let us talk about his scores when it comes to hitting or missing Elite Prospect level thresholds. The first is Career yards per carry (YPC). Etienne had a great 7.2 YPC over his college career which ranks seventh among RBs drafted since 2014. I know people do not usually like YPC as a predictive metric but usually, if you hit over 6.0 YPC that is a very good sign. That’s the first box he checks. Next, is Best Season (BS) Scrimmage Yards Per Game. The Elite threshold for this metric is 120, Etienne easily passes that and reached 136.4 yards per game. He was very productive both on the ground and through the air so this makes good sense.
The next stats I look at are BS TD Share and BS Reception Share. Etienne just barely hits the TD share threshold. His score in this stat is 30% and the minimum to be considered an elite prospect is 30%. Now for Reception Share, Etienne hit 15% of receptions in his best season. This is a hit because the threshold number is only 10%. So far so good, there is not a single mark he misses. The last one I look at is Yards per Team Play (Y/TP). To be considered an elite prospect you have to hit at least 1.90 Y/TP. Etienne just barely passes this at 1.91, but he was in a very productive overall offense, run by Trevor Lawrence, that threw a lot of passes. This means that Travis Etienne hits 100% of the elite thresholds that I look at when prospecting rookie RBs. I consider Etienne to be a surefire prospect and to also have the most upside of these top-tier guys. He is my rookie RB1 of the 2021 class. I can’t blame anyone for taking Harris over him but I would recommend Etienne especially if you are rebuilding. I say this because his style of play should last longer in the NFL and if you are rebuilding you will need that extra time while you get ready to compete.