Travis Etienne Jr.’s Best Ball Fantasy Outlook: Can the Jaguars RB Take Another Step Forward?

Can Jacksonville Jaguars RB Travis Etienne Jr. repeat as a fantasy RB1 in 2024? Should you select him in Best Ball drafts?

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Travis Etienne Jr. finished as an RB1 in 2023 but was more boom/bust than fantasy football managers would prefer. Can Etienne be more consistent in 2024, and should you select him in Best Ball drafts?

Travis Etienne’s 2024 Fantasy Outlook

In the modern NFL, it’s rare to find running backs who play all three downs. If last season is to be believed, Etienne is on the shortlist.

Etienne averaged 16.6 fantasy points per game last year, finishing as the overall RB7. Yet, I can’t help but feel a bit of trepidation about whether his usage and production are sustainable.

After missing his entire rookie year due to a foot injury, Etienne burst onto the scene as a sophomore, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. He was efficient, but his lack of receiving or a goal-line role led him to barely finishing as an RB2.

In his third season, the Jaguars spent a third-round pick on RB Tank Bigsby, presumably to be the RB2 and take some of the load off Etienne.

However, Bigsby was unable to really get going, resulting in Etienne’s usage increasing. His 76% opportunity share was sixth in the league, but most importantly, he saw an increase in goal-line and receiving opportunities.

Etienne’s 12.1% target share was 14th in the NFL. He also saw eight goal-line carries. All of this led to him posting RB1 numbers. Of course, additional context is necessary, as Etienne’s quality season may not be what it seemed.

Etienne recorded 20+ fantasy points just six times all season. He only finished as an RB1 in eight games. He also posted single-digit fantasy points five times.

The reality of Etienne’s season was that he had a legendary stretch of games from Weeks 5-8, scoring 36.4, 23.3, 22.7, and 25.9 fantasy points, respectively. Over the rest of his games, he averaged 13.4 points.

Of course, we can’t just remove the elite weeks like they never happened. They do matter, and there are undoubtedly other players whose finishes appear better than they are, as well.

However, it is important to bring it up to show that Etienne wasn’t quite as reliable as his final numbers may seem. To be fair, that’s nearly every running back these days. It’s just a very tricky position to value properly.

Should You Draft Etienne in 2024 Best Ball Leagues?

Etienne is still just 25 years old. But he thrived in 2023 based on volume. His 4.6 yards per touch was 34th in the league, and just 3.7% of his carries went for 15+ yards. I can’t help but be concerned about the lack of efficiency.

If the Jaguars look to reduce Etienne’s workload next season, that could bring him down from an RB1 to a mid-range RB2. Given where Etienne is going in drafts, that could be problematic for fantasy managers.

Etienne is a bit more palatable in Best Ball leagues, as the dud weeks can be offset by other players on your roster entering your lineup. Meanwhile, the spike weeks can really help, even if there are only a handful of them. Let’s be sure not to completely discount how beneficial it is to have players capable of producing 30+ fantasy points.

KEEP READING: Best Ball Stacking Strategy

With that said, Etienne is not exactly a player I am looking to draft. He was a bit frustrating to roster last season, and I really think the best-case scenario for him is he has a similar year.

In the spot where you have to draft Etienne, I much prefer the wide receivers. But if Etienne falls below his ADP, it won’t take much for him to become a value.

With the fantasy football season behind us, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

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