It’s that time of year again where offseason takes are coming in from every angle about the 2023 fantasy football season, and people are duking it out in the Twitter streets about everything imaginable. We’ve even reached the point where we’re discussing whether or not Parris Campbell can be a relevant fantasy option. It’s official; we’ve reached peak offseason. Jokes aside, one of the guys that has caused some lively debate lately has been Jacksonville Jaguars’ running back Travis Etienne. He had plenty of hype coming out of Clemson after being paired back up with college quarterback Trevor Lawrence, but unfortunately, he missed his entire rookie season in 2021 due to a Lisfranc injury suffered in the preseason. 


Last year, while people did have concerns about his health and stability after coming back from injury, he was still being drafted as RB19 on Sleeper. Although he finished as the RB17 through Week 17 in PPR leagues, he only ranked as the RB23 in fantasy points per game and didn’t exactly have that breakout season everyone was expecting. Now that he’s another year removed from the Lisfranc injury and has a full year of experience in Doug Pederson’s offense, what should we expect from him in 2023? Is he a value or a trap at his current consensus ADP of RB13? Let’s break out the microscope and examine the good, the bad, and the “meh” about Travis Etienne before we conclude with a verdict.

The Good

To start off with the good, there were a lot of positive points in Etienne’s stat line last year. When he carried the ball, he was highly efficient, boasting a 5.1 yards per carry average, having eight carries of 20+ yards and 16 carries of 15+ yards (5th), and finishing the season with 1,125 yards, good for eighth in the league among running backs. He also tacked on 316 receiving yards, and although his target share was a little low at just 7.8% (31st), he averaged nine yards per reception (5th) and 5.7 yards per touch (10th).

There was a lot to like about Travis Etienne last season in this revitalized Jacksonville offense, and this year, they did a little more to improve an offensive line that ranked 10th in offensive scoring in 2022. With another year under Doug Pederson and the addition of Calvin Ridley, the Jags should be even more productive in 2023. There’s no doubt that Etienne’s efficiency and dual-threat ability is everything you want out of a back on your fantasy football team.

The Bad

Well, we started off with the first layer of the compliment sandwich, so it’s only fair that we go to the opposite end of the spectrum with the…not so good. Etienne’s pass blocking was ATROCIOUS, ranking 105th of eligible running backs with a PFF grade of 45.6. This could have been why his snap share was lower than it should have been because when you’re a running back, if you can’t block, you’re not going to get on the field. He was also ninth in red zone touches but only scored five touchdowns. That’s the same number as Trevor Lawrence and only two more than James Robinson, and he got traded to the Jets after Week 7! When you have that many opportunities and can’t find your way into the end zone, it’s a bit of a red flag.

There’s also the elephant in the room by the name of Tank Bigsby. The Jaguars spent third round draft capital on the rookie out of Auburn, and in his final year in the NCAA, Bigsby was highly efficient on a sub-par offense, with a 5.42 yards per carry average for 970 yards and a 15.3% target share that resulted in another 180 yards. Normally, we wouldn’t be too concerned about a rookie running back coming in, but Jaguars’ offensive coordinator Press Taylor has hinted that the snap share and carries could be split more evenly this year. Etienne, himself, said that he is open to the idea of ceding some carries to prevent wear and tear on his body. If this happens, RB13 is just way too high of an ADP to be drafting him at.

The “Meh”

So we hit the highs, we hit the lows, now let’s come back around to the things that could be better, but aren’t exactly deal breakers. In 2022, Etienne ranked 37th in fantasy points per opportunity (.77), 31st in target share (7.8%), 35th in average yards after contact (3.11), and 17th in snap share (59.4%). These stats aren’t BAD by any means, but they don’t evoke any strong feelings either way. He may also be in line for some positive touchdown regression, but you can’t really even count on that, so again, it just gives you a lukewarm feeling. Lukewarm is not the feeling I want when I’m drafting the 13th running back off the board.

The Verdict

Now that we’ve broken everything down, where do we stand on Travis Etienne at his current ADP? Unfortunately, I think the addition of Tank Bigsby and a potential split in carries and snap share are the biggest roadblocks to Etienne reaching his ceiling in redraft. On Underdog, his ADP is slowly still creeping up, moving .8 spots, and although he may have spike weeks to justify that in best ball, unless it drops a few spots to around RB18, I’m not willing to invest that much draft capital in redraft leagues. Etienne is extremely talented, but in fantasy football, we need more to sustain our rosters than just talent. 

Want to try your hand at best ball? Sign up for Underdog Fantasy today and use promo code FANTASYALARM for a 100% deposit match up to $100. If you’re already a member of, join our premium Discord for a chance to join private drafts with our analysts, including myself, and compete against us for bragging rights.


Related Links: