Travis Etienne
Travis Etienne will suck as a fantasy running back. I don’t see a plan in Jacksonville and Etienne frankly isn’t that talented to begin with. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Travis Etienne Will Suck As A Fantasy Running Back

If I were to declare one player a bust from the 2021 NFL Draft, it would be Clemson running back Travis Etienne. Now that Etienne has a home after being drafted by the Jaguars, there has been some buzz about Etienne’s fantasy potential. I’m here to tell you don’t bother. Travis Etienne will suck as a fantasy running back whether it be this year or any other year. DO NOT DRAFT.

Me and Kam Moos disagree a lot. Kam thinks Etienne can be a league winner. I’m on the total opposite side of the spectrum. Najee Harris is in a different galaxy in my opinion. Especially after landing in Pittsburgh. In fairness, it doesn’t appear that Etienne is being ranked high by any outlet. The truth of the matter is, that’s probably the way it should be.

Jacksonville wants to turn Etienne into a weapon. The former Clemson product was taking a lot of snaps at receiver. Nothing screams panic move quite like using the Jalen Ramsey pick on a running back that you plan on turning into a receiver. For all intents and purposes, Etienne is officially a gadget guy. The last time gadget guy won you a fantasy league was never.

I do believe Jacksonville will be very competitive in a few years. Not right away but eventually. This is probably not the offense you want to take advantage of Etienne’s early fantasy value. Pick running backs on good teams. You won’t get in trouble that way. It’s probably something to avoid as a rookie.

Furthermore, there is real competition here. I don’t quite know what to make of James Robinson. If you slightly buy into the hype that he’s the real deal, there’s no reason to pick Etienne. Who’s getting the red zone work? The big bodied Robinson or the gadget who has to play receiver to get on the field?

Let’s also not forget Carlos Hyde is a thing. Nobody knows how many years he will be on the roster but don’t forget, Hyde is an Ohio State guy. Urban Meyer knows and loves him. It’s also another big guy who can run between the tackles. Is the plan really to use Etienne in the screen game and that’s it? Where’s the fantasy upside?

Talent and opportunity creates fantasy success. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that Etienne frankly isn’t that talented. His vision stinks, the foot work is average, there’s big time fumbling problems, and the ability to create yards after contact just really isn’t there. I didn’t think Etienne belonged in even the second round conversation.

I said it before and I’ll say it again. Did Jacksonville only pick Travis Etienne because Trevor Lawrence was his teammate? I don’t get this one. Not even a little. If I were someone that had Etienne in a long term league, I’d be looking to trade him before the rest of your league mates figure out that he sucks.

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