Etienne ascended into a consistent Fantasy producer in Year 2 after a slow first six weeks. Etienne had four top-seven weekly finishes in PPR and he was the eighth-best running back from Weeks 7-17 in non-PPR. Consistency wasn't Etienne's forte, however, and he finished outside the top 24 eight times. Etienne's Fantasy stock has risen heading into 2023 with the expectation that he'll score more in an offense that is one of the most likely to break out, but there are two major red flags in his profile. He had the fifth-most carries (23) inside the 10-yard line but he only scored on four of them in 2022. Rookie RB Tank Bigsby is built to be a better red-zone back and could take that role over immediately. Also, although billed as a receiving threat, Etienne wasn't involved much in the passing game in 2022 and his target share could slip more with Calvin Ridley added to the mix. If you buy the Jaguars offense breaking out and want a main piece, target Etienne early in Round 3.
Etienne should remain the best RB in Jacksonville. His rushing was solid in 2022. His receiving proved highly disappointing, though.
The Jaguars backfield will be one of the most interesting to watch through the summer to gauge how they plan to split work. Don’t bet on Etienne garnering as many carries per game as he did after James Robinson left. If he doesn’t regain some targets, he could easily frustrate fantasy managers.
What We Learned Last YearEtienne opened the year trailing RB James Robinson in work.He claimed 32% of Jacksonville’s carries over the first six games, compared with 47.9% for Robinson.Etienne led the backfield receiving, drawing 8.9% of targets vs. Robinson’s 4.9%.Robinson played just 12 snaps against the Giants in Week 7 and logged no touches. He was traded after that game.From Week 7 on (through the two playoff games), Etienne garnered 61.4% of Jaguars carries but just 6.5% of targets.JaMycal Hasty sat next among Jacksonville RBs, with 46 carries and 26 targets for the season. He saw 5.2% target share from Week 7 on. He got 12 carries and 5 targets in the Week 12 win over Baltimore that Etienne left early.Snoop Conner collected just 12 carries for the year (no targets).Overall, Etienne finished 21st among RBs in opportunity share (carries + targets) in his second season. He missed his rookie year, of course, with a foot injury.He averaged 16.2 carries, 82.7 rushing yards, and 0.5 TDs per game over the 12 healthy outings from Week 7 through the playoffs.For the year, Etienne ranked 18th in Pro Football Focus rushing grade among 61 RBs with 70+ carries. He also ranked:18th in yards after contact per attemptT-17th in elusive ratingfourth in rushing yards over expected per attempt17th in Football Outsiders rushing DYAR20th in rushing DVOA16th in rushing success rate
What to Expect in 2023When asked at the Scouting Combine if Jacksonville would add to its backfield this offseason, HC Doug Pederson said: “Yes. I think in today’s game, you’ve got to have two to three guys. They’ve got to be able to carry the load. You’re talking about an 18-week, 17-game schedule, and the postseason. It’s wear and tear on guys. We haven’t seen enough of Snoop Conner yet either, but we like him. We know what JaMycal can do, we obviously know what Etienne can do. So yeah, you’re always looking to have two, three, four guys that can work the rotation.”Jacksonville first signed RB D’Ernest Johnson. His $1.2 million, one-year deal includes just $50,000 guaranteed. That’s not enough to even lock him in for the 2023 regular-season roster. Johnson did run for 534 yards and catch 19 balls for 137 with the 2021 Browns. But then he totaled just seven touches last year.RB Tank Bigsby arrived via Round 3 of the NFL Draft. He spent three years leading the Auburn backfield. He also led last year’s Tigers in receptions, drawing 15% target share.Etienne should remain the carry leader. We’ll see how the Jaguars elect to split work, though.Doug Pederson spent five years at the Eagles helm before landing in Jacksonville last season. The most carries per game any RB had among those teams was Miles Sanders in 2020, with 13.7.No other Philly RB reached 12.0 carries per game in a season over that span.Four others finished in the range of 11.2 to 11.9.
After missing his entire rookie campaign in 2021, Etienne was limited early on last season prior to forcing his way into a bigger role with elite efficiency (5.1 yards per carry ranked ninth and 7.0 yards per target ranked fourth among RBs). Etienne first took on feature back duties in Week 7 and (excluding a Week 12 game that he left early) was 14th among backs in fantasy PPG from that point forward. Etienne had some terrible TD luck (five TDs despite ranking 10th among backs in both yards and expected TDs -- 9.2) and is a good bet for a boost this season. Etienne is the lead back in a good, emerging Jaguars offense and has the skill set to be a threat as a rusher and receiver. He's a fringe RB1 with elite upside.