Is Dion Lewis a viable fantasy starter if Derrick Henry misses Week 13?
If Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry is forced to miss Week 13, is fellow back Dion Lewis a viable starter against the Indianapolis Colts?
If Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry is ruled out in Week 13 against the Indianapolis Colts, can fantasy owners depend on fellow back Dion Lewis as a replacement?
Henry popped up on the injury report on Wednesday after he left practice early with a hamstring injury. While we don’t yet know just how serious the injury is, fantasy owners need to start planning ahead just in case he can’t go.
If Henry is can’t suit-up, the next man in line would be Lewis, who has played second fiddle to the Alabama product all season long. Based on the numbers, it isn’t looking good for Lewis in terms of matching or even coming close to Henry’s production of late.
In 2019, Lewis is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry, which is the second-worst mark of his career. Even in the receiving department where Lewis is supposed to be a specialist, the 29-year-old has been disappointing, as he’s averaging just 5.7 yards per reception, the worst since his rookie season in which he caught just one pass.
On the bright side, there are at least some reasons for optimism with Lewis.
As a whole, the Titans offensive line has been getting better in run blocking as the season has gone on. After averaging just 3.7 yards per carry through his first six games, Henry’s been totaling 6.2 yards per tote. In his last nine carries over the past two games, Lewis is averaging 4.6 yards.
Adding to that, Lewis figures to get plenty of volume if he starts. As the Titans’ No. 1 back this season, Henry is getting 18.7 carries and 20 touches overall per contest.
Now, I wouldn’t expect Lewis to get every single touch out of the backfield if Henry is out and there’s a good chance we’d see some Dalyn Dawkins, but the volume will still be there for Lewis to have RB2 potential in the game against the Colts.
The only problem there is that the Colts have been tough against the run, with Indy allowing just 97 rushing yards per game, the eighth-best mark in the NFL. On a per game basis, the Colts are ceding just 12.36 points to the position, the fifth-lowest.
Now, you might not have another option other than Dion Lewis if Henry sits out, but there’s no question Lewis is a roll of the dice in Week 13. While the volume and potential is there, Lewis’ disappointing season and matchup makes him a risky bet.