Travis Etienne is gearing up for a potential fantasy escape.

We all know the NFL is an imitation league, and that’s not a bad thing. Why not just copy what works? What worked in 2021 was the advent of the “wide bag”. The term was coined by Deebo Samuel of the 49ers for a wide receiver that doubles as a running back. However, it can also be applied to the running back, which appears a lot in pass games. Last season, the role was encapsulated by Cordarrelle Patterson. An interesting candidate for a versatile breakout bag in 2022 could be Jaguar’s Travis Etienne.

First, let’s look back on last year. In his third NFL season, Samuel became a fantasy stud, finishing third in fantasy points during wideouts. In addition to 1,405 receiving yards, he added 365 rushing yards for a total of 14 touchdowns. His eight rushing touchdowns broke Hall of Fame inductee Lenny Moore’s record for most rushed TD in a season by a receiver.

Bob Self/Florida Times-Union

In his ninth season, Patterson became a fantastic breakout performer who stunned the league with 1,166 scrimmage yards and 11 total touchdowns for the Falcons in 2021. Undrafted in most fantasy leagues, Patterson finished with RB12.

Could Travis Etienne be the fantasy star of 2022 in this wide-back role? Let’s take a closer look.

Etienne was a first-round talent from Clemson last year, but it was somewhat surprising that Jaguar drafted him with the 25th pick. They took QB Trevor Lawrence as their number one pick and they had more pressing demands as veteran defender James Robinson was already on the roster. Either way, Etienne suffered a Lisfranc injury to her left foot and missed the entire rookie season.

Etienne said after sacking manager Urban Meyer this offseason.

With an 85-90% recovery from a Lisfranc injury and ready to go to training camp, Etienne will be assisted by new manager Doug Pederson, Super Bowl-winning attacking guru on her résumé.

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Pederson has inherited an attack that is still developing. Lawrence will only get better after a plain rookie campaign. Jaguar gave him a new weapon when they signed wide receivers Christian Kirk and Jay Jones as free agents.

But it needs explosive play and Etienne can do that.

5’10”, 215lb Etienne threw 55 20+ runs in four years at Clemson, most of them in the NCAA during that time. Moreover, he has 102 passes, improving that figure each year. He took 48 passes and two runs as a senior over 588 yards.

Robinson suffered an Achilles tendon injury in December. He won’t be 100% until the season starts. Nevertheless, the starting job could be lost to Etienne.

In the first mock draft of SI Fantasy’s 2022 expert simulation, Etienne was eliminated as 2nd out of the 50th overall in the 5th round. He was drafted by Shawn Child, who took wide receivers in each of his first four picks. SI Fantasy’s Michael Fabiano wrote about Etienne’s rise to the spot. Overall, Etienne was the 23rd running back drafted in the mock.

In the initial draft of the National Fantasy Football Championship, Etienne averaged 57 draft positions. In 68 drafts, he went from a high of 40 to a low of 73.

Playing where there should be a more creative attack under Pederson and maintaining a strong relationship with Lawrence are two factors that will help Etienne thrive in 2022. Taking Etienne into space, whether on the ground or in the air, leads to big plays that make him. A potential fantasy breakout star in 2022.

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