Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne is set to be on the prowl this coming 2022 NFL season.

Travis Etienne continues to surge in fantasy drafts during the summer even after missing the previous season. The Jaguars changed their head coach, which should aid in the development of QB Trevor Lawrence and the schematics of their offense. With running back James Robinson limited during training camp, Etienne should have a chance to take the majority of snaps in Week 1. With his ability to score and make huge plays, Etienne has enormous potential in the passing game. He was ranked 17th in the early draft season, and he is a guy the Jaguars should push really hard in 2022.

James Robinson had a respectable 767 rushing yards (4.7 yards per carry) and eight rushing touchdowns while serving as Jacksonville’s starting tailback last season. In contrast, quarterback Trevor Lawrence finished last season second on the team in running yards. Without a question, the Jaguars could use Robinson and Etienne in a split role for 2022.

Recall that after the Jaguars selected the former Clemson running back in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, speculation focused on how Etienne would be more effective as a wide receiver than a tailback. Then, in the preseason, Etienne sustained a Lisfranc injury, which caused his rookie season to be completely ruined.

It looks like Etienne will be pushed back to his natural position by new Jaguars coach Doug Pederson in 2022. That seems like the best decision for Etienne and for the team in general. Recall that Etienne carried for almost 5,000 yards and 70 touchdowns during his four years at Clemson. It surely makes sense to deploy him as a running back.

Coach Pederson doesn’t have a history of often using his running back in the passing game. Still, he did lead the NFL in plays per game (67.0) during his five-year tenure in Philadelphia. Everyone in Jacksonville’s offense will benefit from that, including Etienne.

Travis Etienne 2022 Fantasy Football Outlook

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One question on pundits’ minds is could Travis Etienne play a similar role to Deebo Samuel or Alvin Kamara for the Jaguars.

For his part, Etienne said that he wants to emulate Samuel this summer. With the Jaguars playing him as a running back first and a receiver second, however, Etienne looks more equipped to play like Kamara.

In just 13 games last season, Kamara ran the ball 240 times, which was a career-best. In the passing game, the Saints targeted Kamara only 67 times. 180 carries and 100 receiving targets would be ideal for a guy like Kamara.

Etienne appears to have the skill-set to pull off a Kamara-style workload in 2022. He could even be a better receiver than Robinson in terms of fantasy value. It will depend on the Jaguars’ willingness to reduce Robinson’s touches sufficiently and allow Etienne to develop as their version of Kamara.

It will also depend on the Jaguars’ ability to develop an offensive identity. They should also try to achieve a high level of consistent execution. A healthy Etienne would undoubtedly be beneficial in helping carry that out.

Regaining his pre-injury speed will surely make Etienne a key component of the Jaguars’ passing game as well. That comes as no surprise. Remember that while Etienne teamed up with Trevor Lawrence at Clemson, experts considered him one of the fastest and most agile players in college football. He was also one of Lawrence’s most reliable targets (85 receptions in 2019-20).

The bottom line is Travis Etienne has a ton of potential. Before the conclusion of Round 5 in PPR formats, someone should take him off the board. If not, then he should be considered a steal in any round thereafter.