Jaguars RB Travis Etienne is being consistently drafted inside the top-15 at the running back position on Underdog, while Texans RB Dameon Pierce is being drafted two full rounds later in the sixth round as the overall RB22 off the board. Etienne is the more popular pick – and higher ranked across almost every board – heading into 2023, but a closer look at their statistics reveals that the discrepancy in their prices may not be warranted, and could come down simply to name value.
Despite playing on an objectively worse offense than Etienne (the Texans ranked 31st in pts/drive, while the Jaguars ranked 11th), Dameon Pierce managed to register higher missed tackles forced/attempt than Etienne (0.22 : 0.19), higher yards after contact per attempt (3.21 : 2.90), and most importantly, higher fantasy points per game (13.0 : 12.2).
Pierce registered rushing attempt shares AND team target shares higher than Etienne as well and looks to continue to be the No. 1 back at least in the ground game for Houston. Meanwhile, the Jags coaching staff has been increasingly complimentary of Travis Etienne’s primary competition, Tank Bigsby, especially in the receiving game. After putting up just a 7.2% target share in the Jags offense in 2022 while running the 13th most routes in the league among 154 RBs, can that number realistically be projected to go up with Bigsby likely challenging for receiving work and the addition of Calvin Ridley?
If anything, that number could dip to a career-low for Etienne, which would level the playing field between Etienne and Pierce for 2023. Do what you will with this information – but that 2 round ADP discrepancy just doesn’t seem right…