On a night where New England only attempted 3 passes, Henry was regulated to strictly blocking duties. The Patriots only threw 1 pass the whole 1st half, setting the scene for the rest of the game. He did not see a target on the night due to the crazy wind conditions and the Patriots deciding to run the ball on 94% of their snaps.
Henry has not received more than 5 targets in a game since Week 5. If he’s going to help fantasy teams any more this season, though, Henry’s best chance might be the Colts matchup after his Week 14 bye. Indy is the 2nd most friendly scoring matchup for TEs by our adjusted fantasy points allowed.
Beyond that game sits a bad TE matchup with Buffalo and a neutral spot vs. Jacksonville.
It was another typical game for Henry in that he only saw a few (4) targets, but he was a beast in the red zone. Half of his catches resulted in him finding the end zone, with both scores coming from inside the 5-yard line. He caught a break on 1 of his scores, when the Pats tried to run the ball in on the prior play, but the Browns defense kept Rhamondre Stevenson out. In addition, with Mac Jones throwing a bit more aggressively than he has for most of the season, Henry hauled in a 19-yard reception, which was 1 of his longest grabs of the year.
Going forward, he’ll likely need to keep finding the end zone to remain a useful fantasy starter. Coming into this game, he scored in 5 of his last 6 games, but his yardage has been low. He’s posted 25 yards or fewer in 3 of his last 4 games while surpassing 42 yards just once all year. Also working against him is that he’ll face 3 top-10 defenses against TEs from Weeks 12-16, but he does have favorable matchups in Weeks 15 and 17, when he faces bottom-10 defenses against his position.
In a game the Patriots led throughout, they ran the ball on almost 65% of their plays. As a result, Mac Jones threw just 18 passes, and there was very little fantasy production to go around for any of the receivers. However, Henry made the most of his 3 targets, as he caught the only TD pass that Jones threw on the day, corralling a pass that was thrown low. He also played on just 56% of the snaps, which was one of the lowest totals he’s had in the past month.
Although he’s played a majority of the TE snaps while having a strong start to the season, he may be trending downward a bit. After averaging 5 targets over the first 5 games of the season, he’s averaging just 3 over his last 4 contests, and the team has been spreading the ball around to most of their eligible receivers. That said, he’s still a force in the red zone, as he’s scored TDs in 5 of his last 6 games, and in the game he didn’t score, he was given 2 chances to do so. Otherwise, he’s been held to between 25 and 42 yards in all but 1 game, so he usually needs a TD to come through for fantasy.
Due to the low pass volume in Week 8, none of the pass catchers had a big day vs. the Chargers. This leads us to look at usage to see if we can find actionable trends from the Patriots. One of the things that stands out the most is the usage of Henry. Henry was 3rd on the team in routes, running 26 to 17 for Jonnu Smith. This was a big change from prior weeks as Henry looked to be locked into an every down role.
This situation is something to monitor as Henry started to take on low-end TE1 value to his increased usage. If we see Smith begin to return this to a 50/50 time share, then both TEs will be fades rest of season.
Early in the game, it was clear that the Patriots were looking to get Jonnu Smith involved, as he had a rushing attempt along with a pair of receptions for 52 yards. However, Smith suffered a shoulder injury that put him out for the day, and Henry ended the day with a 5-game high 79% snap share. Although he had little success on his 4 targets, he was targeted on a play action pass at the goal line that resulted in him scoring a TD for the 4th straight game.
Although he hasn’t been the yardage producer that he was when with the Chargers, he’s settled into a consistent lower-end TE1. The 23 yards he had in this game were a season low, though he’s posted between 23 and 42 yards in every game except his 75-yard outing in Week 5. In addition, he’s scored in more than half of his games. Although he’s become a trusted red-zone option for Mac Jones, TDs can be very fickle.
Henry led the Patriots in all major receiving categories in Sunday’s win over the Texans: 8 targets, 6 catches, 75 yards and the team’s only receiving TD. He finished 5th among TEs in both PPR and non-PPR points on the week.
Henry has been trending up. His weekly targets have gone: 3, 4, 6, 5, 8. Only 8 TEs have more targets over the past 3 weeks. Only 6 have scored more PPR points.
Most importantly, Henry has moved clearly ahead of Jonnu Smith as New England’s top TE. In Week 5, Henry ran 22 pass routes vs. just 6 for Smith.
Henry looks like a low-end TE1 moving forward. There’s nothing to worry about the next 2 weeks in matchups vs. the Cowboys and Jets. Weeks 8 and 9 bring tougher draws vs. the Chargers and Panthers.
Production has been tough to come by for Henry this season with Jonnu Smith joining him in the TE room for the Patriots. Henry did out-snapped Smith in this game 40-28. In a game where the Patriots went heavy in the passing game, Henry only received a 12.5% target share. However, Henry was able to get into the end zone for the first time this season on an 11-yard TD in the 2nd quarter. Henry finished the night with 4 catches (on 5 targets) for 32 yards and the 1 score. Henry’s ceiling will always be limited with another talented TE on the roster with Jonnu Smith also receiving a huge payday from the Patriots this offseason. Henry is seeing more playing time, but he hasn’t had a break-out game yet. He has out-snapped Smith 194-142 over the first four games, but it hasn’t resulted in great production for Henry. We have him ranked at TE12 this week against the Texans, who just gave up 2 TDs to Dawson Knox and the Bills. The Patriots next three opponents include @HST, DAL, NYJ.
Henry’s summer shoulder injury didn’t look like a limiting factor in the opener. He played 72% of the snaps, just behind Jonnu Smith’s 73%. Clearly, the Pats leaned heavily on 2-TE sets, as expected. While the former Charger was out targeted 3-5, he actually ran 4 more routes than Smith (23 vs. 19). A near 50/50 split is a reasonable expectation going forward, leaving both guys — especially the less dynamic Henry — as matchup options. An injury to 1 would certainly vault the other into the top-12. Week 2 turns up a bounce-back spot against a banged up Jets defense.