While all of the attention is on the NFL’s trade deadline there is a starting running back come November that isn’t going to be moved sitting on three out of four waiver wires. Your opponents will be distracted with those team-to-team transactions and don’t dismiss whatever carnage comes between now and 4 pm Tuesday but when all is said and done expect Derrius Guice to still be your top priority this week – and because your opponents will be distracted with those transactions, you will be able to get him.
First, the cons – they’re obvious. He tore his ACL in August 2018 then had multiple setbacks while trying to rehab from the injury. It’s probable the torn meniscus he suffered this September was at least in some way related to his bumpy ACL recovery. He’s also on a team that’s destined to be picking in the top 5 of the 2020 NFL Draft, so game scripts should not be expected to flow in his favor. All of which is why he’s available in as many leagues as he currently is, but here is why he’s a worthwhile add at this stage in the game:
Right or wrong, interim head coach Bill Callahan did not hide his intentions for the offense when he took over. He thought they were not running the ball enough and he would be changing that going forward. Since then, 34 year old Adrian Peterson has touched the ball on a jaw-dropping 41% of the team’s snaps. Granted, part of that has been fueled by the team not accumulating many total snaps and there’s reason to believe that will continue, but that presents a game-script proof role for this team’s starting running back, whomever that may be. While Peterson has been effective in the role it’s not in the team’s best interests to continue to feature him as the team continues their ascent towards the top of the 2020 draft.
Guice was seen as a first round prospect by many, but neck-up questions contributed to his draft day fall and as detailed above, health issues have plagued him since getting into the league. The 5’11 225 pound monster can run around and past defenders, but what made him special at LSU was his ability to run through them. On an offense like the Redskins that trait is necessary as defenses don’t have much reason to respect the pass. Once he’s in daylight though? Good night. That’s what he offers to this offense that Adrian Peterson quite simply can’t do anymore. The Redskins need to find out if he still has that game breaking ability despite the previously cited injuries. That will be an integral piece to their 2020 puzzle…assuming it’s still there.
The Redskins travel to Buffalo this week before going on bye and all reports indicate Guice intends to return after the bye week and the Redskins only have incentive to deploy him to his full extent. Week 11 will present the perfect opportunity to give Guice the keys and evaluate him for next year’s purposes. The schedule lends itself to Guice carrying this offense as four of their final six opponents (Detroit, Green Bay, and both New York teams) are in the bottom six in the league in fantasy points against running backs. Sure, the negative game scripts may continue, but remember that hasn’t impacted Callahan’s utilization of the run game since he took over. The floor is stable for the Redskins starting running back and the ceiling really isn’t known given Guice’s unique physical gifts. Can he avoid another lower body injury? A very real concern, but it’s really the only one with him as we approach the home stretch.
This week’s Flavor of the Week is: A dive bar burger. Sure, it may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but once it enters your orbit you need to get yourself one. There are the unknowns that loom after, but that’s an issue to tackle when the time comes.