Guice Guice Baby
Updated: Apr 29, 2019
Breakout candidates, post hype sleepers and boom/bust players, these are some of the most frequent topics discussed in fantasy football. They're also synonymous. The name I'm considering more everyday is Derrius Guice. Guice has league winning upside, but I think it boils down to passing game work, and of course, health.
The health piece is concerning not only because of the torn ACL he suffered during the first quarter of his first pre-season game, more concerning are the 3 additional surgeries he required after suffering infections as a result of the original procedure. Though he has posted videos of straight line running, we'd be more comfortable once he's making cuts and changing direction.
Health assumed, Guice has an extremely high ceiling. If he does start the season behind
Adrian Peterson, he’s not unfamiliar with overcoming a strong lead back presence. Serving behind Leonard Fournette at LSU, Derrius Guice managed very strong numbers before breaking out following Fournette's departure. During his career at LSU, Guice ran for 250 yards in a game -three times! Becoming the first player in SEC history to do so (Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker only did it twice).
If not for rumors about a verbal confrontation with Eagles’ GM Howie Roseman, and comments at the combine that sparked an NFL investigation, Derrius Guice had day one prospect written all over him. Finally, after six of his running back cohorts had been selected, (Seven if you include Lamar Jackson!) Washington walked to the podium late in the second round and picked Derrius Guice. It was an exceptional landing spot.
Under Jay Gruden the last three seasons, running backs Rob Kelley, Matt Jones, Chris Thompson and an aging Adrian Peterson have been must start fantasy options.
Apprehension towards Guice besides health, stems from the amount of contributors in the backfield. Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson have defined roles in Gruden's offense. Samaje Perine was beat out by "Fat" Rob Kelley in the past, so should remain unused.
Last season Adrian Peterson made all of us say, is it 2009 again? A.P. lugged the rock 251 times in 2018 that was 60% of the teams carries, far exceeding the league average. This high total was a result of losing Guice and quarterback Alex Smith to season ending surgeries.
60 % of team carries for any back won't happen this season in Washington. Leading the Redskins in 2015 meant 47% of team carries followed by 44% in both 2016 and 2017. This data for Jay Gruden's usage, we can trust. Derrius Guice should compete and possibly have the upper hand on Adrian Peterson entering camp. While Chris Thompson has his pass catching role solidified entering the season- he's missed six games in consecutive seasons and may see his role diminished. Jay Gruden has talked up his backs this off-season, even mentioning Perine - Gruden stop trying to make Fetch happen! The bottom line is knowing all these backs have limitations that Derrius Guice could be free of.
Undeniable as a prospect, Guice, weighing 224 lbs., ran a 4.49 in the 40-yard dash. On paper his advanced metrics are eye-popping, especially his 91st percentile speed score. Speed score ratings, a metric from playerprofiler.com, has shown a direct correlation to success at the running back position in the NFL.
If Washington wasn't confident in Derrius to catch passes we'd have seen Samaje Perine replaced by a pass catching back, like a Benny Cunningham. Trusting Guice is merited, he looked smooth and natural catching the ball at the combine. While at LSU (not known for utilizing their backs in the passing game), Guice caught 18 balls his lst season of college. He also handled kick return duties showing he not only runs "angry" but can make people miss in space.
The back to own in Washington in 2019 is Derrius Guice. In short order, Guice could be the lead back, catching passes, and frankly, should be the centerpiece of the offense. When the time comes for projections, Derrius Guice will be projected for around 45% of team carries and even a 10-15% market-share for passing game involvement. With the potential to eat from a plate so big, and a current ADP of 3.11 in Dynasty PPR Formats, this could be a foundational piece at a discounted rate for fantasy owners.
Tyrell Maclachlan (@TnfFTyrell) - 2019