NFL Draft Blind Comparisons: Derrius Guice (Fantasy Football)
Playing second fiddle to Penn State running back Saquon Barkley in fantasy football and the 2018 NFL Draft is LSU running back Derrius Guice. Guice isn’t the elite prospect that Barkley is, however, he is a talented running back who probably will go in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Since rookie running backs have been tearing up the NFL the past two seasons, I’ve been asked a lot on Twitter @MitchellRenz365,”what’s a good NFL comparison for [insert player name]?” It’s a great question considering how elite rookie running backs have been. This is why I wanted to write an NFL comparison article for Guice, which you can check out by clicking here.
Guice is being overshadowed and somewhat swept under the rug this draft season due to the hype around Barkley. We need to learn from the last two seasons to not only have googly eyes for the top running back because you can find value at the running back position late. Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette were both drafted fourth overall in the NFL Draft, but we can’t forget how great the rookie running backs drafted after them were.
Jordan Howard finished second with 1,313 yards in 2016, Kareem Hunt led the NFL in rushing in 2017 (1,327), Christian McCaffrey led running backs in targets (113), and Alvin Kamara had 14 total touchdowns.
There isn’t much argument for Barkley at the 1.01 in dynasty drafts, but there is some controversy over the 1.02. Perhaps my blind comparison on Guice will make that choice at the 1.02 a little less challenging.
To avoid the trolls of the internet when comparing players to current or past NFL players, I use blind comparisons. I’m an advocate of blind comparisons because it’s an effective method to ensure impartiality and avoid bias.
Below is a tweet from my personal account @MitchellRenz365 of three running backs. One is Guice, one is a current NFL running back, and one is a free agent.
Writing an article for @FantasyPros on NFL Blind Comparisons. Can you guess who the players are?
— Mitchell Renz (@MitchellRenz365) February 11, 2018
Player B is Guice, as you can see he shares similar strengths and weaknesses as Player A and C. The strengths and weaknesses are based on scouting reports before Player A and C were drafted into the NFL. Just like his player comparisons, Guice also shares a productive college career from 2015-17.
- Freshman (2015): 51 carries, 436 yards (8.5 YPC), three TDs, five receptions, 20 yards
- Sophomore (2016): 183 carries, 1387 yards (7.6 YPC), 15 TDs, nine receptions, 106 yards
- Junior (2017): 237 carries, 1251 yards (5.3 YPC), 11 TDs, 18 receptions, 124 yards
Guice’s breakout season came in 2016, but he couldn’t follow it up his Junior season due to lingering injuries. Guice by no means was bad in 2017, however, he wasn’t First Team All-SEC elite like he was in 2016. If Guice is healthy and flashes his 2016 upside at the NFL combine, his draft stock will rise.
Guice’s game tape from 2016 and 2017 are different, which is why it will be interesting to see how he performs at the combine. He is a strong running back which can’t be denied, especially in his legs. I mean, how many running backs can squat 650 lbs.?
Where Guice’s stock will rise or drop is at the 40-yard dash. As an incoming freshman at LSU camp, Guice was clocked at 4.32 in the 40-yard dash. However, ESPN clocked Guice’s 40-yard dash at 4.61 seconds, and he had an average SPARQ score of 83.37 in high school.
Before his Junior year at LSU, Guice’s 40-yard dash was timed at 4.49. I’ll lean to the more recent 40-yard dash times, but I’m expecting Guice to be in the 4.47 – 4.53 range on draft day.
Back to the question, “What’s a good NFL comparison for Derrius Guice?” I think he is a mix of Player A and C. Player A runs with a ton of attitude and has had a great NFL career. Player C had a ton of hype around him coming out of college, but due to injuries has never been able to reach is full potential.
Player A, is Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch. Lynch’s desire to punish tacklers and incredible balance after hits are why I compare Guice to Lynch. Lynch’s career has been terrific rushing for 10,003 yards and 81 touchdowns over 11 seasons. Guice has great size, speed and burst just like Lynch coming out of college and even though things didn’t go well for Lynch in Buffalo, I believe Guice’s career has the upside of Lynch.
Player C, is a current free agent running back, Ryan Mathews. Coming out of Fresno State Mathews had a ton of hype around him for being an every-down running back, his only knock against him was the injury concerns. Mathews showed great patience, and once a hole opened up, he exploded through it.
His pass blocking was below average but had the upside to be a great NFL running back due to his overall robust skill set. In his three-year college career, he rushed for 3,280 yards, 6.1 YPC, 39 rushing touchdowns, and had 19 receptions for 268 yards with two touchdowns.
So Lynch’s attitude and upside + Mathews skill set and injury risk = Derrius Guice. I’m no Matt Patricia and this isn’t rocket science, but the qualities of these two players meshed together into one is what I see in Guice.
Landing spot is always important and depending on which team selects Guice will ultimately determine his true fantasy value. I expect Guice to be drafted in Round 1. However, he may slide into Round 2 due to the injury concerns. An interesting note, both Lynch, and Mathews were drafted 12th overall in the NFL Draft, will Guice go 12th overall to the Bengals? I hope not,
My favorite landing spot for Guice does involve the number 12 though. Guice joining the 12s in Seattle sounds like a great match for a team that had one rushing touchdown from its running backs in 2017.