Rapid React: Derrius Guice Torn ACL (2018 Fantasy Football)
The chaos of fantasy football season is upon us after just one night. Marlon Mack and Matt Breida both went down with multi-week injuries. Sony Michel was already dealing with a knee issue of his own. The biggest blow, however, comes in the form of Derrius Guice’s torn ACL. I’ve advocated for the talented rookie all offseason, taking him in almost every mock draft and best ball league I’ve done, so this comes as a personal hit to me as well.
But the fantasy world waits for nobody, so where do we go from here? Those of us who have drafted already are panicking to replace what we thought would be a workhorse RB2. Who is now the back to own in Washington? Let’s take a look at some of the options.
One of fantasy’s most pleasant surprises last season, the tiny pass-catching back burst out 771 yards and five touchdowns over the first nine weeks of the season, good for RB8 in PPR leagues up until breaking his leg in Week 10. He’s dynamic in the passing game and is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball. Unfortunately, Thompson himself said he won’t be 100% until at least November, calling this the worst injury he’s had to recover from in his oft-injured career. He did avoid the physically unable to perform list, meaning the Redskins are confident in his ability to be ready for the opener, but teams and players are notoriously optimistic about injury recoveries.
The 2017 fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma was given the reins of the backfield in the latter half of last season and did very little with the opportunity. So little, in fact, that they went out and drafted Guice with the 59th overall pick. ProFootballFocus rated him 104th out of 137 qualified running backs last season and 59th out of 60 in pure rushing grade. His secondary efficiency metrics suggested his 3.4 yards per carry weren’t a fluke, coming in 74th in PlayerProfiler’s “production premium” category, which attempts to quantify productivity in a neutral environment.
If nothing sounds good about Perine in the section above, I have bad news for you about Rob Kelly. After a promising 2016, Kelly was even worse than Perine in 2017, coming in 127th of the 137 qualified running backs. His 3.1 yards per carry was supported by his 77th ranking in PlayerProfiler’s production premium category and 139th rank in yards created per carry.
So who should you target?
I’d be shocked if they didn’t bring a late addition into camp, but for what it’s worth I rushed to pick up Perine in a league I needed a running back. He has some draft pedigree and he did average 21 touches over the last six games he played. I don’t think Perine is a special talent by any means, but if the opportunity is there he’s absolutely worth a flyer. I’d imagine we see his draft stock rise up to the rest of the dart throw running backs in that 90-100 range.
If you’ve drafted and you can still get Perine for free, that’s my suggestion. Chris Thompson will likely see his draft stock rise, but I’m not one for injury optimism from a guy who has admitted he won’t be 100% until the end of the year.