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Fantasy Football: Redskins options post-Derrius Guice injury

Fantasy Football: Redskins options post-Derrius Guice injury

Talking about fake football ramifications from a brutal real-world turn seems indelicate, particularly in this case to Redskins rookie Derrius Guice. Washington’s 2018 second-round pick brought boundless enthusiasm to the field, starry hope to the fan base and the highest ceiling for the running back room since Clinton Portis. Then Guice tore his left ACL in Thursday’s preseason opener. All that optimism gets shelved and “what now” questions take over. That’s the reality.

Fantasy owners were all ready to select Guice in the third round of drafts. Despite some unofficial depth chart tomfoolery, the LSU product was poised to handle early-down work for Washington. This wasn’t just about opportunity, always a key for fantasy hope, but a talented player set for heavy work. Guice’s pass-catching skills offered another potential outlet for production even with Chris Thompson around. 

Nobody will, or at least shouldn't consider selecting a Redskins runner anywhere in that vicinity. In fact, we’re not looking at a stay-away situation in standard formats. The actual Redskins football team has a deeper than usual group of running backs this year. It’s just that none offer the three-down potential and difference-maker ceiling as Guice. Only Thompson, who is still recovering from a season-ending broken leg last winter, is worth considering around the 10th or 11th round in PPR leagues. That’s the reality. 

Robert Kelley is the best bet to replace Guice initially. “Fat Rob” is clearly thinner and quicker this season. His coach is a fan. There’s just not much there, there in terms singular skills upon which the coaching staff can game plan around. That the offense remains dicey with run blocking adds further concern for a back who can turn a two-yard loss into a no-gain, but doesn’t have the gear and shiftiness to break off big plays.

Samaje Perine offers more power and potential. Without Guice, his goal-line touches go up. The 2017 fourth-round selection also brings shakier football instincts as a blocker and runner. He averaged a meager 3.4 yards on 175 carries last season playing behind an offensive rarely intact. If Perine keeps the pads low and the feet moving when in search of space, he could overtake Kelley and possibly turn into an RB2/flex candidate. For now, that’s not the reality.

Chris Thompson’s 2017 ended with a thud, but that injury didn’t remove the shine from his breakout campaign. The dual-threat scatback had 39 receptions and over 800 yards from scrimmage in 10 games. Thompson just isn’t built for a heavy workload. The ten touches a game he received last season is about right. The catches can help offset the limited work in PPR, but otherwise, there isn’t enough scoring potential. Thompson said he’s 90 percent of the way back from the injury with the remaining 10 percent mostly mental, meaning accepting the healing process is legit. 

Somebody will get the work, of course. If forced to pick I’d say Perine over Kelley in standard just because of goal-line potential, while Thompson is the best hope in fantasy as an RBBC option at best. 

There is another name worth considering. Byron Marshall might be the most intriguing player here. The 5-foot-9 runner provides the Redskins with insurance in case Thompson needs a break or isn’t quite ready for the opener. The former Oregon Duck showed his burst in the preseason opener with a catch-and-run touchdown. The Redskins might not be able to replace Guice’s power and vision, but with Thompson and Marshall they do have some explosive talent. Don’t look to draft Marshall – he still needs to make the team – but let’s see where we are in a couple of weeks with this backfield.

Kapri Bibbs is another player who could make the roster in most years. He showed some pop in work late last season and with a 41-yard run in the preseason opener, but Bibbs might be the odd man out even with the Guice injury.

With the Guice injury, the Redskins running backs should mostly be left out of any fantasy football conversations regarding building blocks. That's the reality.

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That time Antonio Brown and Kyler Murray practiced together

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USA TODAY SPORTS

That time Antonio Brown and Kyler Murray practiced together

Thanks to Antonio Brown, we have the hopes and dreams of a splashy off-season for the Washington Redskins in one tidy four-second video.

Brown, the NFL’s best receiver, is angling for a trade out of Pittsburgh.

Kyler Murray is the reigning Heisman Trophy quarterback and a projected 2019 first round pick.

During the NFC Championship game, the Steelers wide receiver tweeted out a clip of him hauling in a deep pass from the University of Oklahoma product. Yes, that’s going to draw some eyeballs, perhaps especially from fans of a team with quarterback uncertainty and lacking offensive playmakers.

Another OU standout, wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown”, joined his cousin Antonio and Murray for the workout. This isn’t the first time all three shared a field.

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The best rolled thru today, appreciate you @ab 📞

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Marquise Brown, a true speed threat, could become the first wide receiver selected in the 2019 draft.

There’s no way for the Redskins to land all three. Even two seems highly unlikely considering the two prospects are projected first-round selections and acquiring Brown would cost a No. 1 and plenty more. It’s still cool to dream. Considering the quarterback concerns with Alex Smith, Jamison Crowder entering free agency and the need for more pieces regardless, even landing one of them would work.

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Report: Dan Snyder was leading Redskins pursuit of Todd Bowles and Gregg Williams

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USA Today Sports

Report: Dan Snyder was leading Redskins pursuit of Todd Bowles and Gregg Williams

Despite speaking with a number of hot candidates on the job market, the Redskins did not make a change at defensive coordinator. Greg Manuksy will remain in that role.

That doesn't mean the team didn't try, as multiple reports showed that Todd Bowles and Gregg Williams were priority targets for Washington. 

On Sunday, a CBS Sports report from Jason La Canfora said that Redskins owner Dan Snyder was the driver in pursuit of first Bowles and then Williams. The story also points out that the Redskins owner was leading the effort, not head coach Jay Gruden.

The story says Snyder put the 'full-court press' on Bowles and offered to make him the highest paid coordinator in the NFL. 

When Bowles decided to go to Tampa and work with Bruce Arians, Snyder turned his focus to Williams. From the story:

Williams and Snyder have a strong relationship from his years serving as coordinator there under Joe Gibbs, and his previous head coaching experience, in Buffalo and Cleveland, also made him attractive. The team set up a formal visit and interview with Williams after he was let go as the Browns interim head coach, but the sides never met. 

La Canfora also contends that Snyder making aggressive pushes for both Bowles and Williams might not be good news for Jay Gruden in 2020.

The 'Skins head coach has two years left on his contract that pays him $5 million per year. Gruden has been assured he will remain the head coach for 2019, but few NFL coaches work in the last year of their deal. A 'lame duck' year for Gruden would come in 2020 unless the team and coach agree to another contract extension. 

The Redskins have not made the playoffs in the last three seasons, and have not won a playoff game in over a decade.

If Snyder is frustrated, he has reasons for it. 

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