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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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Bills cornerback trolls Kirk Cousins after Buffalo beats Minnesota


Bills cornerback trolls Kirk Cousins after Buffalo beats Minnesota

Former Redskins and current Minnesota Vikings' quarterback Kirk Cousins famously coined the phrase "You like that?" after leading a Redskins' comeback victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015.

The phrase took off, leading to Cousins filing for a trademark on the phrase in 2016.

Well unfortunately for Cousins, the phrase has been used as a way for other players to mimmick him, especially when things don't go his way.

The Vikings, who entered Sunday's clash against the previously winless Buffalo Bills as 17-point favorites, fell 27-6 at home in what has been the biggest upset thus far in the 2018 NFL season.

In the visiting tunnel following the Bills' victory, Buffalo cornerback Tre'Davious White shouted exactly what you would expect.

The second-year cornerback looked straight into the camera with a big grin on his face, then shouted Cousins' famous phrase twice before jogging into the locker room.

After the Bills' dominating performance, you can't blame White for having a little fun.


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Five observations from the Redskins' rain-soaked win over the Packers


Five observations from the Redskins' rain-soaked win over the Packers

LANDOVER, Md. — Entering Week 3, it was unsure which Redskins team would show up: the team that dismantled the Cardinals in Week 1 on the road, or the team that fell to the Colts by multiple scores in their home opener a week ago.

On Sunday, the Redskins looked a lot more like the team from week 1.

Behind a solid running game led by Adrian Peterson's two touchdowns and a strong defensive performance, the Redskins defeated the Packers 31-17 on Sunday. 

Here are Rich Tandler's observations from Week 3.

1. They got off to a great start and kept going

If the Redskins were going to win this game they knew they would have to stick with the Packers score for score and score touchdowns, not field goals. They did what the doctor ordered, getting in the end zone on two of their first three possession.

The first one was a quick strike with Alex Smith throwing a 46-yard TD to Paul Richardson to cap a four-play drive. The next one took 10 plays and it ended on a two-yard Adrian Peterson touchdown run. That made it 14-0.

The Redskins kept their foot on the gas, driving to two more touchdowns before halftime to take a 28-10 lead into the locker room. It was exactly what they needed coming off a flat loss as favorites last week. 

2. Alex Smith shows he can throw deep

During the week there were plenty of fans and members of the media pointing out that Alex Smith wasn’t throwing the ball deep, that he had returned to being the check-down, game manager he was for most of his career. But he limbered up his arm on the first series with the 46-yard touchdown bomb to.

In the second quarter he went deep down the right sideline to Vernon Davis for a 50-yard game. He finished the day 12 for 20 with 220 yards and 2 TDs. Smith also ran for 20 yards.

Smith had an interception due to a miscommunication with Jordan Reed. All in all, a better day for Smith. 

3. The defense was strong early and late

The Redskins defense was good early, when the Redskins were in the process of building a 21-3 lead. And they were good in the fourth quarter when they held the Packers to a three and out from deep in their own territory.

It should be noted that the did benefit from a dropped deep pass on third down that would have given the Packers the first down and excellent field position. With a little over five minutes left, they got a takeaway to put the Redskins in great position to win.

After a short completion, Fabian Moreau stripped the ball away and Josh Norman recovered at the Packers 46. 

4. Peterson gets back on track 

There was talk that Adrian Peterson all of a sudden aged from Week 1, when he gained 96 yards, to Week 2, when he picked up 20 yards on 11 carries. Today he was back on the ball. He had a 41-yard run in the second quarter. But his best runs were when the Redskins were trying to kill the clock and he tore off gains of 17, two, and seven yards.

He again looked like a viable NFL running back as he ran for 120 yards on 19 carries. 

5. The bye is ahead

The Redskins are going into their ridiculously early bye week on a high note. They have played well twice, and they didn’t show up for the one in between.

They will have a long, tough road ahead of them. The team will go into it knowing that they can compete with one of the best teams in the league with the best player in the league and come out on top. When they return two weeks from tomorrow, they will face another one of the league’s best quarterbacks in Drew Brees.