Many Fantasy Football fans (myself included) are kicking themselves for not winning their loser brackets and locking up Saquon Barkley with the 1.01. Also, if you don’t have a loser bracket that plays for the 1.01, you need to fix your league rules. Don’t be too upset, because there’s another stunning talent that is coming out of LSU and on to your fantasy rosters. Simply put, Derrius Guice is a PLAYMAKER.
Guice set draft twitter on fire during his breakout Sophomore campaign in 2016, where he posted a monster stat line of 183 carries for 1387 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns, while filling in for Leonard Fournette. He holds three of LSU’s single-game rushing records; 284 rushing yards on 16 carries against Ole Miss, 252 rushing yards against Arkansas, and his massive 285-yard 4-TD explosion against Texas A&M. His 2017 campaign was a bit of a disappointment. Considering he had shared the backfield in 2016 with Leonard Fournette, even bigger things were expected out of Guice during the 2017 season.
Guice will likely come in around 5’-11” tall and 220 lbs. at the upcoming NFL combine. As an incoming freshman at LSU camp, he was clocked at 4.32 in the 40-Yard Dash, For a guy who squatted 650 pounds, I imagine he will jump out of Lucas Oil Stadium during the combine. ESPN has Guice running a 4.61 sec. 40-yard dash, with a 30.4” vertical jump and posting a mid-tier 83.37 SPARQ rating during high school camps.
Despite his bright and shiny looking future, Guice came out of crippling poverty and overcame terrible circumstances. His father was murdered when he was six and, in November, his older brother was arrested on numerous charges including attempted second-degree murder. At the age of 14, Guice was caught shoplifting food and spent the night in juvenile detention. He stole food because he was hungry and needed to eat. Guice’s mother was 22 when his father was shot and killed leaving it up to her to take care of him and the family. Nothing was easy on his path to LSU. He had dealt with racism after being recruited to play at the private Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, LA. Guice overcame all these obstacles on his path to LSU and the NFL shows a strong moral compass and dedication to his goal of being a star running back.
Guice doesn’t have the same breakaway homerun speed as Barkley, but he is still blazing fast and has an extra gear when he gets to the second-level. Guice’s other attributes are just as lethal when compared to Barkley. He has plus-vision and power with the ball in his hands. He is a downhill runner with a compact running style, allowing his power to shine when he gets going behind his pads and even when off balance.
With the wiggle to slip defenders in the box, Guice has the ability to get skinny and sneak through even the narrowest of gaps. He runs with a wide base and his hip flexibility gives him plus-balance and an uncanny ability to accelerate in and out of breaks or to stop and change direction on a dime. He keeps his feet moving after contact and picks up the tough yards after contact that coaches in the NFL want.
I would like to see more passing game production out of Guice coming into the NFL. He managed a total of only 32 receptions during his time at LSU with 250 receiving yards. In his 2017 junior season, he managed to double his production from his 2016 breakout campaign. Remember, this was also an issue with Fournette coming out of LSU and is more indicative of the Tigers’ offense than Guice’s talent.
Derrius Guice is a bell cow back capable of creating yards for himself, with the ability to grind out tough yards when he’s not ripping out long runs with his sudden and elusive acceleration. He doesn’t have major pass game production, but neither did Fournette, and it is not something to worry about. Guice is a perfect runner-up prize for owners with 1.02 as the NFL enters a Running Back renaissance in the NFL.