Week 11 brought another devastating injury with the season-ending injury to Washington running back Chris Thompson who was in the midst of a breakout season.
More bad news for the #Redskins after the loss: RB Chris Thompson has a fractured fibula and will need surgery. His season is over.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 19, 2017
Thompson was in the middle of a superb season. Going into Sunday Thompson was the RB9 averaging 16.1 points per game. Through 9 complete games, Thompson was on pace to set career highs in rushing yards and receptions. Thompson already set a new career high in receiving yards with 494 yards.
How integral to the Washington offense has Thompson been? Entering Sunday Thompson led Washington in both receiving and rushing yards. On a personal level, I feel awful for Thompson. This guy has already had to overcome a broken back and torn ACL in college, as well as a torn labrum in the NFL. Here’s hoping he heals well and he is back to being his dynamic self-next season.
If you drafted Chris Thompson in a startup this off-season you were already well compensated considering the cost you expended on him. In DFFs August Mock drafts Thompson was the 196th player off the board. Replacing his production at that price point isn’t going to happen, but you should have higher drafted players on your roster that can help pick up the fantasy production you’ll now miss from Thompson.
If you own Samaje Perine you probably feel a sense of relief knowing he’s coming off, by far, his most impressive day as a pro. Perine went for 117 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries Sunday. Perine averaged 3.2 yards per carry on his 66 rushing attempts before going for 5.1 per carry against the Saints. Prior to Sunday Perine had looked like a complete bust and a wasted draft pick for both Washington and fantasy owners. He seemed tentative, unable to find the holes and all around ineffective. New Orleans has an average run defense, giving up the 16th most rushing yards per game(110.9) so it’s not as if Perine broke out against a terrible run defense. But which Perine is the player we’ll see for the rest of the season? Sunday’s version, or the player who looked so bad prior to Sunday?
If you own Perine and you are in contention for a playoff spot I’d suggest you hold onto him unless you receive an offer that knocks you over. You likely drafted Perine in the 1st round of your rookie drafts, and I doubt, even after today’s breakout, that you could recoup that cost if you traded him now. If your league has a trade deadline, the point is moot, and you’re more concerned with what to expect from Perine going forward.
The next three weeks are conducive to fantasy success. Next week Washington plays the Giants, who give up the 12th most fantasy points to the running back position. After that are the Cowboys and the Chargers. Depending on when your playoffs begin you might be lucky enough to line Perine up against the Chargers terrible run defense in week 1 of your playoffs. The Cardinals and Bronco’s look like a tough draw for weeks 15 and 16, but a lot can happen in a month, so I wouldn’t worry about that quite yet.
With Rob Kelley also out for the rest of the season, it’s fair to assume that Perine should see anywhere from 15-25 rushing attempts per game going forward. Perine is pretty terrible at the receiving aspect of football so someone else is going to need to absorb Thompson’s 5.9 targets per game. Now seemingly healthy after battling a hip injury all season Jamison Crowder has accounted for 20 receptions and 271 over his last three games played. I fully expect Crowder to see his targets and receptions increase in Thompson’s absence.
One final note. Byron Marshall was added to the active roster after Rob Kelley was placed on the IR last week. Washington is now painfully thin at the running back position and Marshall could be a valuable stash. Marshall went undrafted in the 2016 draft after losing all but four games of his senior season to a leg injury. Marshall showed his versatility while at Oregon rushing for over 1,000 yards in 2013 and having over 1,000 yards receiving in 2014 his junior season. If given an opportunity Marshall could pay dividends and I’ll be adding him to most of my rosters this week.
Thank you for reading. Do you have any thoughts on how Thompson’s injury impact will play out in Washington? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @DFF_Shane.