Trouble in D.C.
The moon has not completed a single orbit around the earth since the Washington Football Team scandal broke, as over a dozen female former employees had alleged ‘Football Team’ executives of sexual harassment. New Head Coach, Ron Rivera took the podium and announced his and the team’s displeasure in the findings, and lead the charge to right the ship.
Twenty-two days later, on a day where the Twitter community believed that the big news of the day was the distasteful comments by an analyst at a prominent company, we were shocked by the reporting of Derrius Guice’s arrest of domestic violence, assault and battery, and destruction of property. Again, with Ron Rivera at the helm ‘Football Team’ made the swift decision to release the 23-year-old running back.
While the theme of the day brings a clear resolution for people to bring more positivity and be kinder to others, we must also explore the fantasy ramifications. While Guice has only handled 42 rushing attempts in his two-year career, the expectation was that he would come into the 2020 season healthy and as Washington’s starting running back. The Washington depth chart lists just the 35-year-old Adrian Peterson and third-round rookie Antonio Gibson as the beneficiaries of Guice’s release. Washington also drafted the prolific Stanford running back, Bryce Love in the fourth-round of the 2019 NFL Draft and brought in veteran backs Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic.
Though Washington has plenty of options for replacing Guice, namely Peterson and Gibson, they do have the fourth most free cap room in the NFL per Spotrac. It is still in the realm of possibility that brings in a free agent like Devonta Freeman or Lamar Miller. Until they do such, we will remain under the understanding that the opportunities will remain in-house.
While many are down on the Washington Football Team in 2020, I believe there is an opportunity to get an edge in your fantasy league there. The former Redskins coach Jay Gruden gave rookie quarterback no practice snaps before being inserted into the game week four against the Giants following a Case Keenum interception. He did not get practice snap with the starting team until the middle of October. Due to the lack of opportunities among other things, Washington has the third-worst offensive DVOA, however with Ron Rivera and a dedication to Haskins they could be a solid source for fantasy scoring in 2020.
The Washington Football Team ran the ball 356 times in 2019 and targeted backs on 75 occasions during their 3-13 campaign. In a more neutral 7-9 season, they ran the ball 414 times and targeted backs 109 times. I don’t believe it can be used as a strong reference since Christian McCaffrey is a generational talent, but Rivera teams ran the ball for an average of 401 times and targeted the RB1 133 times. This wouldn’t be relevant however Rivera did compare Gibson to McCaffrey after drafting him.
The market price for Antonio Gibson is already past investing in this season as the current owner will be asking for far more than his innate value. You may want to make the conservative movement in this situation, and trade for or maybe even claim Adrian Peterson on waivers. According to DLF, Adrian Peterson is currently the RB 74 however he has run the ball for an average of 231 times over the past two seasons. He finished those seasons as the running back 16 and 28 respectively. It may be a one-year dynasty rental; however AP is the bargain to be had in Washington.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you own Derrius Guice, it may not be time for good riddance just yet. Despite his lack of production, he is still a very talented back, who will likely get a second chance in the NFL with another team. This is similar to the Kareem Hunt situation as Guice will likely be looking at an eight-game suspension from the NFL before getting back to action.
His case may be more like Antonio Brown’s eight-game suspension that didn’t come down until the season after he was released, but Guice didn’t have the public humiliation on ESPN that Brown did. Guice will likely be back in the NFL as a highly talented 24-year old free agent running back, thus he still holds value. Whether you want to sell on that remaining value or try to buy low on the once-promising prospect is at your discretion.
Thank you for reading my article! If you enjoyed it, keep an eye out for my future articles. You can also follow me on Twitter @DynastyDiagnos1 and reach out with any questions, comments, or ideas you’d like me to explore for a new article.
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