How excited were you about the chance of watching Adrian Peterson burning defenses from the backfield again this year, all the way back in September? I can tell you that I was perhaps a little too much. But hey, we have weak bodies, and AP was entering his second season in Washington after putting up numbers we had not seen since his 2015 resurgence. And while it is not that Peterson has been bad (he’s still on pace to break the 1,000-yard mark in 2019), his explosiveness and scoring prowess are nowhere to be found these days. Peterson entered the endzone in Week 2, and he hasn’t scored a touchdown since. He has only had two games of more than 100 yards topping at 118 and a couple more with 76 and 81 each, but that’s it. He’s become an under-10 fantasy points performer on average, and his best days are not yielding more than 15...
But if there is someone to get excited about, that is Derrius Guice. The “rookie” missed his potential first season in 2018 due to injury and went on the IR again after just 24 snaps this year. Such a bummer. Good for us, he went back last weekend, out-snapped Peterson, and had the best game of all Washington’s rushers. Guice finished his first complete game with 69 yards from scrimmage, and he made the most of his lone reception, taking it all the way to the end zone to, just like that, he scored in one game as many touchdowns as Peterson has in nine. Guice’s performance wasn’t incredible (only 24 yards on seven carries), but if Washington is smart, they will do the same with Guice as they are finally doing with QB Dwayne Haskins: play the young player to see what they have on their hands.
Fantasy Football Analysis, Washington RBs Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson
There is only one negative in this weekend’s game for Washington when it comes to their backfield: it might work by committee. Passing down back Chris Thompson could be back in the mix as he is listed as questionable and seemingly on the mend from his turf toe injury.
That is reason enough to potentially fade both Peterson and Guice, but the matchup is so good that I can’t advise you to go that route. The Lions rank dead-last in points given up to opposing running backs this season, and they have allowed a touchdown to opposing backfields either on the ground or receiving in each and every one of their games this season. Even with Washington as the underdog, keep in mind that Haskins will be manning the offense and that the team is going to rush the ball no matter the game situation.
I’d consider Peterson the Washington rusher likely to get more touches, at least until things repeat themselves this week in terms of snaps/usage. That won’t keep me from starting Guice over AP, though. The second-year player was better than the veteran in his only game together and showed receiving prowess with his 45-yard reception for a touchdown. Against such a cupcake like Detroit, Guice is the No. 1 option to rack up fantasy points in the game and going forward.
As for Chris Thompson? If active, he’ll replace Wendell Smallwood as the passing down back. Given the state of Washington’s passing game, it’s not worth rolling him out this week, even in PPR leagues.