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Derrius Guice can hit some serious touch numbers even while playing only on early downs. Photo credit: USA Today Sports Images

Besides Derrius Guice being one of the best rookie runners coming into the NFL this season, he’s landed in a fantasy friendly situation for early down backs. The roles in the backfield are very clear in Washington – there’s an early down back, and there’s Chris Thompson playing on passing downs. Jay Gruden has segregated these roles very clearly and vocally throughout his tenure. He does not want Thompson playing too many snaps; we saw exactly why when injuries forced Thompson into a bigger workload, which he couldn’t handle and got hurt himself. I’m not in on Thompson being a consistent fantasy asset, even in PPR; he’ll give you great weeks, he can be super efficient with his touches at times, but he’s not going to get enough touches on a per game basis to consistently bring value to your lineup.

The Redskins want to run the ball, and they have shown that they like to have a single workhorse if the talent allows. Despite not having that guy, Rob Kelley still had 4 games with 19+ carries and 2 games with 17+ carries without being healthy all year. They had the 4th highest run rate on 1st down last season at 58%, and they ran the ball 55% of the time in goal-to-go situations – that’s 10th highest last year despite all the injuries on the offensive line and a couple of guys on early downs who couldn’t create yards for themselves. Still, Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine combined for the 3rd most goal-to-go carries.

With the offensive line back relatively healthy, this is a situation where Guice can shine. While pass-catching isn’t Guice’s specialty, he’s capable, so he can rack up 25-30 check-downs from Alex Smith on early downs. Guice’s 3rd round ADP is fair, and I’m definitely cool with that in non-PPR leagues. In full PPR, he will be fine, but I rather pick up a solid WR instead of a guy who will be dependent on game flow and touchdowns.

Do you think Guice can return on his 3rd round ADP?