Washington Redskins News and Rumors
The latest Washington Redskins news. Stay up-to-date on Redskins rumors. breaking news, player reports and whispered gossip from around the league.
Adrian Peterson to get 15 to 16 carries a game?
August 30th | 2018
When speaking of the expected workload for Redskins new running back, Adrian Peterson, coach Jay Gruden mentioned:
“Early on, we don’t want to give him (Peterson) 30 carries a game,” Gruden said. “We want to ease him in a little bit. We have some other backs that can carry the ball. I think early on, give him 15 or 16 carries a game.”
Peterson was fired up after receiving recent criticism, most notably from FS1 co-hosts and Hall-of-Famers Cris Carter and Shannon Sharpe. As USA Today’s Jarrett Bell reports, Peterson now has a “hit list” of sorts with Carter and Sharpe right on top of the list.
“What I’m going to do when I ball out this year,” Peterson added, “I’m going to have all my fans … look up all the people who (said) something negative about me and put them on blast and prove that when they are on TV, they don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Gruden’s comments of starting Peterson off with 15 or 16 carries a game is promising and implies that the number could grow as the season wears on and if Peterson is able to hold up to a solid workload at his advanced age.
Peterson looked surprisingly good in his first preseason action against the Broncos carrying the ball 11 times for 56 yards (5.1 YPA). If you combine the stats from his time with both the Saints and Cardinals last year, Peterson managed a total of 156 carries for 529 yards (3.4 YPA) and only 2 TD’s. Peterson showed brief flashes of his old self-last year with two games over 130 rushing yards. That is somewhat negated by the fact that he also had three games with double-digit carries where he logged less than 2 yards per attempt.
The opportunity sounds secure to begin for Peterson in Washington. We know the lack of talent behind him on the depth chart and as long as Peterson can stay healthy with 15-16 carries per game and a solid role in the red zone, he could surprise people. RB2 value is likely the ceiling for Peterson this season with more value in standard scoring leagues due to his lack of a passing game role. If you still have drafts coming up, Peterson is a decent late round flier.
Hits Keep Coming for Redskins Running Backs
August 17th | 2018
After losing prized rookie Darrius Guice during the first week of the preseason, the Washington Redskins saw two more running backs felled by injury in Week 2. Samaje Perine, the presumed favorite to step into the role of lead back in the wake of Guice’s season-ending ACL tear, left Thursday’s game against the Jets with an ankle injury. Byron Marshall later exited the game with an ankle injury of his own, further depleting Washington’s depth at the running back position.
The NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo is reporting that Perine avoided major injury, but that he will “miss some time.” Marshall, meanwhile, is expected to be sidelined for two to four weeks. With Guice already on IR and Chris Thompson still working his way back from a broken leg, injuries to Perine and Marshall leave Rob Kelley, Kapri Bibbs, and Martez Carter as the only healthy running backs on the Redskins roster. Even if Perine only misses one week, he will be losing out on the chance to prove himself capable of handling lead back responsibilities.
From a fantasy perspective, Rob Kelley is the next man up in Washington. Though he’s only gained 23 yards on 11 carries through two preseason games in 2018, Kelley has been praised in the offseason for slimming down and working on his receiving skills. If for no other reason than attrition, he seems at this point poised to get a shot at lead back duties for the Redskins, at least until Thompson is back to full speed. With an ADP generally in the 12th round, Kelley has some fantasy appeal as a potential value pick, and he could make for a nice stop-gap option for owners drafting suspended players like Mark Ingram and Aaron Jones.
For those looking to speculate on potential fantasy value, it seems likely the Redskins will add a few more running backs to their roster in the coming weeks. While some of these are sure to be merely camp bodies to get them to the regular season, it will be interesting to monitor Washington’s interest in free agents such as Adrian Peterson and Orleans Darkwa. More noteworthy for fantasy purposes would be the Redskins talking to DeMarco Murray about reconsidering his recent retirement or orchestrating a trade for someone like Ameer Abdullah, who is on the roster bubble in Detroit. Murray and Abdullah can currently be had at the end of drafts, but would instantly become fantasy relevant if they landed in Washington with a shot at starting.
Derrius Guice Tears ACL, Out for the Season
August 10th | 2018
The injury bug strikes early as Redskins rookie running back Derrius Guice suffered a torn ACL in Thursday’s preseason opener. The injury will prematurely end what was expected to be a breakout rookie season. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport broke the news on Twitter stating:
“Heading into the MRI, the hope was Redskins RB Derrius Guice had suffered just an MCL injury, but the way he walked off the plane was concerning. Less than an hour ago, he learned his fate: A torn ACL that ends his rookie season before it began.”
This is a massive blow to fantasy owners who have already drafted Guice in their leagues. The loss of Guice reverts Washington back to having an undependable stable of running backs consisting of Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine, Kapri Bibbs and Byron Marshall.
The most skilled back, of course, is Chris Thompson, but he himself has already declared he will not be completely healthy to open the season and still figures to have merely a niche role as the passing down specialist.
Rob Kelley has attempted to lead this backfield over the last two seasons but has been largely unsuccessful. He did manage to average 4.2 yards per attempt in 2016 but followed it up by a dreadful, injury-shortened 2017 season where he plodded for only 3.1 YPA.
Perine was selected in the 4th round of last seasons NFL draft out of Oklahoma. There was speculation early last season that he would be a breakout candidate as he carried sleeper appeal in the 11th round of fantasy drafts. That fizzled out quickly when he couldn’t even beat out Rob Kelley for starting duties. Perine is the best bet to pick up some value with the loss of Guice. Perine and Kelley were equals when it came to run blocking efficiency, but Perine led the Redskins with 25 red zone touches. Perine also managed a back-to-back pair of 100-yard rushing games in Weeks 11-12 last season.
Bibbs and Marshall will likely battle for scraps. Marshall could have some relevance early on passing downs depending on Chris Thompson’s true health to open the season. Marshall had a decent showing in the preseason opener, scoring a 25-yard receiving touchdown against the Patriots.
The Redskins would be wise to explore the free agent market to try and add a veteran back to this mix for the season. DeMarco Murray and Adrian Peterson will be the favorite names to toss around as potential candidates. There could even be a reunion lined up for former Redskin Alfred Morris who is currently a free agent. It may be more likely the team addresses the position once roster cuts are made however and there is more “talent” to sift through. This will now be a situation to monitor closely as the ‘Skins running back depth chart is back to square one.
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Chris Thompson Won’t Be at Full Health Until November
August 1st | 2018
When speaking to running back Chris Thompson recently at Redskins training camp, ESPN’s John Keim reports, “Chris Thompson said he likely won’t be fully recovered from his broken fibula until November, a year after getting hurt. He’s had a handful of surgeries and recoveries in his career. Nothing compares to this one.”
Thompson also spoke recently with redskins.com reporter Perry Mattern on his “100 Yards” segment. In that video, Thompson admitted that “Up until the day that I practiced I was scared to even go out here and go against any live bodies,” and that he’s “gotta continue to work on some things.”
It sounds like one of the biggest hurdles for Thompson to get back to full health is just regaining his confidence. Thompson had surgery back in December to repair a broken fibula. The plus side for Thompson is that he avoided the PUP list to start camp, but has been obviously limited thus far. This has the looks of a slow integration back into the offense for Thompson, which will be devastating for his fantasy value as he is already limited to a passing down specialist role. The Redskins also spent a second-round pick on former LSU running back, Derrius Guice, who reportedly had a first-round draft pick pedigree but fell to the second round due to “character concerns.” Guice is currently the favorite for early-down work and has also shown well in the passing game early on. It may only take solid pass blocking in the preseason for Guice to secure a three-down role. Thompson will still be a key piece on this offense when he returns to full health, but the uncertainty of exactly when that will happen makes him someone to complete avoid at his current 7th-8th round ADP. If you are looking for passing down backs in PPR leagues, aim for Gio Bernard or Theo Riddick later in drafts.
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