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ADP Showdown - Derrius Guice vs Rashaad Penny


Typically, there are two types of RB2's fantasy players will target in their draft: a known, or an unknown quantity. A known would be somebody like Marlon Mack. While Mack has a path to being an RB1, it's much more likely that he settles in as a stellar RB2. They're high-floor guys who usually don't have a sky-high ceiling.

Then there are the unknowns. These guys are usually rookies, guys coming off injuries, guys who switched teams, or young players who didn't get the chance you expected them to get the previous year. Then there are unknowns. These guys managed to have two of the scenarios listed above.

Today, we'll be comparing an unknown and an unknown: Rashaad Penny and Derrius Guice, two second-year backs who both have a lot to prove in 2019.

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Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks

ADP: RB36 (93rd overall)

Despite being a first-round pick for Seattle in 2018, Penny struggled to find many opportunities during his rookie season. Penny found himself buried behind Chris Carson and Mike Davis on the depth chart last year. In the two games Carson missed, Davis out-carried Penny 31-21. Still, Penny's numbers are fairly impressive in his limited sample size. He averaged nearly five yards per carry on the year. During a five-game stretch near the end of the season, Penny bumped that number up to 6.45 yards per carry before being limited by a knee injury the rest of the way. His best performance of the year came in Week 9, where Penny ran for 108 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries while splitting touches with Davis.

The good news for Penny is that Davis is out of the picture in Seattle. The bad news is that Carson isn't. Pete Carroll would be a fool to stop giving Carson the ball. He'll be the starter in 2019, but that doesn't mean all is lost for Penny. Don't be surprised if the rely on their newly-found running game more than ever in 2019. While Carson will be the starter and get more touches than Penny, he's still going to factor into the offense. There's no reason to run Carson into the ground when you have a talented back in Penny behind him.

 

Derrius Guice, Washington Redskins

ADP: RB31 (80th overall)

Derrius Guice was poised to be the workhorse in Washington's backfield in 2018. Washington had done nothing but rave about their second-round pick in the offseason, and the only real competition he faced for touches was Chris Thompson, who typically is a passing-down only back. Everything changed for Guice when he tore his ACL in the preseason and missed all of the 2018 season.

Now, Guice joins the most bizarre running back room in the NFL. Backs alongside Guice on Washington's depth chart include:

  • Adrian Peterson, a 34-year-old future Hall-of-Famer who turned back the clock to run for 1,000 yards in Washington following Guice's injury.
  • Chris Thompson, the aforementioned receiving back who's always a threat for passing targets when he's healthy, which hasn't been often as of late.
  • Samaje Perine, a 2017 fourth-round draft bust who is inexplicably still on the roster.
  • Bryce Love, a 2019 fourth-round pick and former Heisman runner up.

It's not exactly stiff competition for Guice, but it is competition nonetheless, which can be worrisome for a guy who has never played a down in the NFL. Peterson proved that he can still run hard, Thompson will always factor into passing downs, and it seems unlikely that Washington drafted Bryce Love just to ride the pine. But it oddly still feels like Guice's job to lose. Even if Peterson is coming off a 1,000-yard season, it's not like Washington has anything invested in him long-term. They'd be thrilled if Guice was the one to run for 1,000 yards this year. I think it's safe to say it's Guice's job to lose, but it's far from a guarantee that he won't lose it.

 

Verdict

Rashaad Penny is an unknown. While we believe he will factor into the offense this year, it remains to be seen just how much of a workload he can carve out when Chris Carson isn't going anywhere. Derrius Guice is an unknown. He could end up starting in Week 1 as a workhorse back, and he can also end up watching from the sidelines as Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson eat up all the snaps. Both seem extremely possible.

So who's the back you'd rather have in 2019? To me, the answer is obvious: the guy who isn't competing for touches with Chris Carson. Both of these backs have low floors, but Guice's ceiling feels much, much higher unless something were to happen to Carson. I'd rather swing for the fences than swing for a double. Guice's value was sky-rocketing before his injury last year for a reason.

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