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Fantasy football buy or sell: Derrius Guice will be Washington’s lead back

Determining which Week 11 storylines are for real and which are fake.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

I spent all offseason hyping him up, so you can imagine my excitement when Derrius Guice finally took the field for the first time since Week 1 this season Sunday against the Jets. In his first action in over two months, Guice carried the ball seven times for 24 yards and saw 29% of Washington’s snaps. He also added a 45 yard touchdown through the air which sent me into a frolicking gate around my apartment, with a couple jumps for joy sprinkled in.

What does this mean for Washington’s backfield? Is Guice just going to be used occasionally along side Adrian Peterson—and I guess Wendell Smallwood since it was he who saw the vast, VAST majority of snaps Sunday (46%)—or will we see Guice’s role in Washington grow over the final six weeks?

There are always big storylines to come out of each NFL week and I like looking at these narratives and figuring out—with you the people in the twittersphere’s help—just how much I believe them and how that should dictate my fantasy moves for the week. So, let’s see which Week 11 reactions we’re buying and selling.

Dear Reader, you’ve hit this one on the head.

Even if I put my doctor glasses on and push all personal biases aside, I totally believe Guice will be Washington’s number one back rest of the year (as long as he stays healthy). He’s only 22 years old and missed his entire rookie season with an ACL tear. The team is going to want to see what exactly they have in him and with nothing to play for except the first overall pick, why not give him the backfield and let him run with it.

I’d like to also take this moment to tell you that at the time of this writing, he is only 48% owned in Yahoo leagues and faces the third easiest running back schedule moving forward. You should be adding him in every league you can because you could be adding a league winner onto your team right before the playoffs.


Bo Scarbrough is the RB1 in Detroit

I never ever ever for whatever reason never ever not even if you gave me a million dollars ever want to deal with the Lions backfield again. Since Kerryon Johnson went down, we’ve seen three different running backs take the brunt of the workload and every time it’s been the player no one’s been expecting. I get that we’re late in the season and that every possible starting running back is worth adding but I’m staying far away from Scarbrough until we see at least three weeks in a row which he’s the clear cut number one back, getting the majority of touches and seeing the majority of snaps. Matt Patricia has spurned me too many times for me to trust him ever again.

Verdict: Sell the whole damn backfield

Deebo Samuel is a WR2 here on out

If you listen to Tuesday’s RB1 Podcast or read my weekly waiver wire column, you already know my answer to this. I LOVE what I’ve seen out of Samuel the last two weeks and I think his role in the 49ers offense is only going to continue to grow as the team and Jimmy Garoppolo become more confident in him. Even when George Kittle and Emmanuel Sanders return—which is a big if with Sanders given that he re-aggravated his rib injury Sunday—I’d expect Samuel to see still solid work rest of the year.

He’s still under 60% ownership and if you can get him onto your team, you absolutely need to, with games against the Saints, Falcons, Rams and Seahawks still on the schedule.

Verdict: You need to buy, you need to buy, YOU ALL NEED TO BUY!!!

It’s time to panic about Cooper Kupp

This is the most difficult buy or sell on this week’s column in my opinion. And you can see that based on your voting. On the one hand, every player, even the best ones, have lulls and you don’t want to overlook the fact that Kupp is still the WR8 in non-PPR and WR7 in PPR leagues and up until the last two weeks was averaging almost 11 targets a game.

That being said, it’s hard to ignore that in his last two games he’s caught only three balls and has been targeted a total of seven times. Maybe he and the Rams offense will be able to find some success moving forward, but I’m certainly worried that this offense is seriously flawed and it’s taking Kupp’s fantasy value down with it.

If I close my eyes and think what I’d do as someone who owns Kupp literally everywhere, I’m giving him one more game before I rightfully freak out. If these last two weeks truly are the new norm for him, then there’s no recovering anyways. Take a deep breath, give him one more week against a Ravens defense that’s giving up the seventh most fantasy points to slot receivers, and if that still fails, then it’s time to burn everything to the ground.

Verdict: Selling so Future Pete has to make the decision

David Johnson is droppable

Forget about names and draft slot and expectations for a moment. Here’s what “random running back A” has done the last five weeks: missed two games due to injury and in the other three carried the ball six times for four yards and had one catch for eight yards while his head coach repeatedly said he’s not sure if RBA is fully healthy and thus won’t see any true work. With these stats in front of you, would this running back still be on your fantasy team?

I answered HARD NO.

It’s crazy to say it, but if I had David Johnson on my roster, I would not feel bad dropping him. We’ve seen no evidence in the last month that a) he’s fully healthy but more importantly b) the Cardinals want to make him their lead back again. Kenyan Drake has looked great and more so, this passing game has become downright deadly. Maybe we’ll learn more after the Cardinals’ bye this week but as of right now, I’m not sold there’s a redemption arc in Johnson’s future.

Verdict: Buy