With less than one month until the official start of training camp, anticipation for the fantasy football draft season is building up as well the action that will take place on the actual gridiron. Fans from across the country are beginning to search for that "sleeper" pick that can your team away from the pack.
For the Washington Redskins, that name could very well be Derrius Guice.
After falling to the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Guice could be in for a breakout fantasy as he looks to prove his doubters wrong. The Baton Rouge, La., native ranks No. 36-overall in the NFL's 2018 top 50 fantasy football players list, ahead of the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Juju Smith-Schuster and Demaryius Thomas among other seasoned veterans.
The Redskins have had a strong history of young starting running backs breaking out in their rookie seasons, including Rob Kelley in 2016 and Alfred Morris in 2012.
"He's a guy that is high-energy, he's talented," running backs coach Randy Jordan said. "What he's done to the room is elevated the play because he's a high-energy guy that wants to take every rep. When you get a guy like that, everybody else is like, 'Hey man. I've got to make sure I take care of mine.' So what it's done is elevated the play in the room."
Guice has drawn comparisons to one of the most consistent players over the past 10 years from a fantasy football perspective in current Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch. His ability to shed tacklers with ease and use his agility to get to the second level of the defense quickly makes Guice a threat to take it to endzone on any given play.
"I'm a very physical, powerful runner that doesn't shy away from contact. I like to compare my game to Marshawn Lynch a lot," Guice said."That's the big bro. I talk to him a lot and have gotten a lot of advice from him throughout this process as well. That's who I put my running style towards.
"He actually got his Beast Mode company to reach out to me and send me some of his gear and that's kind of how it kicked off. He sent me some Beast Mode gear and we've just been kicking it off ever since."
Redskins fans and fantasy owners got a glimpse of what Chris Thompson could do in the passing game last year, as the former Florida State Seminole was one of the top players in points-per-receptions (PPR) leagues prior to breaking his leg in Week 12 against the New Orleans Saints. With the fifth-year veteran fully expected to return as the third-down back, he and Guice could both become weekly starters for fantasy owners.
On Friday, June 15, 2018, the Washington Redskins hosted the Baltimore Ravens for the second annual Rookie Symposium.
Most fantasy football players value running backs at a higher level due to the position's unpredictability throughout the NFL season. Injuries and game flow give fantasy owners headaches when deciding which players will make their starting lineup each week.
Even with having more importance as a running back, it's a credit to Guice that he's been placed ahead of these established names from across the league. The LSU product hasn't played a single down in the NFL, and he's already valued as a strong running back to boost your chances to fantasy glory this season because of the work he's put in since being drafted.
"He's just happy and super hyper all the time," Thompson said with a smile. "He puts some pressure on me in meeting room a little bit because he asks a lot of questions and he wants to know why on everything and that's not always a bad thing. He's willing to learn and he wants to learn every little thing that he can. It's been good having him here and I'm glad we got him here. He's a great kid."