Former LSU standout Derrius Guice is now planted on injured reserve with a torn ACL and the Redskins are back in the market for a running back. Headlining the list of visitors who will reportedly make a trip to Washington in the near future is 2012 NFL MVP Adrian Peterson, two-time first-team All-Pro Jamaal Charles, and the Giants’ reigning rushing leader, Orleans Darkwa.
It’s hard to accept Darkwa might actually be the best of this bunch at this stage in their respective careers — after all, the Tulane product averaged 4.4 yards a pop behind a terrible Giants line last year — but any of them would warrant fantasy consideration if one were to leave the nation’s capital with a contract in hand. I say this for two reasons. First, neither Samaje Perine nor Rob Kelley, the two current leading candidates for early-down carries, averaged more than 3.4 YPC in 2017, making neither an immovable object atop the depth chart.
Second, Washington’s line is arguably a top-10 unit league-wide. Led by tackle Trent Williams and guard Brandon Scherff — who both finished the 2017 campaign as top-10 players at their positions, per Pro Football Focus — this group has the potential to make any runner look good. Add in the fact that the team’s passing offense could get back on track with a healthy Jordan Reed in the fold, and it isn’t out of the question for someone to emerge as a legitimate RB2 option in deeper formats. We now just have to wait and see if any of them will get a chance to be that guy.
In the meantime, here’s what else is happening around the league on a quiet Sunday in August:
- Cleveland: Carlos Hyde exited practice early with an unspecified shoulder injury. Initial reports seem positive, but this will nonetheless be a situation to monitor as the preseason unfolds as Hyde clearly worked as the primary ballcarrier during the Browns’ second preseason game this past week. If he’s forced to miss time, expect second-round rookie Nick Chubb to see his ADP skyrocket, while Duke Johnson will also become a more attractive option.
- Dallas: Star offensive lineman Zack Martin looks to have dodged a bullet after leaving Saturday’s preseason game with a hobbled left knee. He still has to undergo further testing to determine if there’s any structural damage present, but early tests suggested Martin’s only dealing with a hyperextended knee, which is great news for anyone with shares in the Cowboys offense.
- Denver: Demaryius Thomas missed Saturday’s preseason game altogether due to a sore wrist that he injured in practice this past Thursday. There’s nothing to suggest the receiver is in danger of missing practice time, but this is another situation to monitor in advance of Week 1. If Thomas turns out to be dealing with something more significant than originally thought, watch both Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton become more prominent figures on the fantasy radar.
- Philadelphia: Last but not least, there’s good news coming out of Philly on Sunday as backup quarterback and reigning Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles was back on the field after injuring his shoulder in practice Thursday. With starter Carson Wentz no lock to be ready by Week 1, a healthy Foles could be an interesting DFS target in what could be a high-scoring regular-season opener against the Falcons.