Fantasy Football Free Agency: How soon should you draft Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice?

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Think for a second just how improbable Adrian Peterson's comeback season was.

He wasn't on a team during training camp and wasn't signed by Washington until late August. He was 32 years old.

He then totaled 166 total yards with a touchdown in Week 1 and had 120 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3. 

Peterson went on to record 1,042 yards and seven rushing touchdowns (and 208 receiving yards with a touchdown catch). Despite being inconsistent (eight games with seven or fewer non-PPR points), that was good enough to finish as a top 20 Fantasy running back regardless of format.

Can Peterson, now 33 years old with 2,941 career carries and 278 career catches, be just as good in 2019?

We've doubted Peterson before and been wrong, but this time, he'll have to overcome so much more than before.

Peterson originally joined the Redskins as a desperation replacement for rookie Derrius Guice, who tore his ACL in a preseason game and missed the whole season. Guice appears to be on track for the start of the season and figures to be at least a part-timer in the Washington run game. That will take touches away from Peterson.

Washington's passing game is also in dire straits -- Alex Smith is unlikely to play this year as he recovers from a gruesome leg injury and the best the team did to replace him was Case Keenum. The receiving corps is unimproved and the offensive line is another year older.

So how often will Peterson get enough work to warrant a lineup nod? How often will the Redskins be in a game where they can afford to stick with the run into the fourth quarter? How sure are we Peterson can even hold up for another 16 games? Last year he fought through shoulder, ankle and knee problems, and two years ago he had a significant neck issue that sidelined him in late November.

It's too many questions for a running back with too many touches over his career on an offense with too many holes.

Peterson isn't a top-100 pick for me, not so long as his situation in D.C. stays as it is now. Guice will take plenty of touches off him and the offense as a whole is headed for scoreboard trouble. I believe Peterson will have a couple of touchdown-weighted games that help those brave enough to start him in Fantasy, but it's just too risky to count on another top-20 finish.

In fact, Peterson's return hurts Guice's chances of putting up nice numbers, too. We remember Guice for being an aggressive, slashing speedster, but how often will he pick up 15 touches per week? First, he has to prove he's healthy, then he has to prove he's still an electric runner. Will he be good enough to shelve Peterson and overcome the Redskins' offensive deficiencies? Again, it's just too many questions.

Knowing he'll be part of a one-two punch to begin training camp, Guice's upside is capped. He's not quite a top-24 Fantasy running back at this point -- he'll need to shine this summer and somehow shed Peterson to work his way into the top-50 selections on Draft Day. I'll look for Guice no later than early Round 6.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with NFL.com at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning... Full Bio

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