Chris Thompson should remain the third-down back for Washington this season, but he will have company in the backfield. With Derrius Guice (ACL) healthy, Adrian Peterson back and the addition of rookie Bryce Love, touches should be limited for Thompson. He will likely lead Washington's backfield in receptions, and he had four games with at least five catches in the 10 games he was able to play last year. Because of that he's worth a late-round flier in PPR leagues, but his value is limited in non-PPR formats.
Thompson doesn't appear to be hampered by his prior rib or ankle injuries during minicamp, Rhiannon Walker of The Athletic reports. Thompson said in May that he's still experiencing soreness in his surgically repaired leg, but he's reportedly looked "agile" as a receiver out of the backfield and in the slot during OTAs this spring. Meanwhile, JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington relays that Thompson remains locked in as the third-down back for a team that wants to reserve early down work for Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice (knee). It might be a slight surprise if Thompson approaches the 33.4 percent share of backfield snaps he held in 2017, let alone the 45.9 percent share he commanded in 2016, but he at least seems set for a role that should allow for a statistical rebound from his disappointing 2018 campaign.
Thompson feels the best he has in a long time, but he also admits there's still some on-and-off soreness in his surgically-repaired leg/ankle, Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic reports. Thompson had surgery in December 2017 to repair a fractured fibula and other damage, with doctors inserting a plate to stabilize the area. He made it back for Week 1 last season and played through some pain, though it was a rib injury that ended up costing him six games. Thompson said the rib is no longer an issue, and while the leg/ankle is doing better, it sounds like something that may require maintenance for the rest of his career. There's also the possibility that a portion of his usual pass-catching workload could go to Derrius Guice (knee), and perhaps eventually to fourth-round pick Bryce Love (knee). The 28-year-old running back is entering the second season of a two-year, $7 million contract extension, and he acknowledged having some concern about his team's impressive backfield depth.
Bryce Love (knee) may eventually replace Thompson as Washington's passing-down back, JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington reports. At his best, Thompson is one of the better blocking and receiving backs in the NFL, but he's entering the final year of his contract after missing 12 games the past two seasons. He was already stuck in a crowded backfield with Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice (knee) before the Redskins used a fourth-round pick on Love, who may be headed for a 2019 redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in December. The Stanford product had first-round buzz after finishing as runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 2017, but he was never a prolific pass catcher (49 receptions in 49 games) and managed just 4.5 yards per carry his senior season. While the 28-year-old Thompson isn't likely to get a contract extension, it's too early to assume he has no future in Washington beyond 2019.
Thompson is pleased with his team's decision to re-sign fellow running back Adrian Peterson, Zach Brook of NBC Sports Washington reports. Peterson figures to impact Derrius Guice (knee) more so than Thompson, considering the latter gets most of his playing time on passing downs. Of course, it's still another body that demands snaps in the backfield, and the Washington offense probably won't have a ton of yards and touchdowns to go around. The team did at least get some security under center with the trade for Case Keenum, whose shortcomings as a passer likely will impact the wide receivers rather than the running backs or tight ends. Thompson thus stands a decent chance to regain his 2016 level of production, but the circumstances don't point toward a repeat of his breakout 2017 campaign (80.4 scrimmage yards, 0.6 touchdowns per game). It's also worth noting that the 28-year-old has played more than 13 games just once in his six NFL seasons.
Thompson played 10 games in 2018, compiling 43 carries for 178 yards (4.1 average) along with 41 catches for 268 yards (6.5 average) and a touchdown on 55 targets. Thompson had two fewer catches and 21 more carries in the same number of appearances (10) during his breakout 2017 campaign, producing 4.6 yards per carry and 13.1 per reception with six total touchdowns before he broke his leg Week 11. Coming back from the severe injury and stuck in a lousy Washington offense, the 28-year-old scatback took a massive step backward in 2018, losing five touchdowns and 50 percent of his YPR mark from the previous season. While the 2017 breakout was largely built on a few long gains, Thompson does offer considerable rebound appeal for 2019, as he's averaged 5.4 carries and 5.5 targets per game in 20 appearances over the past two seasons. That kind of workload should at least put him in the conversation as a late-round target in 2019 drafts, with potential to significantly outperform his draft slot if the Redskins can fix the rest of their offense.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||09/29||@New York Giants||23||19.88|
|5||10/06||New England Patriots||8||16.00|
|7||10/20||San Francisco 49ers||20||19.00|
|11||11/17||New York Jets||18||17.75|
|14||12/08||@Green Bay Packers||19||18.13|
|16||12/22||New York Giants||23||19.88|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||58||276||2||43||376||2||86|