Maybe I was too high on Tyrell Williams last week, but at least he produced with six catches for 69 yards. And that’s all I can say about my first three fantasy football flex plays of the year: Pierre Garcon, Shane Vereen and Williams. All of them were cheap and widely available, but none were able to surpass mediocrity.
I’m going back to the ground this week with a rookie in Detroit’s Dwayne Washington.
My previous plays have been more of PPR options, but Washington doesn’t fall into that category. With Ameer Abdullah out, Washington saw the most work of his young career in last weekend’s loss to the Packers. He finished with 10 carries for 38 yards to go with a catch for negative yards.
No, that’s not impressive. But getting 10 carries can’t be ignored in a game in which the Lions were down 31-3 in the first half. Despite a large deficit, Washington still saw the ball a decent amount.
As for starter Theo Riddick, he had 10 carries, but for nine yards. He also had seven receptions, but that’s not of concern for Washington at the moment. The only thing we care about is that Washington should see more carries than Riddick this week against what has been one of the worst run defenses in the league.
In addition to that, Riddick has been beyond terrible rushing the ball in his few years in the league and after getting less than one yard per carry against the Packers, many around the team are calling for Washington to get more of the ball.
Because the Lions were down early against the Packers, Washington only played 25 snaps (20 less than Riddick). But against the Bears, a team that may be the worst in the league, that will surely change. Washington could see close to 40 snaps if the game goes as expected for the Lions (road favorites) and that could equate to 15 or so touches.
Fifteen touches against a Bears defense that has allowed 142.7 rushing yards per game and ranks 26th against the run (according to FootballOutsiders), could result in 70-80 yards and a touchdown.
The ownership numbers on Washington are still fairly low. He’s on 30% of Yahoo teams and 22.8% of ESPN ones as of Wednesday. At DraftKings, he costs just $3,800 and is $4,500 at FanDuel. Similarly priced players include Soma Vainuku (?) and… never mind, that’s all I need to say.
At that price, you can’t do much better, especially for a guy who is slated to see 15 touches. Maybe I’m getting excited and predicting too much, but even he gets 11 touches again, that should be good for 50-60 yards against this Bears defense.
He already has one goal line touchdown this year, so why not make it two against this Chicago front line?
Riddick will get his snaps and receptions, but Washington should become more of the focal point in the ground game. And if this game goes anything like any of the previous Bears games, Detroit should be running out the clock in the fourth quarter.
That’s great news for Washington.