Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson’s emergence has been one of the best and most surprising developments in the fantasy landscape this season. The diminutive speedster had dealt with severe injuries in his knee and back earlier in his career, but emerged as one of the best weapons in all of football out of the backfield.
That story hit an abrupt ending on Sunday when he was carted off with an air cast on his leg after he got rolled up on at an awkward angle. He’s done for the year with a broken leg. It’s a really tough pill to swallow for Thompson, for the Redskins and for fantasy players. There’s almost nothing Thompson can’t do as a running back despite his small stature. He blocks extremely well, catches the ball out of the backfield and packs a powerful punch that belies his 5-foot-8, 191-pound frame.
For gamers looking elsewhere for production, it’s worth staying in the Washington backfield. With season opening starter Rob Kelley already lost for the year as well, Samaje Perine becomes a priority pickup (available in 69 percent of Yahoo leagues). He struggled with fumbles and ineffectiveness early, but the rookie has very clearly come a long way in the months since the season started. He showed improved patience and his greatest attribute, his power, against the Saints, churning his way to 117 yards and a score on 23 carries. He won’t contribute in the passing game like Thompson did, but he’s certainly going to get lots of opportunities on the ground.
A second player worth looking at is Josh Doctson. He’s finally beginning to show the ability the Redskins envisioned when they took him with their first-round pick last year. He brought in several 50-50 balls against the Saints, and Kirk Cousins seems more than willing to give him those opportunities. With Jordan Reed and Terrelle Pryor both battling injuries, Doctson is the top downfield option by a wide margin. He finished with four catches for 81 yards. He’s currently on just 27 percent of rosters.
For those of you in deep leagues, a third guy who isn’t quite as well-known is receiver Ryan Grant. Grant continues to be a trusted option for Cousins.
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) November 19, 2017
Grant has sure hands and is one of the team’s top route runners. He catches a lot of stuff underneath, and Thompson’s targets have to go somewhere. There’s a reasonable chance Grant could be that guy. He had three catches for 59 yards and a score vs. the Saints. He available in 99 percent of leagues.
Finally, Jamison Crowder probably won’t be available on your waiver wire, but should see a boost in value. As the slot receiver, Crowder catches a lot of short passes as essentially an extension of the running game. Now that he’s seemingly 100 percent healthy, he’s showing what made him so good last year. Crowder finished the Saints game with seven receptions on eight targets for 72 yards. With Thompson out, Crowder’s role will only increase.