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Dwayne Washington 2016 Season Outlook

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He's basically a big fast WR that's learning how to play RB.


He's not had to worry so much about ball protection so that's going to be an issue.  He's not going to be great at reading running lanes.  He's not going to be great at RB specific skills like jump-cuts.  He should be a decent in pass protection because you do have to run block as a WR.  Reading coverages should be a strength.





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Let's just call him Dwayne "Powerball" Washington, because he's our lotto ticket and he's taking us to the promised land!


Also, in regards to names, J.Brown from the Cardinals is most likely available in all your leagues!


I'm not expecting anything against GB, but if he gets 10-15 touches a game, that is good enough for me.  RB position is not what it once used to be due to the evolution of passing football.  At times during the past few seasons, it just hard enough to just fill out the RB positions week to week so anyone that gets touches is valuable nowadays.

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2 minutes ago, !!! said:

I grabbed him but also not expecting too much. Hopefully he makes the most of the likely limited touches he'll get this week. Also, isn't Zenner the GL back?


Zenner was inactive the first 2 games and Washington got the first goal line carries of the year.


As a kick returner and early down bruiser and goal line guy, I really hope I get him in my return yards league.  Hopefully they're all bums.

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Just now, ponchsox said:

Why would you grab him if you aren't expecting much? I pick up players I expect from. 


Happiness = Expectations minus Reality


Keep expectations low and if he provides anything then you're pleasantly surprised.  Has worked for me my whole life.

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8 minutes ago, boltup15 said:

I wouldn't be surprised if Zenner gets more carries. I think they've kept Washington on the roster for special teams but we'all find out Sunday. 


I'd be surprised. All the reports I've read indicated Washington pretty much stole Zenner's role out of camp, and he hasn't done anything to screw up so far. The only way I see Zenner moving up the depth chart is if Washington is ineffective or gets a case of the fumbles. Not saying Washington well necessarily be fantasy relevant, but I doubt Zenner is much of a concern.

Edited by LongBalls
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2 minutes ago, ponchsox said:

Why would you grab him if you aren't expecting much? I pick up players I expect from. 



He's just a lotto ticket and I have one roster spot I'm just trying to hit on those tickets with. He's as good a bet as any this week and in my leagues its a barren wasteland for FA RBs 

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2 hours ago, chud12 said:

I actually just cut  this guy for Jordan Howard. If Howard is still out there id make the move. Growing speculation that Howard will see an increased opportunity starting this week. I just think his upside for a 3 down role is there. 

i have both. crossing fingers

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11 minutes ago, jspeed said:

He's basically a big fast WR that's learning how to play RB.

I actually see a lot of this on tape myself. 


Well it's really hard to break down someone who has been knocked primarily for consistency within four carries, but I took a look at the game film to see what I could find.


His longest carry was 28 yards, and while it's not a ton to look at, thought I'd take my time with it anyway. 


The hole is rather large from the time he gets the ball:



But he is in a bit of a 1-on-1 with #24. Some might think from the photo that we're about to see a big hit in the hole. Dwayne has other ideas. 




Dwayne moves semi-laterally to the left (I'll use Dwayne's directions, not the aspect of the video). He allows his blocker to get in front, and allows #24 to over commit to the outside. The cutback lane is apparent: 




And after a cutback to the right and using the massive Lions' O-Lineman to his advantage, Dwayne is now into the open field. Getting the blocker in front of him was a pretty good move. It allowed him to turn a good gain from a big hole, probably about 6-7 yards (or a broken tackle on 24), to a much larger gain. He slows down for the move, shows pretty good patience and burst. His feet for the cut look a little raw to me, but the way he slowed it down and then sped it up looked good to me. 


#31 is the next man up for Dwayne to get passed. And there's no blocker this time. 




#31 dives at Dwayne's legs, and makes contact, but Dwayne runs through the tackle, spins away, and heads to the sideline where he is eventually pushed out of bounds for a 28 yard gain.


That was on 1st and 20, so it was a big run in a real football sense too. A hold call sagged the lions back deep in their own territory, but with space Dwayne is really dangerous. My concerns are still the wiggle and the consistency. Can he break through the line when the holes arent' that big?


Hard to say at this point, but here's the previous play, an 8 yard gain called back by a hold: 




For this play, the initial read is a little less cut-and-dry. 




#31 is again featured on this play, and not well for him. He over-pursues the run lane to the outside, Dwayne again has a pretty solid cutback lane, and does a good job of taking it. 




It's hard to compare without video, but note the 30 yard line on both photos. The cut back lane has allowed Dwayne to get much further downfield than the Tennessee defenders who were around him. In this picture, 54 attempts to make a tackle, as more Tennessee Titans swarm, but he runs through the contact of 54, before being knocked down a yard short of the first down.


So there's a lot to like here. I'm refraining from being overly optimistic, but I think there's a fair amount of optimism to be found here. I think the big reason for hype on Dwayne, at least for me, is that I think we're going to find out quickly whether he can sustain a role at the NFL level. I combed through his 4 carries last week for anything I could find, so I think once we have more tape on Dwayne we'll have a lot better idea of what his prospects are for this season. I'm not starting this week, but if I see the right things from the Lions and Dwayne, he's a start to me in Week 4. 


Again, the question will be more how he does in difficult situations. As well as he does for that first carry, the hole is massive, and would've been a great game either way. I did like the way that, when nothing was going for him, he put his head down and plowed forward. If he can do that, make small strides, and hold onto the ball, I think RB2 ROS is a fair projection. He needs to do those things tho. One thing is for sure: he can be explosive. I kinda like the Latavius comp. The way he carries himself reminds me of Latavius, his size is almost equivalent (6' 2", 226 v. 6' 2", 223) and their 40s are also similar (4.44 v 4.40). 


--A quick addition on the Lions line, it's very very young from what I understand. Did very little research on it and mostly read a PFF blurb, but it sounds like PFF, despite there ~20 ranking, thinks that this O-Line has a fair chance of improving with time. 

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'Explosive' Washington could help patch Detroit Lions' run game

Dwayne Washington was a late arrival to organized team activities this spring because of school commitments, but when the rookie running back finally joined his teammates on the field, it didn't take long for him to make an impression.


There wasn't one particular play that stood out, but Washington opened eyes with his athleticism and his ability to get upfield.


"His explosiveness," receiver Marvin Jones said. "For how big he is, he can get from Point A to Point B in a flash, and I think that’s what stuck to basically everybody when he first came in, how explosive he was for being his size."


The Detroit Lions placed starting running back Ameer Abdullah on injured reservetoday, following foot surgery, and Washington, a rookie seventh-round pick out of the University of Washington, stands to play a bigger role in his absence.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Theo Riddick will serve as "the lead guy" with Abdullah gone, but the Lions will continue to take a committee approach to their backfield.


Zach Zenner should be active Sunday against the Green Bay Packers (1 p.m., Fox) for the first time this year, and Washington will play behind Riddick as the Lions' No. 2 running back.


"Guys got to step up and play," Caldwell said. "Somebody’s got to take a few more carries than they would have ordinarily, and obviously, I think we have a number of guys that can do that for us."


Riddick has been most productive as a receiver out of the backfield to this point in his career, though the Lions have used him more in the run game this fall.


Riddick ran for 45 yards on seven carries in a season-opening win over the Indianapolis Colts and had a career-high 11 carries -- eight of them after Abdullah's injury -- in last weekend's loss to the Tennessee Titans.


While Caldwell said Riddick is "more than capable" of handling a bigger workload, Washington might be the more natural rusher. He ran for 31 yards on four carries in limited work against the Titans, had a standout preseason when he returned a kick 96 yards for a touchdown and scored on a 58-yard run. He has served as the Lions' goal-line back early in the season.


"You look at the numbers, you look at his production," Caldwell said. "When he touches the ball, he’s generally pretty productive. But he’s young. I think you’ll see him improve and keep getting better, week by week."


As for Abdullah, Caldwell wouldn't rule out the second-year back returning at some point this season. By rule, the earliest he could be back is the Lions' Nov. 13 bye week.


"I don’t think you’ll ever find a team in this league that will just completely collapse (after it loses a key player), because you can go out and find guys that can do the job for you," Caldwell said. "They may not be able to do it exactly the same way, but for us, we have guys that can play, I think, have been productive and have proven to be productive. It’s just a matter of how many times they touch it. We feel good about the guys that we have in that spot."



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Definitely needs to be involved in the passing game.






Obviously different holes are opened up on a return vs. on a running play (not to mention being a pre-season game). However, from his kick return in the pre-season he has at least shown the ability to pick a opening and go for it full speed and has that open field top end speed that once he gets passed the first level, he can take almost any touch to the house. 







This guy will be deadly in open space against a defenses DBs. Big. Strong. Fast. Agile.

Edited by burninglegs
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I think college tape only goes so far, especially once in the NFL. But we have very limited NFL tape on Washington obviously. Having said that, Matt Waldman and Sigmund Bloom have a nice video breaking down Dwayne in college. 



"Washington is probably best-suited for a gap-style, power running game. He may never earn rave reviews for doing everything that we often associate with top running back play, but it doesn’t preclude this big, fast, strong, and smooth player from becoming a good NFL contributor–maybe more than that."








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This guy's highlights sure are impressive.  I have no idea if he can do the job or how Detroit will use him, but let's look at the positives:


1.  High octane offense;

2.  Clear path to playing time;

3.  Will hold that role for at least 8 weeks if he proves himself worthy;

4.  Home run ability;

5.  Jahvid Best was valuable when healthy (granted, small sample size, Best's luck was the Worst) in pass-heavy Detroit with a similar "big play" profile;

6.  Cost is next to zero; in my 14-teamer today he passed through waivers and I didn't even have to use a priority on him.

This offense is good enough to give the #1 RB plenty of yards and 10 TDs.  Does anyone remember Mikel Leshoure?  He was a JAG (still only 26, he's now playing in Canada) who scored 9 TD to go along with 1,012 total yards (including 34 catches) in 2012 for a Detroit that won four games...


Hard to start Washington in light of the unknowns and the presence of Riddick who will definitely have a big role but I'm happy to pick this guy up wherever possible and wait and see. 

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Do you guys really like his highlights?  I see a bigger Ameer.  Needs a big hole, not much vision, can catch the ball, works best in space, good top speed.  I know which guy I like in this backfield, and I get the hype train, but I am underwhelmed by what I see on tape.  Even his big preseason run didn't do much for me.  I get the potential, and of course adding him, but what I am missing?  Why wasn't he successful in college?

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I expect him to outright take Abdullah's role as well as keep his goal line carries. If I get RB3 production ROS out of a player I spent a few coins on in FAAB I'm thrilled.


I expect Riddick's usage to stay the same, maybe a 5-10% uptick but he's not going to assume AA's role. His frame can't handle it. No way.

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