The RotoViz Running Back Prospect Sweet 16 Tournament matches the top incoming prospects in a head-to-head March Madness style format. Various RotoViz writers break down each matchup with the winner moving on to the next round.
Let’s get into today’s matchup!
(2) Derrius Guice vs (7) Nyheim Hines
Anthony Amico – Nyheim Hines
Of these two players, Guice absolutely has the better chance to become a three-down workhorse and a fantasy RB1. If their prices were in the same stratosphere, I would go with him. However, Hines is being criminally undervalued by the public right now in drafts. While Guice sits at No. 2 overall in rookie drafts and 26 overall in startups according to DLF, Hines is 30 and 173 respectively. That’s an insane cost for a player who looks to hold PPR value as a pass-catcher and could sneak into the RB1 ranks in a Duke Johnson-type of fashion. The odds are longer with Hines, but this price is simply too low to resist.
Blair Andrews – Nyheim Hines
Guice does not have quite the production of the other top RBs in this class. In terms of adjusted all-purpose yards, a meaningful indicator, Hines is actually better. Hines is also being drafted a full two rounds later in dynasty rookie drafts. I’ll take the discount on Hines, as I don’t think the gap between these two should be that far apart.
Jordan Hoover – Nyheim Hines
Another very tight matchup, primarily based on the difference in cost of acquisition. Guice has the size to become a three-down back, but Hines’s demonstrated pass-catching chops make him perfectly suited for the PPR format. If he does get drafted in the third round as predicted by NFL Draft Scout, he could find some early opportunity. I wouldn’t fault anyone for going with Guice, but I’ll take the discount.
Cort Smith – Derrius Guice
Hines is indeed very versatile, showing prowess as both a receiver and kick returner. His final-season rushing numbers were also good, although it was his sole productive year as a runner. My concern is that, as a likely third-round-or-later NFL draft pick, he faces an uphill battle to ever see the field enough to be a real fantasy contributor. I’d need him to be even a little cheaper in order to knock off a guy like Guice, who is guaranteed to be given a ton of opportunity.
Matt Wispe – Nyheim Hines
Even though Hines carried 40 few times, he only rushed for 138 fewer yards and scored more rushing TDs. Additionally, he was used as a WR at times at N.C. State. Add in his lower draft price and his 4.38 speed and Hines moves on.
Scott Smith – Derrius Guice
Even after taking cost of acquisition into account, if you’re picking Hines here, you are just doing something wrong. Hines projects as an excellent satellite back prospect but he is far from the complete back that Guice is. While some people will point to Guice’s production as concerning, Guice played all but one year with Leonard Fournette, who was one of the top-rated high school RBs of the last 20 years. With 2017 being Guice’s time to shine, he played through multiple injuries, including a bad thigh bruise. Guice’s numbers don’t pop in the receiving department, but that is purely a function of the LSU offense rather than an indictment of Guice’s skill set. He’s easily the second overall pick for me and is safer than most other RBs in this draft. Production in the SEC is far different than production in the ACC. Guice all the way.
Ryan Bobbitt – Derrius Guice
Hines has the satellite back appeal we like and his speed is a bonus using the regression tree. I’m not going to knock Guice much for his lack of production while sharing the field with Fournette and his breakout age is encouraging. He should have an opportunity early to become a lead RB and would be the 1.01 most years were it not for being in the same class as Saquon Barkley.
Hasan Rahim – Derrius Guice
Guice was hampered by injury which ostensibly prevented him from building on his breakout sophomore season. Although his lack of production in the receiving game is a slight concern, he accounted for 10 percent of LSU’s total 2017 receptions. Although Hines is a versatile pass catcher, he’s unlikely to ever become a true RB workhorse at the NFL level. Guice’s high floor and ceiling give him the edge in this matchup.
Dave Caban – Derrius Guice
Hines just didn’t do enough in college or at the combine for me to move him ahead of Guice, who figures to be the better all-around back. Sure, the disparity between the two might not be as large as their projected draft rounds indicate, but in this case, I’ll take the back with the better chance of finding the field.
Shawn Siegele – Derrius Guice
Guice was simply too good as a sophomore in 2016 and possesses too much size and speed to select Hines, but the N.C. State product is the more relevant back as a bargain who should be on your target list in every draft.
John Lapinski – Derrius Guice
Hines is undoubtedly an excellent receiving back to take a shot on at a dirt cheap price in the third round of rookie drafts. This comes down to how likely it is that Guice will be able to live up to his price-tag as the 1.02. With the right landing spot, Guice will be a player who would be worthy of the 1.01 pick in draft classes that don’t include an alien like Barkley.
Though Hines gave a strong early push, he simply is no match for Guice as the LSU product overpowered him 7-4 with a late run. Several writers noted that he would be the 1.01 in many other classes, so you can consider his expected price of 1.02 to be a mild discount. Hines is expected to be a valuable pass-catcher at the next level, but does not have the same overall upside. Even at cost, our writers prefer Guice, who will move on to face Rashaad Penny in the Final Four.