Antonio Gibson was set to enter the 2022 fantasy football season as a sought after running back given his prior success, and the fact the Washington Commanders now have Carson Wentz leading their offense.
Gibson, after all, finished as RB10 in total scoring last season, per Sportradar. He ranked fourth in touches from scrimmage as he was one of just four NFL players — Najee Harris, Jonathan Taylor, Joe Mixon were the others — to compile 300 or more touches. He turned those touches into more than 1,300 yards of offense (1,037 rushing) with 10 touchdowns in 16 games.
The Commanders’ trade for the mistake-prone Wentz only increased his fantasy stock this offseason, or so it seemed. Now that stock has completely plummeted with fantasy football owners having to be careful about where they draft the running back. His role in the offense is a complete question mark.
Gibson, after all, returned the opening kickoff against the Kansas City Chiefs during Washington’s second preseason game Saturday. He hadn’t played a special teams snap in either of his first two seasons. It ultimately shows how Gibson might need to contribute in other ways entering his third season.
Commanders coach Ron Rivera has criticized Gibson, who fumbled in the preseason opener after six fumbles last season, and tasked him to run harder. Following those criticisms, Gibson reportedly was demoted to practice with Washington’s second- and third-team offenses while also playing on punt protection.
Recent indications hint at third-round rookie Brian Robinson maybe having taken Gibson’s job, or at the very least taking away some of his workload.
Gibson has since shifted well down Yahoo’s running back rankings as he now sits at RB34 and 80th overall. A few notable names ranked higher than Gibson include Las Vegas Raiders’ Josh Jacobs and second-stringers like Rhamondre Stevenson of the New England Patriots and Melvin Gordon or the Denver Broncos. Gibson does, however, still sit seven running backs ahead of Robinson and 27 overall spots.
Perhaps it’s prompted oddsmakers to take notice, too? Gibson now is 30-to-1 to lead the league in rushing touchdowns and 35-to-1 to lead the league in rushing yards on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Nevertheless, the Commanders’ willingness to use Gibson on special teams in the preseason speaks volumes about his current standing. And it’s a standing fantasy football owners should pay close attention to before their respective drafts.