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|The Commanders' three-headed backfield situation in 2022 was an absolute nightmare for fantasy, but things got a lot more interesting when the team moved on from pass-catching specialist J.D. McKissic this offseason. While the Commanders did draft Chris Rodriguez in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, they have not otherwise addressed the position throughout the offseason and it seems likely that the duo of Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr. will split touches in this backfield.
While it was Robinson who out-scored Gibson on a per-game basis in 2022, it's Gibson who possesses the skill set that is more likely to benefit from McKissic's absence. Gibson himself has caught 36, 42, and then 46 passes in his three seasons as a pro. His reception total in 2022 put him at 13th among all running backs - a ranking that would've almost certainly been higher had he not missed the final two games of the season.
Gibson is a size-speed specimen like few others in the league which really gives him the potential for a breakout season here in 2023. The biggest thing holding back Gibson is that Robinson did show himself to be at least a viable NFL grinder as a rookie, which will almost certainly mean that he'll continue to have a significant role even if Gibson is performing better on a per-touch basis. Nevertheless, from a strict fantasy standpoint, we should tend to prefer players who have the physical upside of commanding 40 percent or more of the team's carries while also seeing 70-plus targets. That's what Gibson provides and it's why fantasy managers should take the discount on him as the Washington running back to own, even if he ends up technically starting fewer games than Robinson.
| Brian Robinson dealing with hamstring injury|
Commanders on bye in Week 14
By: Doug Orth | Tue Dec 5, 11:50 pm
|Commanders’ RB Brian Robinson Jr. ruled out today due to a hamstring injury. (ESPN - Adam Schefter)|
FFToday's Take: There is a possibility that Robinson can return in time for Week 15 against the Rams, but the Commanders could also decide that it makes little sense to do so in another lost season for the franchise. Antonio Gibson recorded three of his 14 touches in Week 13 before Robinson left for good early in the second quarter and would likely assume the lead role if Robinson isn't ready to face the Rams. How much the lead role means is another story, especially since he would likely share early-down work with Chris Rodriguez Jr.
| Gametime decision for RB Antonio Gibson|
By: Mike Krueger | Wed Nov 22, 8:30 pm
|#Commanders RB Antonio Gibson (questionable, toe) is a true game-time decision and will warm up on the field before the game to help determine availability. (Jeremy Fowler on X)|
FFToday's Take: Gibson was limited in practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. If he's able to play, he will put a damper on the outlook for Brian Robinson Jr. who posted a 17-73-0, 7-58-0 line last week with Gibson out. We will know Gibson's true status around 3 pm