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|The Brian Robinson comeback story was one of the bright spots of the entire 2022 NFL season. The former Alabama running back was shot during a car-jacking prior to the start of his rookie season, but he was somehow able to get onto the field in Week 5. By Week 6 he was listed as the team's starter and he would go on to see at least 12 carries in all but one of his final 11 games, including five games in which he carried the ball 20 or more times. His 3.9 yards per carry average was admittedly ugly, but the confidence that his coaches showed in him was undeniable.
It's easy to see why Robinson is being prioritized by fantasy drafters when you simply take a look at his carry totals and the fact that he "started" almost every game for the team once he saw the field in 2022. But a deeper dive into the pass-catching situation in Washington will show you that his upside remains capped as long as he remains almost exclusively an early-down back. Robinson caught just nine passes on the year, a total that is almost unprecedently bad in today's NFL. Even notable non-pass-catchers like Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb are typically catching double that total over the course of a full season. While Robinson's numbers likely would've gone up a bit had he played every game, it's tough to deny that as of right now he might be the league's most one-dimensional running back, at least from a usage standpoint.
J.D. McKissic's removal from the backfield will have an effect on how things play out in this Washington, but all indications seem to point toward the pass-catching role expanding for Gibson while Robinson remains the early-down back. The early-down role was good enough to make Robinson a decent fantasy option during the weeks when he got into the end zone, but things got ugly when he didn't. Robinson scored 12 or fewer PPR fantasy points in nine of his 12 games played. Unless he sees an increase in goal-line touches that he converts into touchdowns, or he becomes significantly more involved in the passing game, look for Robinson to remain a frustrating fantasy asset in 2023.
| 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