Antonio Gibson might look a lot different in 2022
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Antonio Gibson, RB, Commanders
What You Need to Know:
– Over his 2 NFL seasons, Gibson has handled the league’s 7th-most carries and 8th-most total opportunities (carries + targets).
– His rushing attempts per game increased by 4.0 last season, from 12.1 to 16.1. His targets per game got a slight bump: 3.14 to 3.25.
– The latter got a big boost from J.D. McKissic’s Week 12 injury. Gibson went from 8.1% target share in games with McKissic to 15.2% in games McKissic missed.
– Last year found Gibson ranking 4th in the league in total opportunities but tied for just 13th in Dominator Rating, which looks at an RB’s share of team offensive production.
– He tied for just 16th among RBs in red-zone snap share.
– Gibson played through a shin stress fracture throughout 2021, adding a Week 6 calf injury and a December toe issue. He initially suffered a turf-toe type of injury in Dec. 2020, which reportedly lingered through the following offseason (but didn’t keep Gibson off the field).
– Washington matched Buffalo’s contract offer to keep J.D. McKissic from leaving in free agency.
– The team selected Alabama RB Brian Robinson in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. HC Ron Rivera has since indicated that he’d like to deploy Gibson and Robinson in a similar fashion to how his early Panthers teams used RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.
– Yearly carry counts for Williams and Stewart:
2011: Williams 155, Stewart 142
2012: Williams 173, Stewart 93 (in 9 games)
2013: Williams 201, Stewart + Mike Tolbert 149 (Stewart missed 10 games)
2014: Stewart 175, Williams + Tolbert 99 (in 14 combined games)
Draft Sharks Bottom Line:
Washington is saying with both words and actions that it wants to limit Gibson’s workload more than it did the past 2 years. J.D. McKissic returns to keep the passing-game lead, while rookie Brian Robinson adds a thumping presence between the tackles. Gibson looks likely to lose both targets and carries vs. last year’s numbers, and he could lose further touches near the goal line.
Fantasy drafters have been apprehensive all offseason, allowing Gibson to slip into late Round 5 and even Round 6 since the Robinson addition and the Williams-Stewart comparisons. Gibson doesn’t carry a ton of risk in Round 6, but there’s potential for this to be a frustrating fantasy situation all year. That’s less of a concern for best-ball drafting but should make you wary of counting on Gibson in a lineup-setting format.