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Washington Commanders Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2023

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

Per Ben Standig of The Athletic, Commanders HC Ron Rivera wants to get RB Antonio Gibson more touches in 2023. Rivera mentions how the fourth-year back meshes with what new OC Eric Bieniemy "wants to do with the offense" moving forward. Though Gibson is coming off a season that set career lows in carries (149), rushing yards (546), and rushing TDs (3), he did log a 46-353-2 line as a pass-catcher in 2022. It's possible Bieniemy sees Gibson as someone who could play a role similar to what Jerick McKinnon did for the Chiefs last year. Should that be the case, Gibson could be an absolute steal in PPR leagues as the receiving complement to teammate Brian Robinson. It'll be worth keeping an eye on this storyline as the offseason unfolds and we get into training camp.

The Commanders are "all in" on QB Sam Howell as their 2023 starter, ESPN's John Keim writes. The team has been talking up Howell all offseason -- and then did not add a QB in the draft. Per Keim, Washington had a 2nd-round grade on Howell coming out last year but didn't take him on Day 2 because they had already made the trade for QB Carson Wentz. The Commanders couldn't pass on Howell when he slipped to Round 5, though. He made just one start last year, but the team liked how he developed as a rookie. Howell will need to hold off veteran QB Jacoby Brissett this summer, but he sounds like the heavy favorite to open the season under center. See where Howell sits in the 2023 QB Rankings.

Washington spent a sixth-round pick on Kentucky RB Chris Rodriguez Jr. He averaged a strong 6.2 yards per carry for his career but caught only 20 passes. Rodriguez also spent five years in college and will turn 23 in September. It took him until 2021 to take over the Wildcats backfield. We're not betting on Rodriguez overtaking Antonio Gibson or Brian Robinson Jr. on the 2023 depth chart. But he'll be interesting to watch if injuries occur ahead of him.

QB Jacoby Brissett is reportedly expected to sign a deal with the Commanders. The terms of the deal are unknown as of this writing. The journeyman signal-caller adds some veteran competition into the mix to battle with incumbent QB Sam Howell. Newly-minted OC Eric Bienemy will have an effective bridge option in place should Howell not win the starting QB job outright in training camp. Brissett spent last season as the Browns' starter in the absence of suspended QB Deshaun Watson, tallying 2,608 passing yards with 12 TDs and six interceptions. Though he doesn't offer a ton of fantasy appeal, Brissett exceeded 15 fantasy points in five of his 11 starts in four-point per passing TD scoring last season. We'll have to keep an eye on how this potential training camp battle shakes out over the summer to get a good idea of how much Brissett will matter for fantasy purposes. He maintains modest superflex league appeal in dynasty leagues if nothing else.

UPDATE: Brissett's contract is a one-year deal worth up to $10 million (with $8 million guaranteed).

The Commanders have agreed to a one-year deal with LB Cody Barton that NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports is fully guaranteed. We don't know how much money yet, and it's likely not a number that locks Barton into a starting role. But there's room for him to earn starter snaps in a defense that might lose LB Cole Holcomb in free agency. Jamin Davis should be the best current bet for full-time snaps among Washington LBs, heading into his third season. Barton didn't play very well in his first starting turn with Seattle in 2022, which is why the team is letting him walk.

Commanders HC Ron Rivera clarified Tuesday from the NFL Scouting Combine that QB Sam Howell is "not our starter," according to FOX Sports' Ralph Vacchiano. Rivera added that the second-year player does open the offseason as the lead QB but said the team plans to import a veteran QB to compete with Howell. Consider this a reminder that Washington wants the former fifth-round pick to earn the 2023 starting job. Howell makes for an OK late third QB in early best-ball drafting but isn't a player you must get shares of.

The Commanders on Tuesday made DT Daron Payne the first player to get the franchise tag in 2023. Payne demolished his previous high with 11.5 sacks in 2022 -- 6.5 more than he tallied as a 2018 rookie. Payne suggested a bump was coming, though. His QB hits climbed from 8 in 2020 to 15 in 2021 before a career-high 20 this past season. Payne also delivered his two largest tackle totals the past two years, though he didn't crack the top 12 among D-lineman in solos either year. We'd bet on some regression from his DL13 fantasy finish in 2022. Don't prioritize Payne for 2023 IDP leagues or as a dynasty target.

The Commanders are reportedly finalizing a deal to have Eric Bieniemy become their new OC. Bieniemy has served as the Chiefs OC under HC Andy Reid since 2018. The Chiefs have won 2 Super Bowls in that span with an offense that's finished no lower than top-6 in total offensive yards and scoring. Though Bieniemy has received many interview opportunities for head coaching positions over the last few years, none ever manifested to the point of an official job offer. Perhaps getting out from under the shadow of Reid and being primarily responsible for the Commanders' offense will aid in bolstering Bieniemy's resume. He'll inherit a Commanders offense that ranked 20th in total offensive yards and 24th in scoring in 2022.

QB Sam Howell will open the offseason as the Commanders' starter, HC Ron Rivera said on Wednesday. “The biggest thing we decided is he will start out as QB1,” Rivera said of Howell. “He will most certainly get the first opportunity. We go into OTAs and minicamp, he’ll be QB1. He’ll fight for that position. We’ll give him every opportunity to earn it, and we’ll see what happens when we get into training camp and through it.” Howell didn't hit the field as a 5th-round rookie last year until Week 18, finishing that one with a 169-1-1 passing line and 35 yards and a score rushing. QB Carson Wentz is an obvious cut candidate, with no dead money on his contract. And QB Taylor Heinicke is set to hit free agency next month. But Washington will obviously be adding competition in the QB room, via free agency, the draft or both. We'll see how the situation shakes out, but we'd only consider Howell as a QB3 in early best-ball drafts.

Commanders RB Brian Robinson (knee) has been ruled out for Week 18 vs. the Cowboys. RBs Jonathan Williams and Jaret Patterson figure to carry the workload on Sunday. The Cowboys' defense rank as the 4th-toughest matchup for opposing RBs in adjusted fantasy points allowed this season. It would've been tough to trust Robinson or Antonio Gibson, who underwent foot surgery on Thursday, in this game for fantasy purposes. We feel even more skittish about the backups. Neither Williams nor Patterson is anything more than speculative RB3/flex consideration.

Commanders RB Antonio Gibson had surgery on Thursday to repair a fractured foot, HC Ron Rivera said. Gibson was on the injury report with a foot from Week 13 on, although it's unclear exactly when the fracture occurred. Rivera said the "hope" is that Gibson will be ready for the start of offseason workouts. We'll track his rehab.

Commanders RB Brian Robinson (knee) didn't practice on Thursday. It's not looking good for the rookie at this point, but Friday will give him a chance to participate in a limited fashion perhaps. RB Antonio Gibson was placed on IR already, and the team elevated RB Jaret Patterson from the practice squad in a corresponding move. This messy situation doesn't bode well for any fantasy manager trying to decipher this situation for Week 18 vs. the Cowboys. Check in tomorrow once we have a more concrete idea of what to expect from the Commanders' backfield.

According to Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Commanders HC Ron Rivera said this week that he'll play WRs Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel for "at least a portion of the game" Sunday. The notion here is that the coach will give rookie QB Sam Howell some time to work with the team's top options in his NFL debut. Of course, the fantasy read is that Rivera likely doesn't plan to play McLaurin or Samuel the entire game. That could change if Howell delivers and the team stays tight with the Cowboys. But the uncertainty -- including that brought by a 5th-round rookie QB in his 1st pro action -- should make you wary of starting McLaurin in Week 18 fantasy football lineups. We'll keep updating our Week 18 fantasy football rankings for anything else we learn on this and other situations.

The Commanders have elevated RB Jaret Patterson from the practice squad, ahead of Sunday's finale against the Cowboys. It's not a surprising move, given that RB Antonio Gibson will be out once again. He landed on IR Thursday after missing last week with knee and foot injuries. RB Brian Robinson Jr. (knee) joined Gibson in missing Wednesday's practice. Don't be surprised if Robinson sits out the finale as well. Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch says Patterson "seems likely to get a large share of work on Sunday." Washington also has RB Jonathan Williams on the active roster. Beware of using any Commanders offensive players in your Week 18 lineup.

Commanders RB Antonio Gibson (knee, foot) has been placed on IR, knocking him out for Sunday's finale vs. the Cowboys. Gibson had a few solid fantasy outings this season but was generally disappointing, finishing with 546 rushing yards and 3 TDs on 3.7 yards per carry and a 46-353-2 receiving line. He sits 30th among RBs in PPR points per game. Gibson turns 25 in June and is signed with Washington for 1 more season. He looks like no better than a RB3 in early 2023 fantasy drafts.

Commanders RB Antonio Gibson (knee, foot) didn't participate in practice on Wednesday. Fellow RB Brian Robinson (knee) also sat out. Hopefully, the pair can get back into action soon. Be sure to check back tomorrow regarding their health ahead of Week 18 vs. the Cowboys.

Commanders HC Ron Rivera announced rookie QB Sam Howell as the Week 18 starter vs. Dallas. It’ll be the 5th-round pick’s first career start. Howell's a poor bet to perform as a useful QB2, but take note that he posted 828 rushing yards -- 69 per game -- in his final season at UNC.

Commanders TE Logan Thomas hauled in 6 of 7 targets for 56 yards on Sunday vs. the Browns. This effort led all Commanders' pass-catchers in what was a rather poor offensive showing in the Week 17 loss. WR Jahan Dotson only managed to rope in 3 of 7 targets for 37 yards. WRs Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel combined for 3 catches between them and did not provide much fantasy value on Sunday. It'll be interesting to see if Commanders HC Ron Rivera hands the reigns back over to QB Taylor Heinicke for Week 18 vs. the Cowboys. That might be the only hope fantasy managers playing beyond this week have for this bunch.

Commanders RB Brian Robinson logged 24 carries for 87 rushing yards in Week 17's loss to the Browns. RB Jonathan Williams stepped up in the absence of teammate Antonio Gibson, carrying the ball 9 times for 30 yards in addition to 3 receptions for just as many yards through the air. Robinson has now totaled 20+ carries in 3 of his last 4 games. Fantasy managers playing into Week 18 will see the rookie go up against a fairly stout Cowboys defensive front next Sunday. Robinson carries RB2 status on volume alone.

Commanders DT Jonathan Allen left in the 1st half of Sunday's game against the Browns with a knee injury and has been ruled out for the day. We'll see about his status heading into Week 18.

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