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Speaking with NFL Network's Peter Schrager, Lions GM Brad Holmes assessed his new backfield. "When you look at it systematically, I do think we'll be better offensively," Holmes said. "That's no knock on the contributions that those other two guys gave us. [D’Andre] Swift is a dynamic player and Jamaal [Williams] was a great leader for us, and he did so much for us. He had a great season. But I think [David] Montgomery and Jahmyr [Gibbs] are different backs. Montgomery does a little bit more in the passing game. And being able to add Gibbs, he's just so dynamic as a receiver. Look, he's a home run hitter as a running back, that's the easy part. What he does as a receiver -- he runs routes like a receiver." Holmes added that Gibbs is a “special weapon” who reminds him of Christian McCaffrey and Marshall Faulk. See where both Lions sit in our 2023 RB rankings.

Recent Shark Bites

Lions RB Jahmyr Gibbs totaled 13 carries for 30 rushing yards and a TD in Week 18 vs. the Vikings. Though the rookie ultimately fell short of the 1,000 rushing yard mark in 2023, he posted tremendous numbers as a pass-catcher. Gibbs finishes the season ranked seventh in targets (71), tied for eighth in receptions (52), and 16th in receiving yards (316) among all RBs. His combination of rushing and receiving acumen in Detroit’s high-powered offense makes a very strong case for Gibbs to be considered among the elite RBs in dynasty formats entering his age-22 season in 2024.

The box score says RBs Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery split work evenly in Sunday's Lions loss at Chicago. Gibbs carried 11 times (for 66 yards and a TD) to 10 for Montgomery (66 yards). His 4 targets led Montgomery by just one, while the pair each caught three passes. But Gibbs played 41 snaps to Montgomery's 23, according to Pro Football Focus. Nearly all of that edge came in the passing game, with Gibbs running 24 routes to Montgomery's 8. What's that mean? You shouldn't trust those 3 Montgomery receptions. It marked the first time this season that Montgomery has caught more than two passes and just the second time he has drawn more than 2 targets. You should also expect Gibbs to get more playing time when Detroit plays from behind. That game script wasn't predictable for a contest the Lions entered as 3-point favorites Sunday. We also wouldn't bet on Denver jumping well ahead of Detroit in Week 15 or Minnesota doing so in Week 16. But a Week 17 visit to Dallas will likely find the Lions as underdogs. Both RBs should be solid fantasy options for the next two weeks. Week 17 figures to find Gibbs well ahead of Montgomery in our rankings.

The Lions continued to split backfield work between RBs David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs in Week 12. Montgomery beat the rookie 2-0 in goal line carries, leading to a 6-yard score up the gut. Overall, Montgomery out-carried Gibbs 15-11, with Gibbs continuing to lead the way in the passing game (8 targets). Struggles from QB Jared Goff -- as well as one drop -- limited Gibbs' impact to 4 catches for 19 yards. Week 13 turns up a tough date at New Orleans, followed by plus matchups against Chicago and Denver. Overall, we're not changing our outlook for this backfield.

Lions RB Jahmyr Gibbs racked up 112 total yards and 2 TDs in the 41-38 Week 10 win over the Chargers. He looked as explosive as ever, ripping off five gains of 10+ yards. And Gibbs' usage was even more exciting than the fantasy production. The rookie out-carried RB David Montgomery 14-12 and out-targeted him 5-0. Gibbs even out-carried Montgomery 4-2 inside the Chargers' 10-yard line, punching in a pair of 1-yard TDs. One game does not make a trend, but we're expecting this type of backfield split to continue going forward. Gibbs has simply been awesome the past few games -- and the Lions did spend the 12th overall pick of this year's draft on him. If Gibbs can continue to get somewhere around 50% of the total carries and goal-line carries, while also dominating passing-down work, he'll have a good chance to score as a fantasy RB1 the rest of the way.

Lions HC Dan Campbell talked about his plans for the backfield now that RBs David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs are healthy again. “We know what David can do, but we know that Gibbs has gotten better every week, so we’re going to ask those guys to do the things they do well and that help our offense move the football,” Campbell said. “I don’t think, necessarily sitting here talking to you right now, that I see Gibbs getting 65 plays. I don’t see that. But he’s going to get his fair share now. We know what he can be and he’s growing. I think it’ll be a little bit by committee and make sure we get those guys their touches. Gibbs will get his touches.” It sure sounds like Gibbs has earned an increased role after his huge Week 8 performance. But we're still expecting Montgomery to handle the majority of the between-the-tackles and goal-line work. This offense and running game is good enough to support two weekly fantasy starters.

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