In The Blitz, RotoViz writers react to the latest news and help you place it within the context of our 2020 research and recommendations.
Third-round rookie hybrid Antonio Gibson has been making headlines all season. His role in college as both a wide receiver and running back highlights his dynamic playmaking ability. Just flip on his tape, and you’ll see his explosive versatility on full display. The one big question surrounding Gibson came from his workload. To say it was limited would be putting it nicely. However, after his most recent performance, it’s safe to say that Gibson is a rising star in the league.
Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson ran wild on Thanksgiving, rewarding fantasy managers with a cornucopia of points. The rookie rusher turned 20 carries into 115 yards and three touchdowns, the second time this season he’s rushed for 100-plus yards versus Dallas. Gibson wasn’t done there, however, as the former wide receiver added 21 receiving yards on five catches. Gibson now has eight touchdowns in his last five games while taking over the Washington backfield with at least 15 touches in three straight games. He’ll have a tough matchup next week versus the Steelers, but Gibson is a matchup-proof RB1 who should be locked into starting lineups.
Limited College Production, Elite NFL Talent
If you haven’t heard before, here it is: Gibson totaled just 77 touches in college. That’s it. In the grand scheme of college production profiles, that’s not much to go on. However, Gibson did quite a bit with those touches. He racked up 14 total touchdowns (rushing & receiving) and was incredibly dynamic and efficient with the ball in his hands. The biggest concern for him wasn’t athleticism but a lack of experience on the field.
Through Week 12, it’s safe to say that Gibson has acclimated well to the NFL. He already has six RB1 weeks and is averaging just shy of 17 points/game. Even crazier, there’s ample room for him to grow in this offense. He’s starting to see more third down and receiving work, and his snap share has plenty of room to go up as well. It’s only been part of one season, but he’s looking like the steal of the 2020 draft.
Gibson made an appearance in an excellent pre-season piece by Travis May, The Top 100 Rookies For 2020: 21-40. Here is what he had to say about Gibson,
“There’s one player I’m going to be leaving just about every rookie draft with, and his name is Antonio Gibson. Why? As a receiver, he was a highly efficient deep threat averaging nearly 20 yards per reception. As a rusher, he was an explosive 15-plus yard gain waiting to happen, taking each carry for an average of 11.2 yards. But now with Washington, Gibson is a running back. And his size/speed combo as a running back gives him an even more absurd freak score. Worst-case scenario, he’s an amped-up feature-back-sized Chris Thompson in Year 1. But if Derrius Guice misses more time with injury, he’s taking the lead job and never letting it go.”
Gibson is averaging over 16 opportunities/game on the season and has seen a bump in targets in recent weeks as well. Fantasy managers are likely out of time to acquire him for a reasonable price in dynasty leagues, but he falls into the “buy high” category for me. He’s scratching the surface of his potential and workhorse role on an offense lacking a long-term answer at quarterback. You may have missed buying Gibson when he was inexpensive, but he’s still likely cheaper now than he will be next offseason.