Antonio Gibson is a very intriguing dynasty asset to value entering the 2022 season. After a sophomore campaign that was not as good as fantasy managers expected, Gibson is hoping to truly break out in his third season. With the Washington Commanders’ offense looking to bounce back with Carson Wentz under center, how should dynasty fantasy football managers value Gibson going forward?
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Antonio Gibson’s dynasty profile for 2022
Gibson’s dynasty value is at a bit of a crossroads entering the 2022 season. We know he’s talented and has the skill set to be a three-down back. What we don’t know is if the Commanders will use him in that role.
For a brief moment at the start of free agency, Gibson was poised to become a three-down back. J.D. McKissic had announced his intent to sign with Buffalo, but then he had a change of heart and returned to Washington.
It is admittedly a bit of an indictment on Gibson that McKissic has this much of an impact on his fantasy value. At the same time, this is the reality of running backs in the NFL. So much is predicated on usage.
If Gibson is handed a feature role, he’s undervalued. If the Commanders use McKissic the same way they did last year, Gibson’s upside is capped due to a limited passing-game role. How should dynasty managers value Gibson in 2022 and beyond?
Fantasy projection for Gibson
Gibson averaged 14.7 PPR fantasy points per game as a rookie. He played well, and there was a natural expectation of improvement in his second season. Gibson averaged 14.7 ppg again. It’s not a bad average by any means, but managers were expecting more.
The unfortunate reality is McKissic matters — a lot. Fantasy managers got a glimpse of what improvement might look like in the five games McKissic missed. In those games, Gibson averaged 16.9 ppg against 14 ppg in the 11 contests he played with McKissic.
The biggest reason for the disparity is receiving work. Gibson averaged just 3 targets per game in his 11 games with McKissic but saw 4.6 without him. Receptions are what separate the great fantasy running backs from the elite ones. Gibson’s ceiling is capped if he can’t command more passing-game work.
It’s entirely possible McKissic’s role is reduced, and Gibson plays more in clear passing situations. If that’s the case, then Gibson is undervalued. However, I expect McKissic to play the exact same role he played last season. Thus, Gibson is more of a high RB2 than an RB1.
What is Gibson’s future beyond 2022?
Gibson is still just 24 years old. He should remain an effective running back for at least another 4-5 years. McKissic’s new deal is for two years, though. That keeps him in Washington through the end of Gibson’s rookie contract. As a result, Gibson’s short-term value takes a bit of a hit.
Long term, there’s definitely a concern that Gibson gets slapped with a two-down back label despite the fact that he played WR in college and is clearly a good receiver. Even if Gibson leaves Washington, if he goes the full length of his rookie contract without ever being a three-down back, it’s unlikely a new team will sign him to be one.
What can fantasy managers expect from Gibson?
Gibson is a tricky one for dynasty managers. He’s young enough to be part of a rebuild but productive enough to be part of win-now rosters. If you have Gibson, whether you should hang onto him or trade him away should be entirely dependent upon how he’s valued in your league. The same goes for those without Gibson exploring a potential trade for him.
If someone out there values him more than you do, he may be best utilized as the centerpiece of a trade. At the same time, if you view Gibson more favorably than his current manager — who may be concerned about McKissic — acquiring him at a reduced price is very much worth it.