Commanders RB Antonio Gibson's fantasy upside
If the Washington Commanders want to alleviate pressure on their rookie quarterback Sam Howell in 2023, they must find a way to establish the run. This opens things up, keeps any defense honest, and will also make things easier for their revamped offensive line within Eric Bieniemy's expansive scheme.
The Commanders have a three-headed backfield monster capable of putting up numbers. Brian Robinson Jr. is expected to be the lead back after impressing as a rookie, with sixth-round selection Chris Rodriguez Jr. hand-picked by Bieniemy and could earn involvement as the campaign progresses.
There is also the presence of Antonio Gibson to factor into the equation. Ron Rivera has already laid out his intent about getting the dual-threat more touches, with his pass-catching prowess something that could be maximized by Bieniemy's creative play-calling.
Gibson was named as a potential bounce-back candidate by Jonathan Macri from Pro Football Focus via SB Nation recently. But this all centers on the promise of increased looks coming to fruition.
"[Antonio] Gibson missed just two games in 2022 but finished as the RB28 in PPR scoring, which was a significant fall after finishing as RB8 and RB14 in 2021 and 2020, respectively. So, what changed? The first thing that stands out was fewer opportunities for snaps with Gibson going from a 57% snap share in 2021 down to 46% in 2022. This was a result of the team going away from him as a ball carrier, as he saw over 100 fewer carries this past season. This also led to a significant drop-off in how often he touched the ball overall, as he went from a 51.5% touch rate in 2021 to 41.0% in 2022, which was clearly significant for his overall fantasy finish."- Jonathan Macri via SB Nation
The former Memphis star has the talent, has already gone over 1,000 rushing yards during his career, and will be extra motivated in a contract year. If Gibson takes a step forward and Robinson also thrives, the Commanders will be onto something.