Fantasy football profile: Detroit Lions rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Lions were not the most ideal fantasy landing spot for him, but what might Jahmyr Gibbs deliver for his fantasy managers as a rookie?

As the second-best running back in this year’s draft class, at least for most people, Jahmyr Gibbs was a potential first-round pick. Indeed, the Detroit Lions took him at No. 12 overall.

As expected, the Lions followed drafting by trading D’Andre Swift to the Philadelphia Eagles on Day 3 of the draft. So Gibbs is lined up for the role vacated by Swift, alongside/behind new lead back David Montgomery.

Even with Montgomery being a more complete back than the departed Jamaal Williams, there is room for Gibbs to be a passing-game rooted weapon in the Lions’ offense.

And Gibbs is a legit passing game weapon. He had 44 catches for Alabama last season, over three college seasons (two at Georgia Tech) he averaged 11.8 yards per catch. In 2021 at Georgia Tech, he averaged 14.1 yards after the catch per reception.

2023 Fantasy Football profile: Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs

Fantasy Pros expert consensus rankings, 0.5-point PPR and updated May 2, has Gibbs (RB21)  four spots ahead of Montgomery (RB25). The rookie stays ahead of Montgomery in the same rankings for full PPR (RB25 vs. RB28) and standard (RB20 vs. RB26).

Even as the driver of the Montgomery fantasy bandwagon for this year, and however that skews my thinking, Gibbs as a RB2 while Montgomery is pushed down to high-end RB3 territory for a 12-team league is a little rich for me on Gibbs.

Let’s do a 2023 projection for Gibbs.

150 carries for 710 yards, four rushing touchdowns; 53 receptions for 529 yards, three touchdowns

That’s 165.9 full PPR fantasy points, which would have been exactly RB28 in full PPR last year (Antonio Gibson). Sounds about right for Gibbs’ rookie year fantasy outlook–a RB3/flex option, with more appeal in PPR formats.

Gibbs obviously has appeal in dynasty leagues, possibly as the No. 2 rookie overall behind Bijan Robinson. But as long as Montgomery is healthy, the fantasy upside is just not that great for Gibbs in re-draft leagues for 2023.

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