When the Detroit Lions took running back Jahmyr Gibbs No. 12 overall in April's draft, it came with an inherent idea they would use him a lot--lest it be a waste of such premium draft capital. Namely, he showed himself to be a dynamic pass catcher in college, and there are real possibilities in that area. He can be the "Lightning" to David Montgomery's "Thunder" in an upgraded Lions' backfield.
Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson spoke to the media on Saturday. He revealed an interesting source for a play design he may actually use, and eventually delivered a punch line about Gibbs.
Not to be a buzzkill, but there are only so many different ways Gibbs can be used. He's not lining up as a tight end, well probably not, and it's not like he'll play offensive line. So that leaves different spots in the backfield, and lining him in the slot or out wide as a receiver. Maybe run him on some reverse action, where he gets the ball or not, or line him up as a Wildcat quarterback?
Ben Johnson's comment on Jahmyr Gibbs gets automatic reaction from fantasy football community
The responses to Tim Twentyman's tweet show some of how the fantasy football community responded to Johnson's Gibbs' comment. But here's a more direct sample.
Of course, as much as some may be called a buzz kill regarding Gibbs' rookie season fantasy outlook, there were some who saw Johnson's words for what they amounted to be--"coach speak." However, Gibbs' deployment in part of one preseason game is not all that useful to note as an indicator of the plan to use him when games count.
Per Fantasy Pros, as draft season obviously winds down, Gibbs is encroaching on RB1 territory in Yahoo! ADP (RB13, 0.5-point PPR) and he's there in ESPN ADP (RB12, full PPR). And according to Fantasy Football Calculator, his ADP in 12-team PPR leagues has risen a full round (pick 5.04 to pick 4.01) over about the last month.
The fantasy buzz around Gibbs had become more grounded, as industry drafts took place and a reality check set in. Then Johnson said what he said, and stoked the fire again.