Fantasy Football 2023 season review: Patience with Jahmyr Gibbs was richly rewarded

Jahmyr Gibbs started fairly slowly as a rookie, but if his fantasy football owners were patient it paid off big.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Early in the 2023 season, the fantasy football community was up in arms about how little the Detroit Lions were using Jahmyr Gibbs. Over his first four games, he had 249 total yards and zero total touchdowns while averaging 9.7 full PPR fantasy points per game. Then he missed two games with a hamstring injury.

From there, Week 7 on, Gibbs took off with 766 rushing yards (5.4 yards per carry), 246 receiving yards (38 catches) and 11 total touchdowns (10 rushing) over the final 11 games of the season. Then he scored a touchdown in all three of the Lion's playoff games, averaging 17.6 fantasy points per game in those games (full PPR). That was a uptick over the 16.1 fantasy points per game he averaged during the regular season (RB8 by fantasy points per game in full PPR).

Overall, through Week 17, Gibbs finished as the RB8 in full PPR, the RB9 in 0.5-point PPR and the RB11 in standard fantasy scoring. The patience fantasy owners who drafted him had, provided they didn't panic and sell-low, was richly rewarded-maybe with a league title.

Fantasy Football season review: Patience with Jahmyr Gibbs was rewarded

As we've done with Sam LaPorta and Jared Goff, let's go week-by-week through Gibbs' rookie season with his fantasy finish (0.5-point PPR).

Week 1: RB36
Week 2: RB24
Week 3: RB23
Week 4: RB29
Week 5: DNP
Week 6: DNP
Week 7: RB3
Week 8: RB2
Week 9: Bye
Week 10: RB1 (tied)
Week 11: RB6 (tied)
Week 12: RB25
Week 13: RB30
Week 14: RB14
Week 15: RB3
Week 16: RB3
Week 17: RB48

Week 18: RB27

That big dud against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17 was definitely poorly-timed for Gibbs' fantasy managers. But from Week 7-17, Gibbs was the RB3 across the board; 0.5-PPR, full PPR and standard. In the fantasy playoffs (Week 14-17), he was RB5, RB6 and RB5 in those scoring formats respectively. And that was with a downturn in his passing game usage (18 targets from Week 13-17, with seven in one game).

Five top-five weekly finishes, and another in the top-10, propelled Gibbs' fantasy owners from Week 7 on. Even during the early season low-point in usage, Gibbs finished as an RB2 or a flex each of those weeks.

Gibbs did see more goal line work as the season went along, but eight of his 14 total touchdowns (including the playoffs) were from 10-plus yards out. So there's the prospect of some regression there looking to 2024, but he'll still be one of the first 10 running backs off the board in fantasy drafts. In dynasty formats, there's a strong case for Gibbs as the RB1 right now.


Next. Detroit Lions 7-round pre-Super Bowl mock draft: Targeting needs without hesitation. Detroit Lions 7-round pre-Super Bowl mock draft: Targeting needs without hesitation. dark