He has to show it on the field, but the Detroit Lions and the majority of fans are glad to have Jahmyr Gibbs effectively replacing D'Andre Swift. The unknown is interesting in that sense, and the draft capital spent on him (maybe you heard he was the 12th overall pick?) points to the Lions having a big role in mind for the rookie running back.
Gibbs' clearest path to production, and fantasy football production, as a rookie will be through the passing game. Swift is leaving behind a nice target share, and after Amon-Ra St. Brown there are questions about the pecking order for targets in what should be a good Lions' offense.
There is plenty of optimism, fantasy or otherwise, for Gibbs as a rookie. Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus predicted double-digit touchdowns for him--presumably total touchdowns. NFL.com's Adam Schein went all the way in to boldly predict Gibbs will lead all running backs in touchdowns this season. Not just rookie running backs....all running backs.
Fantasy Football 2023: Is Jahmyr Gibbs stretching into being overrated in drafts?
Full PPR: RB13, No. 38 overall
0.5-point PPR: RB15, No. 36 overall
Standard: RB15, No. 37 overall
So Gibbs is going as a RB2 and in the late third or early fourth round. Those current ADPs line up closely with a recent RB16 (full PPR) projection from Jason Katz of Pro Football Network. But Katz also sees a path to a top-10 finish for Gibbs, within historical context for the points per game average he would need in most of recent years.
"Given that my projection is just 0.8 ppg short of the number we’re looking for, there’s no denying Gibbs has top-10 potential. It’s also not overly difficult to see how he gets there."- Jason Katz, Pro Football Network
With the nod to David Montgomery limiting Gibbs' touchdown potential, Katz went back into how Gibbs can finish as a top-10 fantasy running back this year.
"Even without more touchdowns, Gibbs can still find his way to a top-10 finish, too. All it would take is a few more receptions or a few more carries. Gibbs could very easily see 12 carries a game as opposed to the 9.7 I’ve projected him for. He also could see a similar to target share to Swift, especially considering the Lions’ lack of options in the passing game behind Amon-Ra St. Brown."- Jason Katz, Pro Football Network
Going a little further, analyst Alex Caruso sees the potential for Gibbs to be a top-5 running back this year. And frankly, it's not a screaming hot take--just a little aggressive.
Gibbs is a likely to be an appealing third or fourth round target for fantasy owners who go WR-WR in the first two rounds of a draft. And there's certainly upside to see. But to have him as your RB2, in the first 15 running backs to go off the board in a draft, is to draft him close to the top end of his range of outcomes. Even if you think he can finish top-10 at the position, you're drafting him as more than a coin-flip proposition to do that.
Strictly in re-draft leagues this year, Gibbs is someone fantasy owners will be in or out on at his current ADP--with very little in-between. I'll continue to stump for Montgomery as the better draft value among Lions' running backs, in RB3 range by ADP going back a couple months.
If Gibbs' ADP rises even a little more moving forward, to an RB1 spot (RB12) across scoring formats, that should be a little rich for most fantasy owners. For some, it won't be and they'll take him as their RB1 if that's what it takes to get him (ideally in a PPR league).
Gibbs is not quite to overrated/likely to be overdrafted territory just yet. But he's toeing the line, and any positive camp buzz could push him over it. His ADP trend, such as it may even move noticeably, will be worth watching in the coming weeks.