Heading into Week 17 and fantasy football championships, an Antonio Gibson injury has made for an intriguing situation in Washington. With fantasy managers planning their lineups for the week ahead, does it look like Gibson will be available, and what are the fantasy implications of his potential status?
The Latest on Antonio Gibson’s Injury
We found out earlier in the week that Gibson was dealing with a sprain, but the exact nature of the injury was not revealed. However, on Wednesday, the Washington Commanders RB was absent from practice with a sprained ankle and knee. We have seen a similar combination of injuries keep San Francisco 49ers WR, Deebo Samuel, out for the past two weeks.
While the exact nature of the injury was not revealed, it would seem like an uphill battle for Gibson to play a major part in the offense in Week 17. Even if he ended up being active, it would be likely that Gibson would be relatively limited, or at least on a limited snap count.
Last week we saw Gibson’s offensive snap percentage drop from over 40% in each of the previous six weeks to just 29%. What we did see was Gibson having a higher usage rate on those snaps. He carried the ball five times and was targeted three times. He saw an opportunity on 38% of his snaps in Week 16 after seeing an opportunity on just 24% of his snaps in Week 15.
However, seeing just eight opportunities, after having just nine the week before makes it hard for Gibson to provide significant fantasy value. In the last four games, he has averaged just seven rushing attempts and 3.5 snaps per game. With that level of usage, you are relying on Gibson to break off a couple of big plays, or find the end zone to have starting-level fantasy returns in 12-team leagues.
Gibson very much appears to have lost the lead-back role to Brian Robinson Jr. The rookie RB has averaged 18.25 rushing attempts and 1.5 targets per game in the last four weeks. Despite not playing more than 50% of the offensive snaps in any of those four weeks, his usage has been significantly higher than that of Gibson.
If Gibson were to miss this week, we could expect to see even more playing time for Robinson. It is likely that Jonathan Williams would also be involved after he played 27% of the snaps and saw six opportunities last week. However, it would be Robinson that could be the big winner when it comes to fantasy output. If he plays over 50% of the offensive snaps in what could be a low-scoring game, he could touch the ball upwards of 25-30 times this week.
That is also really intriguing in Underdog Fantasy Best Ball formats, where Robinson could be a fantastic late-round selection. If Gibson ends up missing the game, Robinson could prove to be a contest winner for managers who draft him in Week 17.