The Washington Commanders have an intriguing competition brewing in their backfield, but for the start of the season at least, the RB1 seems certain. Antonio Gibson seemingly lost his grip on the starting spot in the preseason after rookie Brian Robinson burst onto the scene. After the latter suffered an injury that will keep him sidelined through at least Week 4, Gibson comfortably shoulders the bulk of the carries as he faces the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1.
Fantasy Football analysis: Commanders RB Antonio Gibson
Gibson had a successful 2021 campaign in Washington that resulted in him finishing as a top-10 fantasy running back, with an average of 14.3 fantasy points per game. He totaled 258 carries for 1,307 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Gibson was also featured in the passing game, adding 42 receptions for 294 yards and three touchdowns. In PPR leagues, Gibson proved to be a contributor throughout the season.
Week 1 against the Jaguars should prove just as fruitful, with Jacksonville's defense proving to be particularly favorable to fantasy running backs. The Jaguars averaged 19.5 fantasy points surrendered to opposing running backs per game in 2021, which was the 11th most among all NFL defenses. While the Jaguars added the number one overall pick in Travon Walker up front, they will need to prove they are more than just an improved defense on paper.
Start or sit in Week 1?
If Brian Robinson were logging snaps in the backfield then Gibson would be a sit in Week 1. Until the rookie is healthy once again, Gibson should slide back into the RB1 spot that found him success in 2021. Gibson averaged 4.0 yards per carry for Washington last season, and with a better quarterback under center, the opportunities for him to run down the middle should be greater in 2022. Start Gibson in your fantasy lineups for Week 1, whether in PPR or standard scoring leagues.