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Antonio Gibson Signs with Patriots, Fantasy Impact

NFL Fantasy

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(FTN Fantasy is reacting to all the big fantasy news of the offseason! Follow along in our transaction tracker.)

The wild opening day of the NFL’s legal tampering period continued Monday, with Antonio Gibson leaving the Washington Commanders to sign with the New England Patriots. He’ll likely serve as the backup to Rhamondre Stevenson in New England.

 

Gibson, who turns 26 in June, spent the first four years of his career in Washington after being drafted in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. His best season came in 2021, when he set career highs in carries (258) and rushing yards (1,037) though he’s done more as a receiver in each of the last two seasons than his 42 receptions on 52 targets for 294 yards in 2021. 

The 2023 season was Gibson’s worst as a rusher, thanks in large part to Brian Robinson‘s breakout. Gibson was limited to just 65 carries for 265 yards and a touchdown last year as Robinson started 15 games and garnered 178 carries. Gibson responded with career highs in targets (59), receptions (48) and receiving yards (389).

In New England, Gibson will likely backup Rhamondre Stevenson. That’s not a good thing for Gibson, as Stevenson is more of a pass-catcher than Robinson has proven to be, so the pass-catching work might stick with the starter more than it did in Washington. On the other hand, New England’s lack of impact receivers might mean the backfield gets more to do in the passing game, so it could be a wash. Gibson’s arrival does hurt Stevenson’s upside, setting him up for an unexciting RB2 role in fantasy in 2024.

Meanwhile, Gibson leaving Washington opens the door up for Brian Robinson to be a bell cow or close in 2024. The only other backs on the roster are Chris Rodriguez and Derrick Gore, and neither is set up to be much more than roster depth. We’ll see what else the Commanders do over the course of the offseason, but as things shape up as of Monday, Robinson could be the biggest climber in fantasy at the position, with an RB1 finish not out of the question.

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