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What to do with Antonio Gibson, Peyton Barber in Week 2 fantasy football

Antonio Gibson and Peyton Barber struggled to gain much yardage in the season opener. How should you handle Washington’s backfield heading into Week 2?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Football Team Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington running backs Antonio Gibson and Peyton Barber were unable to find much running room in the team’s upset win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The two combined to average just 2.5 yards per carry on the day. While Washington finished with 27 points, the point total is a bit misleading, as the team was set up with short fields multiple times and took advantage.

What will we see from Washington’s backfield heading into Week 2’s matchup against the Arizona Cardinals?

Fantasy Football analysis: Washington RBs Antonio Gibson, Peyton Barber

Barber received more touches than Gibson overall. However, Gibson was much more efficient statistically when he touched the ball. He rushed nine times for 36 yards, though 20 of those came on one carry. He also caught two passes for eight yards. Barber gained only 29 yards on 17 carries but had a much better fantasy performance with a pair of short-yardage touchdowns.

It’s clear Barber is the go-to guy when Washington gets close to the end zone, which is good to know for fantasy owners. We’ll see how well Washington’s offense performs and how often it will find itself in the red zone. If he keeps up that type of volume, the poor yards per carry from Week 1 should continue to improve.

Gibson ranked third among the team’s running backs in snaps behind Barber and JD McKissic, who carried the ball three times and lost two yards.

In Week 1 against the San Francisco 49ers, Arizona’s defense allowed 123 yards rushing including a 15-carry, 56-yard performance for Raheem Mostert.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Barber can be used as a third running back or flex play heading into Week 2, though he doesn’t offer much upside and could be touchdown dependent. Leave Gibson on the bench for now, but the rookie’s role should increase as the season moves along.