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What to do with Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic in the Wild Card round of the 2021 NFL playoffs

We go over the fantasy football and DFS outlook of Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic ahead of Washington’s Wild Card matchup against the Bucs in the 2021 NFL Playoffs.

Antonio Gibson #24 of the Washington Football Team walks off the field after the game against the Carolina Panthers at FedExField on December 27, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Washington’s offense is really going to have its work cut out for it in Saturday’s Wild Card game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Not only is the Football Team dealing with a tough defense, it’s starting quarterback is limping into this one with a calf injury and may have be part of a rotation with his backup. So the running backs should at least be decent fantasy options, right? Well, yes and no.

Fantasy Football analysis: Washington RBs Antonio Gibson ($5,700), J.D. McKissic ($4,800)

Gibson’s dealing with an injury too, turf toe. He was able to push through it for the last two weeks of the regular season, rolling up 75 yards on 19 carries in the finale. He’ll be leading the rushing attack again this week. With Gibson healthy enough to play over the last two weeks, J.D. McKissic saw his rushing attempts plunge to just two in the last two games of the season. However, he’s been incredibly productive since Week 13, thanks in large part to his role catching passes out of the backfield. Until last week, he’s had at least 76 total yards in each game since Week 13.

The problem with Gibson’ fantasy status this week is that the Bucs defense is really good against the run, second best per DraftKings rankings. They’re allowing just 3.36 yards per carry to opposing running back this season. Worse, it’s likely that Washington, as eight-point underdogs aren’t likely to have the luxury of running the ball much in the later half of this one.

The weak spot in Tampa’s defense is that it’s been extraordinarily generous to running backs as receivers. No other team has allowed as many receptions to the position this year. And with McKissic as a nice safety valve for Washington’s iffy quarterbacks, it gives him a lot of nice upside in fantasy this week.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

I would avoid Antonio Gibson in standard fantasy formats this week, while J.D. McKissic makes a nice RB3 or Flex. I really like McKissic as a DFS play here; he’s cheap and likely to produce. You’re overpaying for Gibson.