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Countdown to 2021 fantasy football drafts: Antonio Gibson No. 22

Antonio Gibson comes in at 22 in our fantasy football rankings countdown to the 2021 NFL season.

Antonio Gibson #24 of the Washington Football Team carries the ball during the Washington Football Team training camp on July 28, 2021 in Richmond, Virginia.
Antonio Gibson of the Washington Football Team carries the ball during the Washington Football Team training camp on July 28, 2021 in Richmond, Virginia.
Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Antonio Gibson emerged as one of the more dynamic running backs during the pre-draft process. He was highly regarded by many teams as a possible mid-round selection, ultimately going to the Washington Football Team in the third round. Can Gibson build on a successful rookie season as Washington’s lead running back?

To commemorate the 2021 NFL season, we’ll be counting down the 75 best fantasy football players in the league. Picking a Top 75 is subjective, especially when you are projecting a whole season of accumulated fantasy points, but that’s part of the fun. We’ll assume what I see as an average league, which is 12 teams, .5 PPR scoring and a roster of 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, & 1RB/WR/TE. Kickers and defenses need not apply.

Change is the nature of the NFL beast, so trades and injuries will likely impact this list as we go along, but hey, this isn’t rocket science. We’re here to have a little fun and build up some much needed anticipation for a league cast in the shadow by baseball, soccer, hockey, etc. Sarcasm aside, the NFL is addictive and we’re here to give your daily fix as we close in on the season.

The official fantasy football drafting tiers can be found here.

No. 22, Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team, RB

Gibson broke out last season after finally taking over as the Washington Football Team’s starting running back, averaging 4.7 yards per carry. He also had 11 touchdowns, something he’ll look to replicate this coming season. Washington is expected to have a complicated quarterback situation throughout the year, meaning Gibson will likely get a lot of attempts as the team leans on the running game.

Competition for touches

The Football Team has several running back options with J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber, but Gibson will still be the lead back. Washington added Dyami Brown and Curtis Samuel to a receiving corps needing improvement, so there’s a possibility the team throws the ball more often than expected.

Team offensive expectations

This is going to be a tough offense to figure out. There’s several intriguing weapons on offense, but is Ryan Fitzpatrick going to be consistent at quarterback? The Football Team doesn’t have great fallback options if Fitzpatrick struggles. Gibson should be a solid fantasy option, but he’s likely going to see a lot of stacked boxes until Fitzpatrick proves he can carve teams up.

What’s his upside?

Volume is going to help Gibson’s stock tremendously. If Washington figures out its passing game as the season goes on, Gibson should become more and more effective. He’s the primary running back on the team, so that’ll always help his case.

What’s his downside?

If Washington’s aerial attack fails, Gibson will continue to see loaded boxes and defenses will key in on him. That’ll mean his effectiveness will likely go down, and he hasn’t shown the receiving chops necessary to make up for any lost production on the ground.

Projection

240 attempts, 1,150 yards, 9 touchdowns — 40 receptions, 300 yards, 3 touchdowns