With the Super Bowl behind us, it's time to turn our attention to the NFL Draft and the incoming 2023 rookie class. Chris Allen discusses the pros and cons of Jahmyr Gibbs Robinson as a dynasty prospect and whether the hype is warranted.

Jahmyr Gibbs

Fantasy Outlook

No Swift. No problem.

If I had written this after Day 1 of the draft, there'd be less confidence in the projection. D'Andre Swift's presence, along with David Montgomery, limited Gibbs' expected touch count to early-down work at best. Now, the Alabama product has free reign over two-minute snaps and obvious passing downs. And Jared Goff could use the help.

Kalif Raymond, D.J. Chark, and Swift were the three pass-catchers behind Amon-Ra St. Brown in targets on third and fourth down.  And only Raymond will be back in Detroit this season. With a clear path to rushing attempts and targets from Goff, Gibbs should slot into the weekly RB2 conversation ahead of training camp. 

Way-too-early 2023 rank: Low-end RB2

It should be no surprise why NFL scouts and coaches are interested in the Alabama product. He can do it all. In his final season, you could find Gibbs on the SEC top-10 leaderboards for rushing yards, touchdowns, and kickoff return yards per attempt. His sudden acceleration made Gibbs a threat as a rusher but also as a receiver.

Bijan Robinson will hold the attention of every fantasy manager regardless of format, but Jahmyr Gibbs's skillset should not get lost in his shadow


Explosive Runner

Gibbs resolved any questions about his speed at the NFL Combine. After running a 4.36 40-yard dash, his athletic score matches the tape. He consistently displayed his patience and ability to process running angles to create explosives for Alabama. Of Gibbs’s 850 rushing yards in 2022, 466 came on attempts generating more than 15+ yards on the play. But I realize the volatility associated with such a stat. 

Gibbs notched a 27.2% explosive run rate, ranking him seventh among his positional classmates. But, as I mentioned, it was just one year after transferring to Alabama. Working behind the Crimson Tide’s offensive line allowed Gibbs to average the sixth-most yards before contact (2.93). So, a two-year sample, with any level of stability between seasons, would highlight Gibbs’s burst and vision. And he showed those skills in his final year at Georgia Tech.

Gibbs’s two-year explosive run rate sits at 24.0% ahead of other prospects getting early-round buzz, like Robinson (23.0%) and Auburn’s Tank Bigsby (22.0%). While we can’t expect to see him dashing into the end zone every week at the NFL level, he could quickly carve out a role on third downs and two-minute scenarios.

Efficient Receiver

Gibbs in open space was a nightmare for defenders. He can shift gears without notice creating highlight reels to watch on repeat. But his down-to-down efficiency gets avoided like the players trying to tackle him. However, he’s hard to miss when compared to his peers.

gibbs stats

 Gibbs’s had the team's third-highest targets per route run in 2022 (0.21). Against the other RBs in the class, he’s tied for first, and his efficiency as a receiver commanded more looks. Only Kenny McIntosh (2.42) has more yards per route run (YPRR) than Gibbs at 1.62. And with a positive aDOT (1.3), it’s safe to assume Gibbs has some route running to his game.

With concerns about his size, Gibbs can work alongside an early-down plodder and still be a valuable fantasy asset as a rookie. And as a functional runner, using zone-blocking concepts would enable teams to rotate him in without tipping their hand.


Doesn’t Fit An Every-Down Mold

Uncreative coaches or GMs might have a tough time slotting Gibbs into their offense due to his size. At 5’9” and 199 lbs., questions about his pass-blocking or if he can churn out extra yards will come up over the next month. And Gibbs will have a tough time answering them.

I took a two-year sample, and Gibbs fell into the bottom half in a couple of key metrics. His inability to fight through first contact wasn’t a constant issue, but you can find some plays he’d want back

However, stats like yards after contact (YAC) per attempt and forced missed tackle rate doesn’t correlate to fantasy success. And his coaches at the next level will aid in his development to work through arm tackles and pick up those critical 1-2 yards. Ultimately, it comes down to which team selects him before we can speculate on his role.

Fantasy Impact

We all know what we’re getting with Gibbs as a prospect. His high-end receiving skillset instantly puts him on the mid-range RB2 radar, as his Underdog ADP sits at the 5-6 turn. Plus, his minor deficiencies as a rusher won’t typecast him as a change-of-pace back only. 

We've talked endlessly about rookie running backs making an immediate impact, so go get your hands on Gibbs in your UnderDog drafts and get a 100% deposit match of up to $100 below.

His dual-threat talent solidifies him as the RB2 for this class in dynasty formats. Few have the same blend of fluidity and burst necessary to carry early-round opportunity cost in rookie drafts. But his landing spot will give us more insight into projected usage, as any concerns about his size will be made clear by whichever veterans he gets paired with to start his career.

Dynasty Rookie Profile