Jahmyr Gibbs 2023 Fantasy Profile
Most people thought Bijan Robinson was going to be the only slam-dunk rookie running back going into the draft, but that all changed when the Lions took Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th overall pick. He was originally thought of as a late-first-rounder or early-second-rounder by most scouts and analysts, and his shocking rise into the top-12 has led to him getting some real hype for fantasy purposes in both redraft and dynasty league formats.
Gibbs transferred to Alabama in 2022 after playing the first two seasons of his college career with Georgia Tech. He didn’t disappoint in his one and only season with the Crimson Tide, rushing for 926 yards and seven touchdowns on 6.1 yards per carry while also catching 44 passes for 444 yards and three touchdowns on the course of the year. He was Alabama’s most explosive skill position player, and he was used in a very versatile role that will allow him to fit into almost any scheme in the NFL.
Rookie Betting Odds
There are only a few NFL rookies every year that stand out as potential offensive rookie of the year candidates, and Gibbs is one of them. Currently, everyone from Las Vegas sportsbooks to Bitcoin sports betting websites has the Falcons’ first-round pick, RB Bijan Robinson as the leader in winning that award this year, but one could argue that the void left by Jamaal Williams (1,066 rushing yards and 18 total TDs) puts Gibbs is in a prime spot to score a lot this season.
As I publish this article, Gibbs ranks 6th with +1400 odds to be the ORTY. I’m guessing as we inch closer to the start of the NFL season, more people will hop of the Lions bandwagon, and those betting odds will shift.
The 21-year-old is very capable as a rusher, but he really makes his hay as a pass catcher. Alabama liked to use him in a role that is well suited for his skill set, and that included a lot of screen passes, dump-offs, and designed routes for him coming out of the backfield. With the ball in his hands, he has elite breakaway speed and is a threat to bring any touch to the house. He plays with a level of explosiveness and versatility that made him almost unguardable throughout his collegiate career.
Jahmyr Gibbs’ ranks as a pass catcher since 2020:
🔥 1,215 Yards (2nd)
🔥 8 Touchdowns (1st)
🔥 39 Missed Tackles Forced (1st)
🔥 92.6 PFF Grade (1st) pic.twitter.com/upejrpIMk1
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 12, 2023
In the pre-draft process, he continued to impress. He ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine (second highest among RBs) and did well in the on-field drills. Gibbs was able to reinforce all of the skills that he displayed on tape, and everything he did led to the Lions going all in on him and taking him at pick 12, which is much higher than any pre-draft projections had him.
— Justin Riley (@JustinRiley7) March 5, 2023
The path to fantasy stardom is clear for Jahmyr Gibbs. He ended up landing in a near-perfect scenario for him in addition to the elite draft capital that the team used to acquire him. Detroit is also clearly enamored with his talent. They traded away former second-round pick D’Andre Swift following the draft to clear up the depth chart for Gibbs, and viewers could clearly see the team’s executives and coaching staff get very excited about landing him where most teams would’ve considered him a “reach”.
Jahmyr Gibbs said recently that he “originally thought” he was going to be selected in the 20’s.
Gibbs also said the Lions pick was “pretty shocking” to him.
However, the Lions knew they made the right pick.
This video says it ALL 🔥 pic.twitter.com/W0NgC7kHwa
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) April 28, 2023
He already has immense support from the coaching staff and elite-level talent, but beyond that, he finds himself in a great situation on the depth chart. The team’s top two RB’s last year, D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams, are both no longer a part of the team. They brought in David Montgomery in free agency to help fill some of the void that Williams’ absence leaves on the offense, and his power-back type of run style is a good compliment to Gibbs’ speed and explosiveness. The team seems to want to use him as a “Swiss Army Knife” type of player who can do it all for their offense. He’ll play out of the backfield as a traditional rusher, he’ll get designed routes coming out of the backfield, and he will also find himself in the slot or even out wide as a pass catcher from time to time. Early ADP lists currently have his value lower than I think it will be before fantasy drafts. He’s rarely listed as a top-15 RB in rankings for 2023, so he could end up being a steal in drafts if his ADP remains close to where it’s at, especially in PPR formats.
For all of the reasons mentioned above, Gibbs is also one of the hottest commodities in the dynasty landscape. His stock rose dramatically after being taken higher than projected in the NFL Draft, and that has led to him having an ADP of 2.5 and being the second running back off the board in most rookie drafts, behind only Atlanta’s Bijan Robinson. He’s tied with WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba as the most common player to go second overall in rookie drafts, and his projected fantasy output more than justifies that. The decision between taking Gibbs or Smith-Njigba should come down to the outlook of the team making the call. If a team is good enough to compete for a title now, they should opt for the instant production that comes with drafting Gibbs. If a dynasty team is rebuilding, however, it may be wiser to take Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who will likely have better longevity as a fantasy asset.
Leo Sells is a passionate fan for the Patriots and 76ers, and he has been playing fantasy sports for over five years. In addition to writing articles about sports and winning his fantasy football leagues, Leo likes to play sports and spend time with his family and friends doing outdoor activities, such as hiking or fishing.