Yahoo Fantasy’s Matt Harmon and Dalton Del Don dive into Washington head coach Ron Rivera’s recent comparison for the rookie from Memphis and examine if the running back could succeed in the nation’s capital.
MATT HARMON: Just because the off season is weird this year doesn't mean coach speak is out of the window. And in today's edition, we have Washington coach Ron Rivera says Antonio Gibson has a skill set like Christian McCaffrey. Always cool when, as you know, at like a third round rookie, you're being compared to one of the best players in all of football.
Rivera, obviously, has familiarity with Christian McCaffrey, because he coached him in Carolina. But how do you see this Washington backfield shaking out? Like by the way, I think Gibson is going to play running back, but there is a lot of-- I feel like this is a backfield that maybe the answer is all out of void, but rarely can you really pull that off in fantasy. Is there anything you're interested in this backfield with that just has a hodgepodge of guys?
DALTON DEL DON: So first of all, to be clear, I don't watch college football. So I just trust people that do, and I follow their advice. That said, I wanted Antonio Gibson in this best ball draft, and it wasn't allowed. Because it's the first and only time where someone with multi-eligibility hurt his fantasy value, because I was capped out in my max running backs. I'm going to remember that, too, when this season ends, because I actually do like him. I ranked him pretty aggressively, certainly higher than the rest of our colleagues.
Here's my thinking. Adrian Peterson, yes, maybe he's another one of those 35-year-old plus backs who remains durable, but I doubt it. I'm betting against it. Peyton Barber, aforementioned, is also added here. Bryce Love, and his knee surgeries. Derrius Guice looks really good, but obviously, one of the bigger injury risks in the league. So you look at Antonio Gibson's numbers here, so 98th percentile 40 yard dash, 99th percentile speed score, 70th percentile BMI.
I mean, this Memphis back said, get the huge yards per carry. We saw Darrell Henderson fail, but everyone loves Tony Pollard came from there. And to me, he's kind of a similar situation, but not Ezekiel Elliott, the biggest bad ass in front of them in the depth chart. So I moved him right around there like my 36th back, and apparently, that seems crazy compared to the rest of us rankers.
MATT HARMON: That's hyper aggressive, but I like the way you're thinking about it. Because you know, no number, we talk about-- I feel like Liz and I talk about this a lot on the podcast. It's the Darius Slayton theory. You know, one of these things doesn't look like the other, and I think it's the same sort of principle here with Gibson in Washington, which is that, yeah, I mean, he's the youngest most unproven guy. But he's also probably the only one that's like a plus pass catcher beyond maybe whatever-- if Bryce Love is ever healthy, maybe that's something.
But he's not really even a guy I'm going to factor into the equation right now. You know, Peterson's never been good in the past game. Guice just doesn't have a-- maybe he can be a good pass catcher, but he doesn't have a resume of doing it. And I don't think Peyton Barber's anything special in that category either, so Gibson can be that sort.
DALTON DEL DON: And I've heard this backfield referred to as deep, but every back field has bodies. To me, it's the thinnest backfield in the end in the NFL, so that's at least where I stand. Maybe it's crazy. Like I said, I haven't even watched tape on Gibson, and maybe he can't hold up as a running back. But to me with this explosiveness and his efficiency, it sounds like it won't take more than 250 touches for him to be a difference maker. So yeah, I'm in on Gibson as one of my favorite sleepers where we stand now.