Jahmyr Gibbs: Fantasy Football Breakout Potential at Running Back for the Detroit Lions


As the anticipation for the 2023 season swells, FantasyPros.com turns its discerning eye to the future stars of fantasy football. The result is a list of 24 potential breakout candidates, each set to light up the scoreboard this year. Of these emerging talents, one in particular stands poised for an explosive rookie season – Detroit Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs.

Gibbs’ Potential

Despite his modest size at 5-foot-9 and 199 pounds, Gibbs showed exceptional talent as a runner and receiver at both Georgia Tech and Alabama. In his final season under Nick Saban at Alabama, he accumulated 926 rushing yards, 44 catches, and 444 receiving yards. He also proved his explosive potential, ranking fifth in PFF’s breakaway run rate (53%).

The Lions, selecting Gibbs 12th overall in the NFL Draft, appear unconcerned about his smaller frame. Smitty from the Fantasy Football Show is confident in the Lions’ investment, declaring:

Jahmyr Gibbs is going to win fantasy football leagues. His ADP lingers in the 4th-round, which is insane considering he has top-10 overall upside (yes, even as a rookie). Rookie running backs have top 1-10 RB seasons all the time, and the Lions are set to explode in 2023. Anyone that tries to paint pictures about Gibbs using old stories about D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams doesn’t know what time it is. Gibbs could have 1,500 total yards, 60+ receptions, and 12+TDs during his rookie campaign. He is a top 10 overall player hiding in the 4th round.

Filling the Fantasy Stat Sheet

Last season’s Lions’ running back duo, D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams, together claimed 26.4 touches per game. With even a 50-50 split, Gibbs is set for a 224-touch workload. At a 55% split, that figure shoots up to almost 250 total touches over a 17-game season.

Jared Goff, Detroit’s quarterback, encapsulates the excitement within the team about what Gibbs brings to the table. He said,

He can catch it. He can run it. We’re excited about him. He’s done a hell of a job as well as a rookie, learning, picking things up, asking the right questions and can do some special things with the ball in his hands, so we’re excited to do that.

This anticipation is echoed by Ben Wasley from The Fantasy First Down. He affirms: “I’m backing Jahmyr Gibbs as a major breakout candidate… If Gibbs can stay healthy, he has the talent to go one better and finish as an RB1 in 2023.”

The numbers, the potential, and the team’s confidence in Gibbs all converge to signal a breakout season for the Lions’ rookie weapon.


For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21

Contact: Broder@woodwardsports.com

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Original Photo Credit: © Andrew Wevers – USA TODAY Sports