Roger Steinman/Associated Press
A week after a run-focused game led the Washington Football Team to a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, Antonio Gibson was deployed as part of a similar effort in a Thanksgiving Day win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Gibson, who was taken by Washington in the third round of this year’s draft after playing as a receiver at Memphis, picked up 115 yards on 20 carries and scored three touchdowns, also adding 21 yards on five receptions as Washington defeated Dallas 41-16.
The 22-year-old has had his ups and downs throughout the season, most notably when he followed his 128-yard, 20-carry performance from Week 7 with a 20-yard day against the New York Giants after a Week 8 bye.
But since Alex Smith was installed as Washington’s starting quarterback following Kyle Allen’s injury in Week 9, Gibson has shone. In Smith’s inaugural game as the starter—a 30-27 loss to the Detroit Lions—Gibson posted 45 yards on 13 carries while adding two touchdowns. He also rushed for 94 yards on 16 carries last week.
The team also carries J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber at running back. However, McKissic hasn’t started since Week 4 and has added just 223 yards through 11 games thus far, while Barber has posted 173. Gibson, meanwhile, has added 645 yards.
Against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers next week, Washington’s running game may be stifled by a defense that has allowed just 832 rushing yards to running backs, good for ninth-fewest in the league. But for anything that does poke through, fantasy managers can bet on the ball being given to Gibson. He serves as a high-end RB2 heading into the toughest matchup remaining on the schedule but is a must-start for the rest of the season.