It has been a rough season for running backs. Injuries ravaged the top tier, rookies weren’t being trusted by their coaches throughout much of the season and COVID created a number of issues. Now, with championships on the line in Week 16, we never did get back Christian McCaffrey, we can’t trust Ezekiel Elliott and fill-ins like Mike Davis and Wayne Gallman have proven unreliable. Fortunately, help seems to be on the way. We may not be seeing production of the Derrick Henry level, but Myles Gaskin and Antonio Gibson could prove to be your fantasy saviors this week.
If there is one thing we have learned about Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, it’s that they prefer to have one player lead their backfield. While most coaches turn to the tandem backfield, Flores and Gailey have stuck with one guy throughout. Gaskin was that guy early in the season and they rode him like a pony until he got hurt and missed Week 9. When he returned five games later, they fed him 21 carries without batting an eye. Now off the reserve/COVID list and facing a soft Raiders run defense that has allowed 171.3 rushing yards per game over the last three weeks, Gaskin should resume his role as the Dolphins’ lead back.
Gibson’s situation is a bit different, but his return from a case of turf toe has the back on everyone’s radar, especially with Washington’s matchup against the Panthers who have allowed 120 rushing yards per game all year and have coughed up 16 rushing touchdowns. Early on, Gibson’s touches were limited by the usage of J.D. McKissic, but Week 10 rolled around and Gibson was the lead dog. Six touchdowns and three games later, he was out injured. Upon his return, you can probably expect a workload similar to what he had early on which is 12-15 touches. It’s not bell-cow status but still solid given the matchup.
They say to dance with the person you brought and while you may be tempted to give Ito Smith or Sony Michel a look, Gaskin and Gibson offer better upside. Championship week is not the time to take chances. Dance with who you brought.
Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy football advice.
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