Each Friday during the 2022 NFL and fantasy football season, Eric Karabell will bring his always-reasonable perspective to highlight the biggest fantasy football storylines heading into the weekend's games.
Fantasy football managers seem to be getting a bit annoyed with the Washington Commanders. Really, Commanders fans themselves can't be too pleased, either, as the team has lost three consecutive games and featured varying degrees of competitiveness along the way since their Week 1 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Quarterback Carson Wentz no longer looks anything like the former MVP candidate from yesteryear, and fantasy managers once interested are dropping him quickly. The skill players around him, however, remain more relevant, but perhaps still on the proverbial fantasy hot seat.
We keep reminding fantasy managers to watch the Brian Robinson situation, because it was quite obvious during the summer how much the organization believes in his talent, and a key role awaited. Robinson scored 16 touchdowns for Alabama last season, and Washington eagerly chose him in the draft's third round months ago. It was a sure sign that Antonio Gibson, despite solid numbers his first two seasons, was in danger of losing playing time.
A change might occur soon, as Robinson, fully recovered from taking two gunshots to his right leg during a robbery attempt in late August, is practicing and might be activated for Sunday's home game against the Tennessee Titans. Gibson shined in Week 1, but in the three games since, he has averaged 2.9 yards per rush, with little help from the offensive line. He scored rushing touchdowns in Weeks 2 and 3, but one of them came in the final minutes of a blowout loss. Gibson has eight targets in three games. The team likely views Robinson as an upgrade. Fantasy managers incorrectly view Gibson as an RB2, while Robinson is rostered in 39% of leagues. Hmmm.
Meanwhile, it's likely that few realize who Washington's top receiver has been so far. The talented Terry McLaurin, a fourth-round selection in ESPN ADP, remains an obvious vertical threat, but his quarterback is having trouble connecting with him. Curtis Samuel leads Washington in targets (by 10 over McLaurin) and catches (running back J.D. McKissic is second). Nobody should be dropping McLaurin or Gibson in fantasy, but their roles are threatened, and they might be better served as flex options or on fantasy benches for now. Samuel and Robinson are the lone Commanders rostered in more ESPN leagues than they were last week.