The Washington Football Team announced the release of veteran running back Adrian Peterson, leaving them with a much younger depth chart.
Playing for Washington now will be third-round rookie Antonio Gibson, 2019 fourth-round pick Bryce Love and free-agent acquistions Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic. It’s an interesting mix of players, but one guy in particular stands out, especially for fantasy football purposes.
Gibson was already an intriguing prospect heading into the season, but has received a massive boost in the past few months. Washington released Derrius Guice earlier in the offseason, and now with Peterson gone, there are no notable players in front of Gibson.
The reason Gibson is interesting is because he mostly lined up at wide receiver while at Memphis. He even worked out at the NFL Combine as a receiver. But Washington has named him as a running back, and it’s clear the team wants to use him as a receiving threat out of the backfield.
Speaking to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Peterson made it pretty clear that Washington really likes Gibson.
“Look, (Antonio) Gibson is a hell of a talent,” Peterson said to Anderson. “This system really fits him. I feel like I can do that pony style too, more as a receiving back. We were all working on it, but they really want one main guy to do it and they drafted Gibson for it.”
These comments from Peterson essentially confirm what many already assumed. But with fantasy football drafts taking place now, it’s nice to get a little more confirmation.
As for Gibson, it’ll be interesting to see what type of impact he’s able to make as a rookie. Head coach Ron Rivera caught some people’s attention earlier in the offseason when he compared Gibson to Panthers star Christian McCaffrey.
“He’s a little bit bigger than Christian, but he’s got a skill-set like Christian,” Rivera said in April. “He’s shown some position flexibility playing in the slot. He’s shown some flexibility of playing in the backfield. I think they even ran some Wildcat with him, with him being the center taking direct snaps. So this is a very versatile young football player that we really think is going to be a guy that can get on the field for us early and contribute.”
Fast forward six months later and Gibson is in a much better position.
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