The 2023 NFL season is just one game old, and some teams are already in trouble. Young running backs Jahmyr Gibbs and Isiah Pacheco both had underwhelming starts to the year, which could lead some fantasy football managers to panic. Are these two destined to bust, or was this just a random disappointing week?
It’s important to remember that Week 1 is always weird. For instance, last year at this point, Gabriel Davis looked like a legit star in the making, and Carson Wentz was coming off of a QB3 weekly finish. Strange things happen in small samples, so you should never react too much to just one week of games. That being said, you can’t completely ignore this, either. Let’s take a look into the factors surrounding both Jahmyr Gibbs and Isiah Pacheco and see what to expect from them in fantasy football moving forward.
Fantasy Football: What to Do With Jahmyr Gibbs, Isiah Pacheco
Jahmyr Gibbs Fantasy Football Outlook
As the 12th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Jahmyr Gibbs entered the fantasy football season with a lot of hype. An explosive athlete, the Alabama product has the potential to be a true three-down back and make plays as both a runner and a receiver. Unfortunately, we didn’t see that in Week 1, as the rookie was clearly second-fiddle to David Montgomery. In total, Gibbs finished his NFL debut with just seven carries for 42 yards along with two receptions for 18 yards. Montgomery, meanwhile, ended his night with 74 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries.
While Montgomery is the guy to start right now, history suggests that it’s only a matter of time before Gibbs takes over. Last year, Breece Hall and Kenneth Walker were selected early in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Both players were similar prospects to Gibbs, and both players began their careers by splitting work with the established veteran starter. Hall finally earned the full-time starting job in Week 4, while Walker had to wait until Week 6.
Chances are, Gibbs will follow a similar timeline. If you absolutely need a flex play, you can plug Jahmyr Gibbs into your fantasy football lineup and hope he finds the endzone with the 10 or so touches he’ll get every game. However, once October rolls around, he should take the starting job from the good-but-not-great David Montgomery and never look back. If you can survive a few early weeks with a different RB2, Gibbs still has the potential to be a genuine league winner in the second half of the year.