For fantasy owners, there is one phrase that many hope to never hear: “Running back-by-committee.”
The term essentially means that no running back has asserted himself as the true No. 1 option, meaning carries and touches will be split in an unpredictable way. A true nightmare when it comes to setting your lineup.
Unfortunately for those who drafted a Washington Football Team running back for the 2020 season, that dreaded situation just became a reality as head coach Ron Rivera noted that the team will take the “all hands on deck” approach in the backfield.
The designation is not a huge surprise, as Washington recently released its most experienced runner in Adrian Peterson and while J.D. McKissic was listed first on the initial depth chart, he had no idea that’s what would happen.
Clearly, there is no true RB1 in Washington yet, and Antonio Gibson, McKissic, Bryce Love and Peyton Barber could all see action in Week 1 and beyond. When it comes to a fantasy lineup, who -- if anyone -- can you trust? Here’s a breakdown
Antonio Gibson - Most Trustworthy
In an RBBC, the goal is to grab the running back you think will eventually separate themselves from the rest or do the most with their share of the work. Gibson is the clear choice because of his potential and what Washington wants to do with him.
A talented route runner and receiver, he will have no problem fitting in with Scott Turner’s system. In PPR leagues, Gibson may already warrant flex consideration. Based on how he performs early on, even with McKissic taking on a similar role, there’s a chance that a hot hand could take the lion share and even get some carries mixed in.
In the long run, Gibson is the running back that will most likely always have some type of role in the offense, making him the safest addition to your roster.
J.D. McKissic - A Deep-League Stasher
Just because he’s No. 1 on the depth chart doesn’t mean McKissic will be “the guy” in Washington. Still, the offense showed off plenty of two-back sets in training camp and it’s clear that Turner, Rivera and company want McKissic to be involved.
Primarily a passing-down option, he could end up garnering more carries at the beginning of the season. Still, it’s unclear what the future really holds for the fifth-year pro. His position toward the top of the depth chart makes him worth a look in deeper leagues, but he may be a reserve until his true role is carved out.
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Bryce Love - Waiver Wire Target
Love, who spent his first season recovering from a knee injury, was a wild card entering training camp. As the regular season begins, he’s just as mysterious and unpredictable.
Rivera has praised him and his work in college showed he is an explosive runner with a load of potential, but he mostly worked with non-starters during practice sessions. Love could potentially establish himself as the true running back of the group, but that’s not the case just yet.
Keep an eye on his waiver wire positioning for now -- if he is there -- as he may be a hot commodity as the season progresses.
Peyton Barber - Odd Man Out
Barber could easily surprise, but as of now, it’s hard to justify having him on a fantasy roster. Given the playmaking of the others in the backfield, there isn’t anything that greatly differentiates him from the rest.
Injuries and poor play may change his status, but stay away for now.