The Detroit Lions’ Jahmir Gibbs and the Seattle Seahawks’ Kenneth Walker III both appear to be in the midst of midseason role transitions that could separate their 2023 campaigns from the first half of their respective seasons.
Should fantasy football managers consider a one-for-one trade involving the two talented backs?
Should you trade Jahmir Gibbs for Kenneth Walker III in Week 10?
PFN’s trade analyst has no doubt that trading Gibbs for Walker is worth it – the answer from the analyst’s side is a resounding yes.
Walker’s trade value of 47.0 is much higher than Gibbs’ 29.5. The difference is largely the result of Walker’s more established body of work at the NFL level in the first half of the season, when both backs filled in for their respective teams.
MORE: Fantasy Football RB Week 10 Trade Targets
However, my analysis contradicts this advice. My take on the two players is inherently a bit of a prediction and a belief in what might unfold the rest of the way, as well as each player’s straw man.
There is no denying that Walker is a player who has a good chance of remaining in the lead defensive role the rest of the way. However, that’s far from a guarantee considering fellow rookie backfielder Zach Charbonnet.
Charbonnet has slightly outplayed Walker in snaps over the last two games in Seattle, although part of that is due to the script, and it’s fair to say anything Walker does on the field, Charbonnet can match or maybe even surpass.
In turn, while Gibbs’ backfield partner David Montgomery is certainly a skilled and experienced asset, there’s no comparing the two’s athleticism. Even in Montgomery’s pair of 100-yard efforts so far, he’s averaged just 4.1 yards per carry and has never topped 4.3 in any season.
And, even though Montgomery has proven to be a capable receiver in some previous seasons for the Bears, Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson doesn’t seem too keen on using him in that capacity — Montgomery has 10 targets in five contests.
Part of the reason for the latter is definitely Gibbs. Montgomery, a rookie first-round pick, had tallies of four and seven catches at the rim before his current two-game absence, which the latter took advantage of as a rib injury moved Gibbs into a more senior role.
Gibbs’ Week 8 nationally televised performance of 189 total yards with 31 touchdowns naturally stands out. However, it’s important to note that Gibbs posted an impressive 126 total yards and came off a negative game script in Week 7 against the Ravens.
Dan Campbell knows he’s on the brink of getting the Lions back to the postseason, which could be the biggest feather in his coaching tenure so far.
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As the stakes mount with each passing week, Campbell will need his most talented asset on the field, especially since the team’s passing corps lacks much reliable depth behind Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Reynolds and Sam LaPorta.
As he clearly showed against the Raiders in Week 8, Gibbs checks all the necessary boxes on the playmaker spectrum. Likewise, if I were Gibbs’ manager, I would be determined and hopeful to take him to the Championship.
Jahmir Gibbs fantasy value offseason
Considering all of the above about Gibbs and his potential role for the rest of the season, I see the value of Montgomery’s return being higher than expected.
Given that Gibbs is more of a threat than his veteran teammate, there’s every reason to believe that the workload of the two backs could well be reversed from what it was in the first half of the season.
That transition could have happened at some point this offseason, but it was accelerated by Gibbs’ performance in Montgomery’s absence.
Kenneth Walker III fantasy value vacation
Walker’s potential flaws have already been highlighted. He could outpace Charbonnet in touchdowns for the rest of the season, but there’s certainly a non-zero chance, especially given recent trends.
Walker has more of a passing role than Gibbs. Despite having a bigger role than the starter in the first half of the season, he has just 15 catches in eight games.
And, Walker used his voice a lot to get to strong fantasy performances. He averaged just 4.2 yards per carry.
In contrast, Gibbs is averaging 5.3 yards per tote and he has just one run of 20+ yards to five of Walker’s 50 carries.
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