As former Law and Order: SVU star and cold beverage enthusiast Tracy Marrow once poignantly mused, “Don’t hate the player. Hate the game.”
Never have truer words been uttered when it comes to RB Jahmyr Gibbs, the single biggest “sell” in dynasty.
I don’t hate Gibbs as a talent. In fact, I love him. But with how he is currently being valued in these dynasty streets, now is the time to cash out.
Again, this is not a Gibbs hit piece. The Lions rookie was positively electric for the majority of the season. He tallied 182 carries for 945 yards (5.2 YPC) and ten touchdowns, along with 52 receptions on 71 targets for another 316 yards and a score through the air. Gibbs played 15 games and finished as the RB10 (in both PPR and half).
Gibbs is currently the RB3 on KeepTradeCut, right on the heels of Breece Hall and Bijan Robinson. He is a top 20 dynasty asset in almost everyone’s eyes.
So, with all of these accolades, why in the world should Gibbs be considered an asset to sell in dynasty, you ask?
As I have said, Gibbs’ prices are sky-high right now. Much like a brand new car leaving the lot, however, Gibbs’ value is as high as it will ever be in his career.
Every league is different, but if Gibbs is currently carrying multi-first-round pick trade value, that is something I want to explore regardless of roster construction.
If a top-five or six 2024 rookie pick PLUS an additional first-rounder is in play, that’s enough to pry Gibbs from me unless I am a strong championship contender right away in 2024. Even then, consider how the value of those 2024 rookie picks will skyrocket over the coming months.
Most managers would apparently trade away “1.05 + 2025 first” to get Gibbs. That is A LOT for any running back in this landscape.
Despite my less-than-scientific method for measuring Gibbs’ current value, this price is partly due to where we are in the calendar right now: well before peak “rookie fever” time. Once the community has a better understanding of these 2024 rookies, their hype will grow. People will realize that “1.05” will become a stud wideout like Malik Nabers. Gibbs, the asset, won’t fetch as much 2024 draft capital as he would right now.
Certainly, by the time we get closer to May, you will not be able to get a top-four or five pick in 2024 + a future first or the equivalent for Gibbs. I don’t think you will be able to acquire 1.05 straight up for Gibbs by then.
I would explore what Gibbs could fetch in your leagues today.
Capped Production Ceiling
Often, dynasty “sells” are players we expect to see a huge drop in production in the not-so-distant future. This can be either due to age or impending situation.
To be clear, I’m not predicting a downfall for Gibbs. He’s a stud – young and electric. He’s running behind a very good offensive line. Gibbs is involved in the passing game as well. That said, the dynasty community is predicting a significant leap in production in Year 2. That assumed improvement is baked into his current top-two or three-dynasty RB value.
The problem is that I’m just not sure that a leap in production is coming. As I’ve said, it has nothing to do with Gibbs’ talent. It’s his situation.
Teammate David Montgomery received 219 carries for 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2023. He is entering the second year of his three-year, $18 million contract with the Lions. He is locked in until at least 2025 as Detroit’s between-the-tackles innings-eater, capping Gibbs’ ability to accomplish that perceived production bump with more volume in 2024.
Gibbs was also already very efficient in 2023. He posted an impressive 5.19 yards per carry and scored 10 rushing scores on 182 attempts. I don’t expect him to improve on these numbers significantly next season.
Gibbs’ double-digit touchdowns might not be sustainable in the future.
Gibbs’ double-digit touchdowns might not be sustainable in the future. And that might be true of any RB, let alone one splitting work with someone like Montgomery, who was top five in the NFL in carries inside the five-yard line in 2023.
Not only that, Montgomery was just generally very good for the Lions, boasting an impressive 4.63 YPC himself. Despite fantasy managers’ desire for a bell-cow RB, the real-life Lions were ecstatic with how the Gibbs-Montgomery duo performed and complemented one another. The point is that the Lions have no reason to increase Gibbs’ workload significantly.
Suppressed RB Dynasty Value and the Value of Liquidity
Finally — and this is not a new topic in the dynasty space — the value of running backs in dynasty is suppressed because their production is so fleeting and volatile year-to-year.
When you have an asset like Gibbs on your roster, you almost need your roster to be ready to use him to win immediately, or else it becomes more pragmatic to cash out. This is especially true at this time of year before draft hype reaches its apex, as we mentioned before.
Furthermore, it never hurts to be as “liquid” as possible at this time of year. In active leagues especially, having draft capital to move is essential.
Conversely, having your wealth tied up in running backs is limiting because many managers in your leagues are not looking to buy running backs. Everyone wants picks, so the path to using an asset like Gibbs to pivot to a dynamic quarterback or wide receiver might require you to first turn Gibbs into picks.
Again, don’t liquidate just to liquidate. And don’t sell Gibbs just to sell him. The goal, however, is to maximize value. If you can turn Gibbs into a war chest of assets that can still appreciate down the line. That is a solid strategy unless, as we’ve said, you are a running back from winning money in 2024.
At the end of the day, I realize that on the surface, “Sell Jahmyr Gibbs!” sounds like so many galaxy-brained pieces of advice that the dynasty space is so often littered with. Engagement farming or click-bait pieces of advice like this are rampant right now.
One of the main traps many dynasty managers fall into is a “perpetual rebuilder” mindset, where we constantly focus on cashing out veteran players for draft capital rather than scoring fantasy points and winning championships. You win by having players on your roster who score points like Gibbs.
That being said, there just seems to be a unique opportunity right now to sell Gibbs for the price of a truly elite fantasy RB. While Gibbs is absolutely a dynamic real-life weapon, I do not think he should be considered untouchable in dynasty, given the prices I’ve seen out there right now.